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2012 Australian Government ICT Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists Announced

Friday, 14 Sep 2012

14 September 2012, The Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Australian Government Information Management (AGIMO) are proud to announce the four finalists of the 2012 Australian Government ICT Young Professional of the Year Award.

The Australian Government ICT Young Professional of the Year Award was introduced three years ago to recognise young ICT professionals working in the Australian Government who are making an outstanding contribution in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Congratulations to the following finalists (in alphabetical order): Luke Blunden of the Wollondilly Shire Council; Christopher Giffard of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Lachlan McFarlane of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; and Mike Webb of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

The winner will be announced at the ACS Young ICT Professionals Conference Dinner ( to be held in Sydney on 8 – 9 October 2012.

ACS President Nick Tate said, “The ACS would like to thank AGIMO, the government departments who submitted the nominations, and the judges for their time and support.

“This year’s nominations demonstrate the outstanding achievements of young ICT professionals working on ICT-related projects within federal, state and territory, and local government agencies. These finalists play a significant role in developing innovative practices and shaping the future of the ICT industry.”

Ann Steward, Australian Government Chief Information Officer and Deputy Secretary of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) said it was wonderful to see the exceptional quality of nominees for this year’s Awards and to be able to acknowledge the outstanding contribution they are making in the ICT arena.

“I congratulate the four finalists we have this year. The Australian Government is a major employer of ICT professionals with a number of programs to encourage talented young people into the industry. Through the ICT Young Professional of the Year Award we continue to see committed young ICT professionals who are playing a significant role in developing and driving innovative practices. Selecting a winner amongst four such talented young professionals will be a difficult task.”

About the Finalists

Luke Blunden - Wollondilly Shire Council

As IT Team Leader, Luke is actively involved in his local community, particularly in supporting the youth of the Wollondilly Shire. Due to the geographical spread of the Wollondilly Shire, services must be innovative in how they reach and engage with young people. With this in mind, the Council purpose built a Youth Outreach Trailer to travel around the 16 villages and townships taking youth services to the young people who need it. Over the past 12 months Luke has been the technical lead in pulling together all the information technology requirements for the Youth Trailer and has created an innovative and advanced mobile youth centre that Council can transport to all the towns and villages in the shire.

Christopher Giffard - Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

With his work at DEEWR, Christopher has contributed significantly to the development of accessible video for the Australian Government. Christopher seized an opportunity to deliver a more robust, forward thinking, future-proof solution to the immediate requirements to display accessible video content with captions. The contributions made by Christopher in his development work will benefit all government agencies in the long term, and has already made an impact globally. His work has been widely recognised in print, at conferences and in professional web development communities.

Lachlan McFarlane - Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Lachlan has transformed a small software development capability at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy into an agile software development team. His leadership and application of an agile methodology enabled the team to rapidly develop new products for the management and registration of customers for the Digital Switchover Taskforce’s Household Assistance Scheme and Satellite Subsidy Scheme. Lachlan is dedicated to using innovative software development methodologies and tools in the delivery of government services.

Mike Webb - Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

Leading an Infrastructure Architecture team, Mike has been integral to the successful design and implementation of the ICT infrastructure that supports the Department's delivery of whole-of-government online services. In 2009, Mike joined the Department as a Senior Systems Engineer, overseeing a team of technicians responsible for management of the infrastructure that underpins the initiative. Currently, he is responsible for a diverse range of infrastructure holdings across two geographically separate data centres that support VANguard, and the Australian Business Number and Australian Business Name (ABN/BN) initiatives.

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Media Enquiries

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About the ACS

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) exists to advance professional excellence in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. Its objectives are to further the study, science and application of people and organisations; maintain and promote a Code of Ethics for members of the ACS; define and promote standards of knowledge of ICT for members; promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters; extend the knowledge and understanding of ICT in the community; promote the benefits of membership of the Society; and promote the benefits of employing members of the Society.

About the Department of Finance and Deregulation and AGIMO

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), a business group within the Department of Finance and Deregulation, works across government to maintain Australia's position as a leader in the productive application of information and communications technologies. AGIMO fosters the efficient and effective use of information and communications technology by Australian Government agencies. AGIMO works with governments and other bodies at the local, state, national and international levels. You can find more information about AGIMO’s work at and on the AGIMO Blog at