The Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation, which raises funds for scholarships and ICT research, will launch a chapter in Queensland this Wednesday, February 21, 2007.
The launch will take place at Queensland's parliament house and will be officially launched by the Qld Minister for Public Works and ICT, Robert Schwarten, and the inaugral chair of the chapter, Dr Prins Ralston.
As a former ACS president, Ralston is ideally placed to take on this new role and to identify funding sources to support local scholarships.
The ACS established the Foundation in August, 2001, to promote ICT careers and research. Since its inception, more than $9 million has been raised and students have received over 600 scholarships.
ACS Foundation executive director, John Ridge, said the Queensland chapter will focus on addressing skills shortages and increasing the uptake of ICT careers.
The Queensland chapter of the Foundation will focus on addressing industry skills shortages an increasing the uptake of ICT careers.
"Queensland's contribution to the success and prosperity of Australia's ICT industry is crucial because the state produces seven percent of the nation's ICT exports," Ridge said.
According to the ACS's annual Australian ICT Trade Update 2006, Queensland exported $115 million worth of locally produced ICT equipment in 2005, well up from the $40 million exported a decade earlier. The state's communications services exports were worth $129 million in 2004-05.
"The launch of the Queensland chapter is a necessary and an exciting development for the Smart State," he sad.
"As acknowledged by the Queensland government, through its Smart State positioning, technology is crucial to maintaining the strength of the nation's ICT industry and a sustainable economic future for Queensland. Software development, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the success of the state's economy.
"We feel that in these times of ICT skills shortages and extensive job opportunities, the Foundation is ideally placed to assist industry and all governments to address these issues"
ACS president, Philip Argy said the launch this Wednesday is a significant milestone and will support the delivery of scholarships to graduates and post-graduate programs.
"Queensland now has a permanent resource devoted to taking advantage of the state's ICT employment opportunities - something which will benefit their economy greatly," he added.
The newly appointed chapter chairman, Dr Prins Ralston, said the organization will focus on leveraging the talent leaving Queensland universities and to match them with local opportunities.
"This will help encourage our young professionals to remain within the Smart State and ICT industry over the long-term," Ralston said.
Dr Prins Ralston served as ACS president from 1998 to 2000. He is a partner in law firm Clayton Utz and managing director of Business Management Consulting.