Tuesday, 19 December 2017 05:42

FULL VIDEOS: Consensus 2017 Award Winners announced, iTWire wins for Best Feature Writer Featured


Four of the annual Consensus Awards were presented last night, for Software, Innovation, IT Writers and IT Professionals, with iTWire again on the list.

Australia's Federal Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Hon Craig Laundy MP, presented the 2017 Consensus Awards of Monday 18th December at PricewaterhouseCoopers' prestigious and ultra modern offices in the new Barangaroo International Towers.

Assistant Minister Laundy made the event despite having been in bed all day feeling unwell with the flu, with a trip needed to Canberra tomorrow where a ministerial reshuffle may be the order of the day according to political reporters, so he was very gracious to honour his commitment to be at and participate in the awards, while joking that he hoped no-one got infected, to laughter.

To accommodate the Assistant Minister, and allow him to depart early to get back into bed and recover, Consensus Group CEO, Founder and Master of Ceremonies Julian Day moved up the presentation of the separate Consensus Software and Innovation Awards to immediately after the Formal Welcome and Introduction by Day, and by Manoj Santiago, Partner, Emerging Technologies Group, PwC.

What follows is the content of Assistant Minister Laundy's speech, which I've transcribed below, as it makes for very interesting reading and an insight into what's happening politically in Canberra regarding the innovation and science agenda, and the upcoming budget, and what it all means for the sector.

A description of the Consensus Award event follows, after which the winners are listed with the event videos embedded throughout below, and two time-lapse videos from different perspectives are listed there also.

So, Julian Day's quick live editing of the proceedings allowed Laundy to deliver his Address on Innovation, and participate in the awards presentation ceremony for the two categories, as well as be part of the accompanying photographs for those two sessions, then depart with our thanks and good wishes for a speedy recovery.

During his address, as can be seen in the Part 1 video embedded immediately below, Laundy spoke being a third-generation Western Sydney publican, and an accidental politician, a story he acknowledged having told before, and of listening to some of the inspiring stories of people he'd spoken to during the pre-Awards networking session, and his great interest in the innovation and business space.

He noted that he "got the fact that entrepreneurial flair and ambition can be "bloody tough", and as he walked around the event during the networking session, listening to the stories of new ideas being turned into reality, and commended and congratulated those present for it."

In terms of his portfolio, being innovation, industry and science, Laundy naturally notes the sector's obvious importance to the innovation and science agenda.

Laundy said: "The thing about innovation and science agenda is that you make policy decisions and changes, but the proof of the pudding I guess is in the eating, and there's a lag in a lot of areas to come, but in terms of early stage venture capital, and what we've seen unfold, and we're starting to get those results in - and there's been some pretty...

"Journalists don't get business at times, either, I find that very frustrating. You know, you have a discussion with a journalist about taxation policy, and the problem is that the journalist has only and will most probably only ever be a PAYE taxer, and won't understand the complexities of starting a company, company taxation what have you.

"So obviously we've made some significant changes to what we hoped would encourage and inspire venture capital into the startup sector in this country, and the results, I must say, and they're still coming in, because of the lag in the way our tax system works, the review that you lodge and pay then in arrears, and if you pay through agents there are further delays that can mean you are up to 18 months behind in terms - that's what I mean when I say it's a lagging indicator.

"But the change that we've seen in the past 12 months, and it's not just us as Government through the taxation receipts that are saying this, it's other independent startup groups like Startup Muster and Avcal and what have you. We've seen around an 80% increase - and that's at this stage because there's more data still to come as those tax returns are lodged.

"But we've seen an 80% increase in the main into that early venture startup space. You know, I was over in Silicon Valley earlier in the year, talking to a VC guy over there, and he was very complementary of the both the talent and the nous of what's on display here, but also the investment opportunities that are being driven off the back of that, and that is you hard work and exercise.

