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Drones, Droids and Robots - ACS Canberra 2016 Conference

Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016


With accolades of “fantastic speakers and an information packed day of presentations” this year’s Canberra Conference certainly stirred the mind into thinking about the theme of Drones, Droids and Robots and the impact on our society.

With over 270 attendees for the Conference we heard from key speakers including ACS President Mr Anthony Wong speaking on Data Fuels Innovation and the Digital Economy; But who owns and controls data? The Chief Digital Officer for the ACT Government Jon Cumming who tackled the topic of Drones, Droids and Robots – Which one are you?

Chairman of ACS Canberra Branch Dr Tim Turner, guided the attendees throughout the day and across various streams covering Leadership, Security, Professionalism, Data Management, Education and the Future of Work.

Keynote speaker Dr Trish Williams – CICSO Chair and Professor of Digital Health Systems and Flinders University, tackled Information Warfare, as well as the Internet of Things debate specifically for the health sector.

The Conference concluded with Chie Executive Officer of the ACS Mr Andrew Johnson tackling Robotics and the Future of Work supported through data presented by Mr Miguel Carrasco – Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group looking at Public Policy and AI.

The evening dinner saw a keynote presentation by the ACT Chief Minister Mr Andrew Barr MLA – Patron of ACS Canberra, presenting on the challenges facing the ACT in its continuing quest to maintain its high standards of education as a smart city. The Chief Minister presented the Leoni Warne Medal to Ms Juliette Major from St Clare’s College, for her outstanding contribution to the ACT Community, inspiring many women to enter the ICT profession; a key initiative of ACS Canberra.

Master of Ceremonies for the dinner Mr Michael Hawkins (Member of the ACS National Board) indicated the importance of the dinner as we celebrated 50 years of ACS nationally. He highlighted the role Canberra played in the creation of the ACS and the support the Territory provides today. To recognise the long standing commitment and investment in our ICT community a series of Honorary Memberships were bestowed by the Branch on members who continue their membership from the creation of the Canberra Computer Society in 1965. These members featured on the night Mr Mike Bowern, Mr Brand Hoff, Mr Peter Outteridge, Mr Michael Heap and Mr John Urbani.

The success of the conference was dependant on sponsorship and ACS Canberra want to thank Callida Consulting and the Department of Defence for their major contributions as Gold sponsors. Appreciation also to Education Services Australia, Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), UNSW, ANU, Uni of Canberra, as well as Robinsonryan and Zen Enterprise for their support.

A key success of the Canberra Conference is the support from partner not-for-profit organisations and this year saw excellent collaboration with agencies such as InTEACT representing ICT teachers in the ACT, WIC (Women in IT), DAMA, and AIM.