5 Minutes With...Gregg Boalch, Director at Falls Valley Group Pty Ltd and ACS Fellow
12th June 2020
- Gregg is a long-standing ACS member for 28 years and was recognised as an ACS Fellow for his distinguished contribution to the field of ICT in Australia
- As a business owner, Gregg describes how an ACS membership has supported his business and career development
- ACS members are automatically covered by insurance for ICT contracting/consulting activities performed as a small business.
1. What do you enjoy most about working in the tech industry?
For me, it is about making a difference. In the first part of my career, the focus was about the technology and what I could make it do – solutions in search of a problem. As I matured (an ongoing process), I started to focus on the people side – what problems did they have, how did they see the world, how could technology make a positive and constructive difference in their lives, and how they could bring about the necessary change. Interacting with people and not just the technology, and seeing the end result – smiles on people’s faces.
2. What is your greatest achievement as a leader and business owner?
I’ve had a fortunate career to date, working in many sectors – health, media, retail, NFP, legal, finance, Government, community services, primary industry and education – and in many locations – Australia, UK, SE Asia, EU and US, so it’s not an easy question to answer.
I’ll cheat and offer two:
- I designed the WA State Government’s response to Bringing Them Home, the recommendations of the federal enquiry into the Stolen Generations. This enabled those effected to be reunited with their families and their country; my little bit to help address the grievous wrongs done in the past, and making a real difference in the lives of those affected. I have Jewish heritage, so I could empathise.
- I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Curtin University in WA and in SE Asia. To see the light bulbs go off above students’ heads, and to see what they have achieved since given that new vision, is heart-warming.
Plus then I’d have to add being elected as a Fellow of the ACS by my peers and making a contribution to bringing together the various segments of the technology sector in WA, making it four.
3. How has an ACS membership supported you in your business or career?
In my career, it has been the professional development offered by the ACS that is mandated as part of my professional certification. To provide a service that is valued by my clients, it is important that I am seen to be across new technological developments and their [potential] impact, both in people’s lives and in the environment in which we live.
In my business, it’s been the Liability Insurance – the savings I made more than covered the annual cost of my membership. Because I work at a strategic level internationally, and because the things I am involved with make a difference in many people’s lives, this insurance is very important.
And in both – it is my adherence to the ACS Code of Ethics.
4. Tech changes fast. How do you keep your tech skills up-to-date?
It's called lifelong learning.
Pre-COVID this meant physically attending the excellent Masterclasses conducted by the WA and Victorian branches of the ACS. In our new normal, its webinars and Zoom sessions. Time zones can be challenging: Australia (ACS) and regional are fine, but when you have one session in Germany at 11pm followed by one in the US at 7am? But it is worth it – many of them force me to question my long-standing priorities and practices, learning from the experiences of others in different places and different spaces.
In the words of Isaac Newton – “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”
5. What do you see are the challenges for the sector? And how do you wish to contribute to resolving them?
Now that’s an interesting question.
I think it is learning to collaborate and not compete – it is by working together we can achieve so much more than we can as individuals. Our sector has grown and diversified so much, and we are now more a community utility and not just an inward focused specialist technical community. Our clients are at the end of the day are the broad community.
It is by us being recognised as empowering decision makers in Government and industry, with our collective expertise and forethought, to look for sustainable technology innovations and solutions by which the community, and our children, will benefit.
I consider myself very fortunate – I’m in roles now where I can put this into practice, and not just in my backyard.
"5 Minutes With..." is a series of articles showcasing exceptional ACS Members and their amazing, innovative, and game changing stories. Representing over 45,000 tech professionals across Australia, our Members work across industry, government, research, and education organisations and each edition highlights the role they are playing in making Australia a world leader in technology talent, fostering innovation, and creating new forms of value.