"And you should be, as I say, congratulated for it. The startup sector - I mean, you talk about culture, and I talk about business culture a lot. Go to the States, and it's almost- have a go, and fail, you're lauded as someone that is a true entrepreneur, whereas if you have a go and succeed over there, you can actually end up being President!

"Here, here it's exactly the opposite. If you have a go and fail here, you're a failure, and if you have a go and succeed, you get the tall poppy end of the spectrum. And, you know, I don't know what it is, because I find it so at odds with our Australian psyche, because we love the underdog. We love the fair go.

"We love the success story and come from nothing, but it seems to me like unless it's - well we only really truly like it if it's on the sporting field. It's almost as if on the business field, you know, we're very quick to criticise both success and failure.

"And I hope that, you know, over time, especially as we see more good news stories coming out of this sector of the ecomony, that we, you know, we can see that culture change.

"Very quickly to finish, some pieces of work that we are working on - and there is some method in our madness. I know Government at times looks like it is doing things that are disparate and don't line up. But some pieces of work that we have released and are in the process of releasing over the past few weeks.

"Did anyone see the entrepreneurs report that my chief economist, Mark Kelly put out, about two weeks ago? Good piece of work, well worth the read, he analysed business between 2004 and 2014. Obviously the innovation and science agenda started in 2015 for us as a Government, but in that 10 year period, you had startups going from 15% of the total of businesses per annum to 9% ten years later, which is obviously a trend in the wrong direction.

"Why is it so important? Because in that report it was also explained, in that 10 year period, 2.5 million jobs were created in Australia, and 2 million of those jobs were from small businesses. And so you hear all the time that small and family business, and I always include family business because I'm biased, small and family business are the engine room of this economy.

"That report belled the cat. 2 million of 2.5 million coming in that sector. Another piece of work that we're working on at moment is the digital economy. Consultations closed on the 30th of November. There will be a lot more policy work done around this space in the lead up to budget. Another bit of work that we're working on at the moment is digitising SMEs, which is a subset of the digital economy.

"They are not only the job producers but that's where we have the challenge of how we reach them and teach them about digitising. More work to be done around digital standards which we've been doing some work on moving forward and you'll see us release.

"In the lead up to the next budget, it's fair to say, all these pieces, it would appear have been commissioned in isolation, but you'll see them drawn together, and they are completely complementary, and I believe will make a lot of sense to people like yourselves, not just in this room tonight but across Australia.

"All of that said, the elephant in the room, two and a half months ago, up until that time I was Assistant Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science, two and a half months ago I became the brother-in-law to Sophie Monk potentially. Half a dozen of you have asked me, "are they still together?"

"So what I do at most of my speeches now, because when it comes to Q&A it happens anyway. Three things - yes, Stu and Sophie are still together. Secondly, Sophie is not pregnant. And thirdly, you've now seen Stu on TV, you've seen me in real life, it is quite clear that I got the brains, and he got the looks.

"Could I just finish by saying, on behalf of my family to yours, a safe, happy and Holy Christmas, I hope you get to spend as much time with your loved ones as is physically possible, and I look forward to keeping, to taking with you through amazing people like Julian, well into the future - thank you and God Bless," Laundy concluded.

So, with Assistant Minister Laundy's excellent speech completed, the first two parts of the awards presentation ceremony began, which can be seen in the video embedded above.

The video below is of the second part of the presentation, which included the IT Writers and IT Professionals awards presentations.

So, why does the Consensus Group claim that the Consensus Awards are the "Most Successful Awards in the World"?

The organisation explains that "90% of the Winners of Consensus Awards since 2000 have gone on to be extremely successful world-wide," and thus "the open judging process with over 160 registered judges truly is an Innovation Glass Ball."

Julian Day, Founder & CEO said: "We can confidently predict that nearly all of this year's winners will be world-wide winners. Our judges get it right, year after year, after year."

The Winners receive global recognition. Each of them receives assistance from Consensus to promote their win to their specific target market. Consensus quite rightly claims to be the world's most successful awards program.

The winners of the Consensus IT Writers and IT Professionals awards. 

