July 28 2022

#ictgisp Provides Industry Leaders and Skills Training to
QSITE State Conference 2022

The Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) supports educators, institutions and their stakeholders to explore the opportunities afforded to Queensland classrooms through the learning with and about Information Communication Technologies.

Through collaboration with QSITE, the ACS ICT Gateway to industry Schools project can directly provide vital tech skills training and advice from the tech industry to its member teachers and other educators from around Queensland.

The recent QSITE State Conference was held on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 September at ICT GISP Foundation School Kelvin Grove State College. Through a close planning and delivery relationship, the ACS ICT GISP added tremendous value to the volunteer-run event. Training opportunities were provided to teachers to build capability and provide further skills development in many classrooms across Queensland. 

Training sessions provided through funding and organisation of the ICT GISP included:

  • Micromelon - Robotics programming using Python
  • Forest Lake State High School – Esports: Creating an esports curriculum plan
  • CS in Schools - Building Capabilities for a Digital Future: Introduction to Python (x 2 sessions)
  • Damien Kee - Introduction to the VEX IQ Robotics System
  • Damien Kee - Demystifying Arduinos: Simple Arduino Classroom Activities
  • Catherine Newington – Unpacking ACS Educator Community
  • Micromelon - Robotics programming using Blocks with Micromelon
  • Catherine Newington – Hands On micro:bit Session

The point of difference at this year’s conference was the involvement of tech industry emerging and established professionals and leaders. Through the ACS Emerging Professionals program, the attendees were able to gain valuable insights into study and career pathways in the tech industry.

On Tuesday morning, ACS Emerging Professional and Graduate Front-End Developer at Deloitte Digital, Kimberly Valenny, unpacked her impressive study and career story to a packed audience. A high achieving student in secondary school, Kimberly was the only female in a class of 16 students completing the Information Technology Systems course. With a father in the tech industry, Kimberly had plans to defy the odds and completed a double degree at QUT (Information Technology and Creative Industries, with majors in Computer Science and Interactive & Visual Design).

Not content with the academic workload, Kimberly also volunteered her services to promote tech careers and support others to excel in coding and technology through Code Camp, Women in Technology (2021 President), ACS Emerging Professionals, QUT IT Industry Advisory Group Ambassador,  presenter for the QUT Science Faculty and tutoring as a Sessional Academic.

To close off the conference, five outstanding panellists unpacked their day-to-day roles and thoughts on the importance of connecting with industry to promote tech careers. The guest speakers included:

  • Alison Collins, Game Designer, Halfbrick
  • Bron McLain, A/Director, Capability, Customer and Digital Strategy at Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group
  • Jackson Miller, Founder at vybu.io
  • Rene Plamenac, Innovation Lead at BDO
  • Scott Norrish, Regional Director, Cyber Security and Cloud Transformation at CyberCX

ACS Emerging Professional Jackson Miller gave his unique tech careers perspective as an entrepreneur who works closely with developers. Jackson’s mission is to improve mental health and support those who need it most through the mission of vybu.

Jackson was able to articulate what he learned in school that he found useful in his careers and advise on the workplace skillsets (communication, collaboration, problem solving) that enable efficient and effective working partnerships. As a non-tech founder of an innovative app, Jackson works closely with developers and project managers and needs to understand and be understood when planning iterations and features.

Each of the panel members were able to offer unique perspectives based on their lives, careers and networks. From Bron McLain, the sessions offered a valuable opportunity to promote the Digital Professional Workforce Action Plan, a capability uplift program from the Queensland State Government.