6,000 school leavers and undergraduates attend events around the country to hear about the ICT industry from experts, the largest technology employers and entrepreneurial start ups.
The ACS Foundation (ACSF), whose charter is to encourage private and public sponsorship of ICT higher education and research initiatives, is encouraging the technology and innovation sector to join the sellout Big Day In student career and industry promotion conferences.
These events, to be held across the country from early March, will provide 6,000 high school leavers and university students with quality information about careers in ICT and technology, and also connect them directly with some of Australia’s largest technology employers, SMEs and entrepreneurial start-ups.
For technology companies, enterprises with significant ICT units, and tech hubs, the Big Day In (BDI) represents an ideal vehicle, through sponsorships and exhibiting, to promote themselves and their achievements. With only 20 or so exhibition spots available at each event,BDI partners stand out in the crowd.
John Ridge AM, Executive Director of the ACS Foundation, said “The feedback we get from sponsors, exhibitors and speakers is always extraordinarily positive. They can’t believe the interest and enthusiasm from the kids, and the number and quality of their questions. For start-ups and smaller niche players without recognisable brands, it is often difficult to attract interns and graduates. The BDIs provide an excellent opportunity for them to find skilled young people.”
Looking for inspirational speakers
The ACSF is also inviting current uni students, inspiring ICT professionals and industry experts to participate in the wide-ranging program of interactive presentations.
“We’re looking for passionate speakers who have something valuable to say to students who are contemplating a career within the limitless possibilities of ICT,” Ridge said. “We want them to paint a picture of themselves, their employer organisations and their experiences. Students need to hear from people in the know about how to use their uni years to the best advantage and what an ICT-driven future could look like.”
One of the most pleasing developments over the five years the ACSF has been running the BDI conferences is that it now has women filling 40 percent of the speaker program as role models for the young women who make up 40 percent of the audience.
The innovation message
Ridge says the BDI events are also benefitting from the clear and enthusiastic message coming from committed politicians who support the program throughout Australia, including: the NSW Minister for Innovation and Patron of the ACS Foundation, the Hon. Victor Dominello; the Hon. Michael Mischin, the ACSF’s Patron in WA and the State’s Attorney-General; the Hon. Leeanne Enoch, Qld’s Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, and Federal Member the Hon. Karen Andrews at QUT; in SA, the Hon. Gail Gago, Minister for Employment, and the State’s Chief Scientist, Dr Leanna Read; and ex-Senator for the ACT, Kate Lundy at the University of Canberra.
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