The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has launched the Western Australian chapter of the ACS Foundation.
Established in August 2001 as an umbrella organisation to facilitate links between industry and universities and to provide funding for ICT scholarships and research, the ACS Foundation has so far announced 54 scholarships and grants worth more than $2.25 million.
In launching the WA chapter, the Foundation's executive director, Peter Rose, announced an initial 10 undergraduate and research scholarships already ear-marked for universities in Western Australia, with plans to significantly increase this number in coming months.
WA Premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, said the foundation focused on people who are currently under-represented in the ICT profession, such as women, regional, indigenous and disadvantaged students.
The WA Chapter will be headed up by a board made up of primarily key players in the local ICT industry, including: Jim Ellis of Westinfo Services, Megan Enders of Western Power, Steve Pretzel of pretzelLogic, Tony Rosser of Praetorium, David Thomas of Computer Associates, Garry Trinder of Spherion, Bob Cross of Edith Cowan University and chair-elect of the ACS WA Branch, and Peter Rose.
Ellis, an ACS Fellow and Honorary Life Member, will serve as chairman of the board of the ACS Foundation WA Chapter. He sees the Foundation playing a critical role in increasing the level of skilled students and researchers available to the local industry.
"Education is key to growing our ICT sector," he said. "It was education that equipped Ireland to play a leading role on the global ICT stage and I believe this approach can achieve the same kind of result, albeit on a smaller scale, for Western Australia."