Photo copyright Shelly Chen, VIProduction Studio, www.Selfiestudio.com.au

Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull recently said: "The Consensus Awards have a history of celebrating some of the most cutting-edge and innovative Australian tech companies, counting world-famous firms Atlassian and WiseTech Global as former recipients. I have no doubt that this year's recipients will follow in their success."

Here's the third and final part of the awards ceremony, which towards the end sees an introduction to the Kester Lifetime Achievement Award by Graeme Philipson, himself a Kester recipient, before Graeme unveils David Braue as this year's most deserving winner, as you'll see below. Information on the Best Feature Writer award and the full list of winners is a litle further below.

The Kester is like the "Hall of Fame" for the IT journalism sector in Australia, and was won by the equally highly respected David Braue, already a winner of 16 industry journalism awards, including Best Technology Journalist in 2010.

His eloquent acceptance speech can be seen in the third video below, and he start it by noting that, at 44, he is too young to receive a lifetime award and that he would continue journalism for many years to come yet!

Of note is that last year's Kester Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was iTWire's own Editor-in-Chief, Stan Beer, for his decades of journalism, which you can read about here (with full videos of the 2016 event), along with previous awards iTWire has received over the years.

So, in what categories were the awards presented, and which award did iTWire win?

iTWire's Technology Editor, Alex Zaharov-Reutt, won the Best Feature Writer award for his three-part series on CA World 2017, CA Technologies' annual technology conference on digital transformation, disruption, apps, APIs, DevSecOps, business, the Modern Software Factory and more, and which includes 14 videos from the event, comprising executive interviews, media briefings, Q&A sessions and an excellent Exhibition Show Floor tour, followed by a wrap of the event with some accompanying analysis.

Photo copyright Shelly Chen, VIProduction Studio, www.Selfiestudio.com.au

The Consensus Awards presented were:

  • Consensus Software Awards
  • Consensus Innovation Awards
  • Consensus IT Writers Awards
  • Consensus IT Professional Award

Consensus Software Awards


  • THREATDEFENCE by ThreatDefence Pty Ltd
  • StreategyDotZero by Gravity Consulting


  • C-Sight by Pax Republic Pty Ltd
  • Device Management System by Wearify Pty Ltd

Consensus Innovation Awards


  • CORTEX by Cortex Pacific
  • Recstra by Recstra Pty Ltd

Consensus IT Writers Awards

Best Feature Writer

  • Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Best Investigative Writer

  • Ros Page

Best New Writer

  • Denham Sadler

Best Technical Writer

  • Rohan Pearce

Most Controversial Writer

  • George Not

Most Entertaining Writer

  • Angus Kidman

Best Editor

  • Byron Connolly

Consensus IT Professional Awards

IT Professional Awards were presented to the following people for their years of contribution to the IT industry.

  • Steven Sherry
  • Jeff Lock
  • Len Norman
  • Anne-Marie Elias
  • Gleuto Serafim
  • Peter Oliver

Kester Lifetime Achievement Award Winner:

David Braue

Here's the first time lapse video of the event from the back of the room captured on an iPhone 8 Plus using its built-in time-lapse mode, which is 30 seconds long.

Here's a second time-lapse video from the side of the room, captured on a Galaxy Note 8 using its hyper lapse mode.

Interestingly, the Samsung time-lapse produced a much longer version of the video at 3 minutes and 55 seconds, obviously thus playing out at a slower speed than on the iPhone - and they're great recordings of the proceedings of the event that you can see in seconds, or a few minutes depending on which one you choose to watch first.

So, there you have it - a complete wrap of the 18 December 2017 Consensus Awards for Software, Innovation, IT Writers and IT Professionals

Here's the final photo of the night, after the event's conclusion, and after which some of the attendees had already left, which was a good thing as I don't think we'd all have fit into the great photo below. :-)


Photo copyright Shelly Chen, VIProduction Studio, www.Selfiestudio.com.au

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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