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FITT Newsletter March 2016

Dear Members,
It seems as though Christmas was just yesterday and yet we’ve now also celebrated Easter. The year is flying by. We’ve gone in the blink of an eye from the guy in the red suit to an enormous white bunny and now it’s the start of the AFL season, with winter lurking around the corner!

It’s been a busy start to the year for the FITT team, with preparations for our 2016 International Women’s Day event series keeping us busy. For those of you who were part of this year’s FITT IWD events, I am sure you will agree that both the Melbourne and the Sydney luncheon events were not only inspiring and thought provoking, they were also a great chance to network with other women and men across the ICT industry.

One of the big announcements that we made at our IWD events was to introduce our new Platinum sponsor and IWD presenting partner, Telstra. It’s fantastic to have the Telstra team as such an important part of the FITT family and community. The wonderful work that Telstra is doing with its diversity programs aligns well with our goals at FITT, so we are looking forward to a partnership that gives back in a big way to our ICT community.

We are also very pleased to welcome to our FITT team, Sara Adams, who has joined us as our Sales Director. I am sure many of you will get to meet and / or speak with Sara over the coming months. It’s great to have Sara on the team.

While March has been a time for great achievements and lots to be celebrated, it’s also been a time to say goodbye to two long serving, dedicated and valuable members of the FITT team. We would like to thanks Chelsea Love for all the incredible work she has done in driving FITT’s Mentoring Program. The fact that our Mentoring Program is held up as a benchmark by many across the industry is a testament to the wonderful work and dedication that Chelsea has displayed over her time with FITT.

We are also saying goodbye to Semra Baratchu who has led the FITT Infrastructure team for the last few years and has been instrumental in ensuring FITT is operating at the highest levels from an infrastructure perspective.

Both Chelsea and Semra will be very much missed.

I’d like to close on a positive note and to share with you the words of wisdom from our IWD event series keynote speaker, Lynwen Connick, First Assistant Secretary, Cyber Policy and Intelligence Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Lynwen has recommended some actions that we, across the ICT industry take every day:

1. Promote the diversity of exciting career paths in ICT.
2. Improve the image we project.
3. Find ways to ensure women are not isolated in ICT study and careers.
4. Mentor and encourage women and girls to believe in their own abilities

Take care, keep smiling and stay ‘FITT’.


Kerryn Nelson

Newsletter Editor and FITT Marketing Lead
On Behalf of the FITT Management Committee


Exec Profile


Lynwen Connick 

First Assistant Secretary, Cyber Policy and Intelligence Division, Department of Prime Minister
and Cabinet


1. What is your current role and what is your scope?

I am fortunate to be responsible for some key national strategy and policy issues in the Commonwealth Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. I advise the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Policy and Intelligence issues. It is a very exciting time to have a role like this with a Prime Minister who is very focused on innovation and digital transformation.
My work includes developing our national cyber security policy. We are currently leading a review of Australia’s cyber security to set a new national direction and build partnerships between government and the private sector and take advantage of the opportunities of a secure cyber space. Government will consider the review shortly and a new Australian Cyber Security Strategy will be released.
2. What attracted you to a career in ICT?

When I was growing up I always wanted to be a scientist, as I believed science could change the world - I still do. At university I soon realised that computer science was going to be an exciting field to work in and that technology would become a more important part of our lives – this was the career for me. But I never really anticipated how important it would become
3. What has kept you in the ICT industry?

I have stayed in ICT because what we do really makes a difference and can improve people’s lives significantly. The variety of roles available and the constant evolution of the space in which we work have kept me interested. The intellectual stimulation and opportunity to effect change makes me feel challenged and want to come to work every day.

Please keep reading over here . . . . 

International Women’s Day 2016  - WHAT A GREAT SERIES!

If you were not part of the 2016 FITT International Women’s Day event series, participating in lunch in either Melbourne or Sydney, then let’s just say – you missed out.
This year, FITT was very fortunate to have had the support and involvement of a fantastic team of wonderful, inspirational, successful and passionate women. Each of our speakers shared their background, their learnings, words of encouragement and inspiration
and hopes for the future of our industry.
Overall, our 2016 events were attended by just under 1000 people across both cities, which means lots of shared views, lots of inspired people,  
lots of positive ideas.
Thanks to:
Lynwen Connick, Sue Bailey, Joanna Batstone, Kate Burleigh, Tara Commerford, Sharryn Napier, Pip Marlow, Vanessa Sulikowski, Dr Susan Pond, Margie Warrell and our MC and panel facilitator, Sarah Adam-Gedge for making our 2016 IWD series such a fantastic industry event.
We have had a lot of positive media coverage for our series – and the Twitter-sphere was flooded with lots of lovely messages and words of encouragement from speakers and attendees alike.
Now we turn our heads to planning for the 2017 IWD series with the goal of raising the bar higher again.

See you at IWD 2017!

FITT Industry Article


SAGE Committee
Dr. Susan Pond


The observation of a single black swan in Australia in the 1600's was enough to overturn long-held ideas and theories in the Old World and create new ones.  Today, the metaphor of the black swan has been extended to explain outlier events or observations that disrupt conventional thinking in a range of fields, from philosophy to finance.  

See the full article and link to Focus, 'From Black Swan to Athena SWAN,' 
on our website HERE

FITT Sponsor SAP

SAP’s Pledge for Parity

At SAP Australia Business Women’s Network event in our North Sydney office held on the 7th March, John Ruthven, President and Managing Director, welcomed customers, partners, colleagues, friends and students as he made a #PledgeForParity for International Women’s Day and encouraged attendees to make a pledge. 
SAP’s recent FITT membership was promoted to the audience on the welcome screen and on flyers to encourage the mentoring opportunities and member benefits. 
The unfortunate truth is that progress towards parity has slowed in our industry of late. In some areas, it has regressed.’s James Riley captured this reality in a headline earlier this year – The grim reality of women in tech.
In November 2015, SAP Australia was awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation status and John accepted a role as a pay equity ambassador for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
John expressed his #PledgeForParity noting, “I’m committed to continued evaluation and resource to support our diversity and inclusion programs at SAP ANZ, as we strive to attract and retain the very best talent. This is my #PledgeForParity on International Women’s Day.”

To read more and see the photos, please click HERE 



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FITT Media

A summary of the month’s social media posts


Louisa has found that the the top 3 ‘FITT Friendly’ posts from Facebook in March were:


1.       10 Women in Tech to Watch in 2016  

2.       Congratulations to the Top 50 Women in Technology for 2016 

3.       Women coders do better than men in gender-blind study

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