Friday, 30 August 2019 01:43

Plain sailing for former navy sailor with ACS indigenous IT student scholarship win Featured

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Warren Faulkner, ACS indigenous scholarship winner Warren Faulkner, ACS indigenous scholarship winner

A former Royal Australian Navy Signals Communications sailor has won the 2020 Australian Computer Society’s indigenous IT student scholarship which supports and showcases indigenous achievement in Information Technology studies.

Warren Faulkner, currently employed with the Department of the Environment and Energy as a manager within the Platform Services - Wintel Engineering team of the organisation’s IT branch, began his Bachelor of Information Technology course at Charles Darwin University in July 2017.

Prior to his current role, Faulkner spent 22 years with the Australian Taxation Office in IT roles including Infrastructure Provisioning, Web Hosting, and Desktop Packaging.

In its second year, the $5,000 ACS scholarship supports and showcases Indigenous achievement in Information Technology studies.

Faulkner served in the Royal Australian Navy for eight years between 1987 and 1995, a role that introduced him to working on various forms of communications systems.

“Morse code became a second language at the time,” Faulkner said. “The Navy, particularly life at sea, was a hard-working environment, but builds loyalty and trust values in your friends and ship-mates. The travel involved with the Navy, sailing to distant and exotic countries was an added perk in a dynamic job.”

“All this led from starting out as an IT Officer within the Networks section of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in 1996, which is still my fondest memory,” Faulkner said.

Prior to starting his university studies, Faulkner completed a sixty-week Web Design and Development diploma with Careers Australia in June 2017, which introduced him to database driven websites.

ACS President Yohan Ramsundara said: “Warren is a worthy winner of the scholarship and follows on from the success of last year’s inaugural winner, Matthew Heffernan. The scholarship is promoting the value and diversity to the IT sector and the skills indigenous staff bring to technology businesses.”

NT Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss said: “With the digital age well and truly upon us, it is critical that we are developing a skilled digital workforce in the Territory. This award aims to encourage more young Territorians to think about a career in ICT and helps to build our digital capabilities as technology drives innovation, enables new services and transforms the ways we learn and work.”

Charles Darwin University’s Professor Suresh Thennadil, Chair of IT in the College of Engineering IT and the Environment, praised this year’s recipient, saying: “Warren Faulkner is diligent in his studies and is a dedicated student. In addition to helping with reducing financial burden, we believe that this scholarship will provide further motivation for him to continue to excel in his studies and develop into an outstanding Information Technologist.”

ACS President Yohan Ramsundara outlined the aim of the grant, saying that “the purpose of the initiative is to “showcase Indigenous achievement in Information Technology with a view towards inspiring other indigenous students into tech careers.

There are some really exciting Indigenous companies delivering technology related products and services, and we really wanted to do our part in contributing to growing the ecosystem, and enabling indigenous talent to take their skills, products and services to a global market.”

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