Close of the first 6 months

A message from ACS NSW BEC Chair, Helen McHugh MACS (Snr) CP

17 July 2021


  • Helen McHugh MACS (Snr) CP is the ACS NSW Branch Executive (BEC) Chair and the NSW Congressional representative on the ACS Management Committee. 
  • Helen shares a message to our ICT community as she reflects on the first 6 months in her role as NSW BEC Chair. 

Dear ACS NSW Members, Associates and Friends,

As the first 6 months of my tenure comes to a close it is time to communicate with you, our valued NSW members.

What a year it has been already.

Covid impacted physical and then virtual events, ZOOM, Teams. But it has been a year to “Pivot” to relook at so many ways we do things. Online events are great and give us many opportunities to do so many things differently. And we don’t need to leave the house. My mantra is #ChangeTheModel.

A chance to do that certification. During lockdown there is time to work on your skills and certifications. Checkout the ACS Certifications as a Certified Technologist or Certified Professional and online learning offerings on the ACS website.

Network virtually. Use your LinkedIn connections to attend the many online events that are emerging as many groups and thought leaders “pivot” to online. You’d be amazed and you can count the points to your CP hours to maintain your ACS Certification.

While the NSW branch have been busy with an array of quality events and new initiatives such as the NSW Mentoring Program, I can also verify that the elected volunteers being equally busy behind the scenes.

I am drawing the analogy of DUCKS PADDLING.

looks like not much happening above the surface but there is a ton of paddling going on underneath.

After the events of 2019/20, ACS has needed to undergo Internal Cultural Transformation. This has been under the level headed leadership of our President, Dr Ian Oppermann, and Interim CEO, Rupert Grayston.

To quote Ian’s piece in Information Age in February he titled it: A different year for ACS

“We are off and running in 2021 and I am looking forward to a different year for ACS compared to 2020”.

So in the spirit of transparency and good governance there has been a lot of internal getting the house in order.  Many extra meetings, hundreds of pages of reports and submissions, a number of working groups, collaborative reports across Branches by Branch Managers and Chairs and many, many more.  I now sit on 4 ACS Boards and Committees; MC, Congress, MAB and NSW BEC.

And because I am the glue I have been building lots of bridges and collaborative networks to help me help steer ACS NSW and the broader ACS along the transformation path.

But I am not a lone ranger. There is a great team at NSW Branch lead by our awesome State Manager Jamie Burrage. Jamie joined the ACS in May 2020, just as COVID-19 was getting going; office in lock down, not able to run physical events, reconstitute a casual BEC and then set up elections for a new BEC in his first 6 months…

And so now to focus on ACS NSW. I hope to help drive a number of ideas, collaborations, events, roundtables. In addition to the aforementioned Mentoring Program, we have held a virtual Fellows wine tasting event, and Jamie and I have started to look at build collaborations with many organisations over the next 6 months and to share our successes directly with you. I have received a number of direct approaches for information or initiations of ideas and programs. I have listened and am listening.

I encourage members to approach either myself or with ideas.

To close I need to share a very kind recognition of my abilities. A member quoted:

“When we have a passionate Chair we get things done”.

Well I am here to help the ACS to be the best it can be. So stand by now!



Helen McHugh MACS Snr CP

ACS NSW Branch Executive, Chair



Hear more from Helen McHugh MACS Snr CP, Chair of the NSW BEC

Read Helen's NSW Branch Chair Welcome Message, published 15 January 2021. 

Read Helen's Women In Tech Spotlight, published 23 February 2021.