Hello all, and welcome to 2020.

There’s already much to reflect on, with many Australian communities in crisis after fire, and now possible floods, critics claim Apple may have wound back its encryption plans to appease the FBI, China is heading into lock down in response to an emerging Corona virus, Amazon shut down Sydney and Microsoft accidentally leaked a large amount of customer data.

What does all this mean for those in the IT trenches? It’s going to be another busy year, where the real world imposes itself unforgivingly on IT. Whether it’s the weather, your cloud provider or government policy, you need to be planning for this, because at present this looks to be the “new normal”.

As for what this means for ITPA – it will likewise be a busy year, and as a group we are all more likely than ever to need to lean on each other for support. Help finding emergency equipment, cloud space, advice on how to handle an emerging situation, or help in communicating good practice to our politicians, and trying to steer the discussion in sensible directions.

We’ve just had the first Exec meeting for the year, and there’s a lot planned. Thankyou to everyone who completed the member survey late last year – it was really helpful getting your feedback on the good, the bad and the ugly. We can’t do everything, so it’s crucial that we get your input so we can focus on what’s important to you. So what does the shortlist look like?

Meetups: We’re kicking off local meetups again. Firstly - a huge shoutout to Alistair Irvine in WA, who has been running local meetups there for several years now. We’ll be in touch this coming week with dates for Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin. If you’re in any of these cities we’d love to meet you, swap experiences and build contacts with other IT Professionals. If you’re not in any of these cities and want something local… then we’d *really* like to hear from you.

Social Media: Thankyou to all those who put their hands up to help out. We’re building out a communication strategy in the next quarter, and getting active in social media will be an important part of this.

How can you help?

Get involved! IT is too broad for any one of us to know it all. We only succeed when we can draw upon the experience and advice of others – and that’s one of the key reasons we’re here.

Sponsors. We’re looking for help engaging new sponsors. If you work for an organisation that would value benefit from interacting with a large bunch of IT Professionals, then please flag it. Tell them about ITPA! (and tell us!). If you’re not sure how but would like to then please reach out and we’re
happy to help.

Lastly, but definitely not least – I’d like to acknowledge Robert Hudson. Robert was our President for 6 years, and an active board member for many years prior to that.

Robert was instrumental in the transition from SAGE-AU to ITPA, and a driving force for keeping the organisation moving. ITPA exists today because of his efforts. He’s stepping back this year for a well deserved break.

From me personally, and as President on behalf of the organisation – I’d like to say thankyou for your workover the many years. I don’t know that I’m going to even try filling those shoes – let’s just say I’m aiming to follow the footsteps of those before me!

I’m pleased to announce today that we are extending Honorary Life membership to Robert, in recognition of his service for many years. Please join me in thanking Robert for his contributions – and congratulating him on his achievements!