ACS NSW Branch Spotlight: End of Year message from the BEC Chair


  • As 2023 comes to an end, Helen Mc Hugh, NSW BEC Chair shares her end of year message.

Dear ACS NSW Members,

What a year 2023 has been! The Branch Executive Committee, your Elected representatives, and the Branch staff have been working hard to rebuild our branch after a hiatus in 2022 with, at times, no staff!

The branch team led by Elana Huthnance and including staff members Joyce Long, Tom Grogan, and Manon Souris have been building their networks and reaching into our NSW ICT Ecosystem. We have been building relationships with businesses, Universities, Emerging Professionals, refugees, and migrants as well as CIOs and Board Directors.

As your Chair, it has been challenging, but as I have attended our events, I have been able to reconnect with old acquaintances and build new relationships. You share my passion for our industry and support for our Society. There are challenges but we are growing stronger every day.

For me, the achievements have been:

  • Rebuilding the NSW branch
  • Bringing together the Branch Chairs to share our ideas and passions. This has seen the Supported Student Membership offering flourish and the Emerging Professionals build in momentum first in VIC and QLD, and now in NSW, WA, and SA
  • Providing the Hon. Victor Dominello and an Honorary Fellowship and Dr Ian Oppermann and Prof Michael Johnson with Honorary Life Membership.
  • Honouring several members upgraded to Fellow and from Associates to full Members (MACs)
  • Supporting many events like the TechRefugee program with SSI and Sparkfest
  • Partnering with organisations such as the Governance Institute of Australia, Digivizer, and ASE
  • Solidifying an ongoing partnership with the Pearcey Foundation
  • And much much more.

But there is still more to do.

As we move into 2024, I see great things ahead and the branch will grow in strength.

We say goodbye to departing ACS NSW BEC Members Phil Redding and Ashley Maher but I know their passion for the industry remains; Ashley will continue the Regional Chapter in Wollongong; and Phil will continue championing the industry in all his endeavors. A huge thank you to them both for their contributions to the BEC.

We say hello to incoming members Hamish Henderson and Craig Batty. Craig is a returning member who was the Chair during the ACS disrupted time. Welcome both.

Stay Posted for the many programs now ramping up including:

  • Emerging Professionals' group activities and events
  • Increased University Engagement
  • Initiatives with regional members
  • Support for Women in Tech.

2024 will see me move from my ACS NSW Chair position of 3 years into the ACS Presidency. I am, and will continue to be, ‘humbled and honored’ to be the next ACS National President. What does this mean for NSW? Well, we have to find the next Chair and the BEC is busy working through that and now, as President, I get to help with the success of all the programs at each state and the National level so for my NSW supportive members I have not gone far.

Merry Christmas and looking forward to the best New Year.

Helen McHugh