August is the month of celebration and acknowledging the phenomenal women in this country. Unfortunately, I write this piece with a heavy heart. A few days ago, I received news that Brenda Aynsley who was a past president of the Australian Computer Society passed away after a long battle with illness.
I want to dedicate this month’s newsletter and article to Brenda.
I first met Brenda when we invited her to be a keynote speaker at the 2016 President’s awards. I was immediately drawn to her passion for professionalism in ICT and her witty sense of humour. Although she was battling an illness she didn’t let it dictate its terms and I admired her courage, strength and dedication to continue doing what she loved.
Brenda holds the distinction of being the first female president of Australian Computer Society in 2014. In the same year she was admitted to the Order of Australia and awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to the information and communications technology sector. As a stalwart for the ICT profession she had the attention of audiences at the United Nations, the International Telecommunications Union, the world summit on Information Society, and at conferences such as the World Computer Congress and the World IT Forum.
This dynamic woman was the chair of IFIP International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3) for a number of years. IP3 leads the development of the global IT profession by providing a platform that will help shape and implement relevant policies to foster professionalism in IT worldwide.
The below extract is from her Linked-In profile.
“I am totally absorbed by and committed to the Internet and technology, not because of the nature of the toys and tools, but because both provide the means of facilitating effective communication between citizens of the world.
Conversations between citizens have the power to change the world … for the better, hence my interest in being a social capital evangelist. As someone who trained to be a sociologist in the 1970s, the avenues for social interaction that have been enabled since the 1990s could have barely been anticipated when I was at Flinders University.
Related to this is my passion for improving our understanding of the absolute need for trustworthy computing which rests on recognised ICT practitioners being committed to professionalism in their art and craft. As a profession, we have a responsibility to ensure those who use the computing systems and tools we produce will work beneficially and not adversely.”
Brenda will be missed, and her passing is a huge loss for the ICT profession. I would like to honour her memory by continuing the drive for creating a culture of professionalism.
Rest in peace Brenda.