Saturday, August 11th, 2012
The Benson Entrepreneur Award, presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian ICT Industry, has this year been awarded to Queensland’s Bevan Slattery, founder and Executive Deputy Chairman of NextDC.

The award was presented last night by Dr Terry Cutler at a gala event attended by Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy; Gordon Rich-Phillips, Victorian Minister for Technology; and some 800 ICT industry leaders from across the country.

Chair of the Pearcey Foundation, Wayne Fitzsimmons, said NextDC was a $300 million company building and operating carrier grade data centres and was the third venture Mr Slattery had grown from scratch.

“Bevan has displayed exceptional innovation and skills in addition to a willingness to take risks which made him stand out among the state and territory winners eligible for consideration for the Benson Entrepreneur Award,” Mr Fitzsimons said.

The award, sponsored by CSIRO in memory of a great Australian ICT pioneer, Tony Benson, honours an outstanding entrepreneur who has “taken a risk”, “made a difference” and “is an inspiration”.

Announcing that Mr Slattery was this year’s award recipient, Mr Fitzsimmons said he had shown the courage to take the necessary risk which often made the difference in being a highly successful entrepreneur.

Mr Slattery was chosen from a field of finalists, all of whom were outstanding in their respective fields, Mr Fitzsimmons said. The other finalists were:
· Matt Bullock of the ACT who is founder and CEO of eWay, an international financial services company with more than 10 000 vendors using its real time, internet-based service for secure processing of credit card transactions across Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
· Simon Poole and Steve Frisken from NSW who founded Engana in 2001 and which was bought by Optium and then Finisar in 2008. The enterprise has grown from seven people in 2001 to more 300 and develops and manufactures optical communications technologies. With export revenues over $200 million, making it a global leader in optical communications technology.
· Mathew Michalewizcz of South Australia Matthew who is founder and managing director of SolveIT, specialists in supply and demand optimisation and predictive modelling. He is also co-author of three books, including Adaptive Business Intelligence and Puzzle-based Learning: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, Mathematics and Problem Solving used in universities and businesses internationally.
· Daniel Harrison from Tasmania who is Daniel is founder and managing director of QikID, a Hobart-based company launched in 2011 which offers bespoke biometric identification systems including QikPASS a specialised ID system for pubs, nightclubs entertainment venues, and casinos providing marketing, promotion and security services.
· Dr Elaine Saunders from Victoria is managing director and co-founder of Blamey & Saunders Pty Ltd previously known as Australia Hears Pty Ltd, a Melbourne hearing aid company. She is an advocate for access to the latest hearing aid solutions and has held senior management roles in public healthcare, university teaching and research, and the commercialisation of that research as CEO of Dynamic Hearing from 2002-2009.

Media Enquiries:
Peter Waterman 0419 260 827 [email protected]
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iAwards Team 1300 665 145 [email protected]

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the iAwards

Over 18 years, the iAwards has become the premier technology awards in Australia delivering the most comprehensive awards program in the technology industry today. Since 2011 the iAwards are open to both the companies and leading professionals at the cutting edge of technology innovation. The iAwards are judged by industry, for industry and provide achievements with public recognition across industry, government, community and beyond. They are strongly focused on promoting essential relationships between the ICT industry and vertical business sectors to promote the value of our industry.

About the Pearcey Foundation

Founded in 1998 in memory of Dr Trevor Pearcey, who built Australia’s first and the world’s fourth programmable electronic digital computer, CSIRAC, in Sydney in 1949, the foundation is a group of concerned individuals fostering the aims and achievements of the Australian ICT industry. Celebrating its 62nd anniversary this year, CSIRAC is the oldest surviving computer in the world. The Pearcey Foundation’s objective is to reinforce the recognition, knowledge and appreciation of Australia’s ongoing contribution to the development and growth of our ICT professions, research and industry.
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About the ACS
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the recognised professional association for those working in Information and Communications Technology, seeking to raise the standing of ICT professionals and represent their views to government, industry and the community. A member of the Australian Council of Professions, the ACS is the guardian of professional ethics and standards in the ICT sector, committed to ensuring the beneficial use of ICT for all Australians. It provides both members and non-members with opportunities for professional education, networking and certification, as well as enabling them to contribute to the development of their profession.

About AIIA
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is the nation’s peak industry body for the technology sector. AIIA sets the strategic direction of the industry, influences public policy and provides members with productivity tools, advisory services and market intelligence to accelerate their business growth. AIIA member organisations account for approximately half of the 426,100 people employed in ICT occupations and almost $20 billion in annual revenue for Australia. Our members are made up of small, medium, national and multi-national companies whose experience is global as well as spanning all states and territories.
Peter Waterman
P: 0419 260 827


Australian ICT Industry, Pearcey Awards



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