FITT October Newsletter 2014

FITT newsletter 2014 – October

Dear Members,

Welcome to the October FITT newsletter, in what has possibly been the busiest month on the FITT Calendar and we have lots still to come in October, including the ICT trends event in Melbourne next week.

We have a number of Committee personnel changes to announce this month, the FITT Committee will be sadly bidding farewell to Chair Terrie Anderson. Terrie has served on the FITT Committee for the past 18 months as FITT’s leader and has seen FITT through a new era of growth. Stepping up to take the Chair Role is Deputy Chair, and HR Committee Lead, Megan Stokes. Megan has recently moved from leading the Learning and Development portfolio.

Megan is a FITT veteran who takes on the Chair role for the second time and has been with the FITT Committee for over five years. Megan is responsible for the success of the national FITT Mentoring program, and highly acclaimed webinar series.

Megan will be handing over the L&D reins to our newest committee member Chelsea Love. Chelsea joins us from Origin Energy where her Project Management skills will be most welcome to the committee to take the Learning and Development portfolio to the next level! 

Fond farewell to Terrie, welcome on-board to Chelsea, and congratulations to Megan in her new roles at FITT.

If you’d like to get involved with FITT and have skills you think we could use, find out how to get on-board below.

The ICT Trends events in Sydney and Brisbane have been a huge success and we’ve had over 400 attendees across the two events. The third and final ICT trends event in Melbourne is taking place this Thursday, 30th October and we can’t wait! Check out the link below for photos.

We also held our first business networking sessions in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at the end of September which were a huge success with very positive feedback from our members, the next event will take place in January so keep your eyes peeled for details of how to register coming soon!

Finally we have a fantastic Exec Profile from our Corporate Partner NICTA this month, Hilary Cinis talks to us about the importance of work-life balance to her, and how she was forced to recognise it and retain it to be happier in both.
The FITT Management Committee

FITT – Executive Profile Hilary CinisNICTA

Hilary Cinis

What is your current role and what is your scope? 
I am the first Principal User Experience Designer at NICTA. I manage a team of recently hired designers and we explore connecting emerging deep technology research in machine learning, optimisation and geospatial with commercial and government sectors and design solutions ranging from technology evaluators through to fully realised commercial proto-products as part of a business spin-out. Personally I have worked on 48 projects to date, and this number has increased by another 10 with the extra designers now in-house. I work to evangelise UX to the business, figure out strategic contributions and influence the culture as well as present about UX and coach students and start-ups.
What attracted you to a career in ICT?
I’ve never really thought about it in that way. I’m not sure that’s even a good idea these days either. Digital and technology are so broad that you can be in any profession now and be working either “with" on “in" ICT. Using words to segment it just aggravates this artificial divide.
But to answer your question, when I first studied design in the 80’s, the first mac had only just been released in the US for desktop publishing. I liked the idea of a machine doing all the boring bits like layout and copy fitting so I could focus the creative aspects of design. It was a while though until I got hold of one and found it sadly unable to meet my expectations. In the early 90’s I heard about the internet and we had web access and I saw immense potential to fix the abysmally ugly and unusable interfaces for forums and websites. I also really like how forgiving the web was, unlike print which is expensive to recover mistakes from. From there I worked in various places freelance and taught myself all the digital stuff, but it wasn’t until I was at Yahoo! that we were introduced to and trained in user experience design. That was in about 2004 and I’ve been one ever since.
Tell us about the high points and low points of your career?
High points – being hired by NICTA was such a compliment and my recent promotion was wonderful recognition. The promotion process is gruelling and I work with some formidably intelligent people so knowing I am respected and recognised is incredible. 
Lowest point was just after my son was born (1992) and I was doing data entry work. I was very angry that I had natural ability and skills that weren’t being put to good use (I really shouldn’t have been working at all but we had no money and I was quite young). The other low point was early at Yahoo! when I wasn’t really doing the job I was hired for and had drifted away from design and was running the shopping portal. Low points are good because you make clear decisions about what you will never do again and what you really want. Both times I refocussed on my design abilities and found ways to inject them into the businesses I was involved with, with positive results. No one will ever rescue you, you have to fix things yourself.
What does work life balance mean to you?
This is of utmost importance to me, I cannot impress that enough. A few years back I found myself attending many after-hours events and I have made some unforgivable mistakes with my family because of buying into this idea that “networking” would further my career prospects. I was full of self importance and though the world would stop if I didn’t do everything perfectly and to a big fan-fare. It destroyed my soul and I lost touch with what was important. And I knew it, because I was so unhappy but couldn’t work out why. It all came to a very ugly head and I spent the last 3 years resolving the causes and healing the damage. 
These days I keep very strict hours and I have proper friends who I don’t work with. And if I were to move positions I wouldn’t work somewhere that expected long or inflexible hours. I still meet heaps of interesting people and make connections, all during working hours. 
What attracted and kept you in the ICT industry throughout your career?
It’s just been where I have always been. For me, it’s not been the technology so much as what it delivers to me which were experiences I’d might not have had if I’d gone into a traditional design agency. As mentioned, I like how you can easily fix or change content and styles, how you can test ideas and iterate quickly, I like the exposure to different ways of thinking and the access to information that it provides. 
What ambitions personal or professional do you still want to achieve?
I believe strongly in the democratisation of user experience design, but this needs to be done with respect to people who have the years of experiences to work direct the processes and provide intuitive insights. I am keen to explore this evolution and love the places it pushes me to. I can’t say I have any real plan other than to keep learning and improving. Then other days I want to chuck it all in and take up weaving...
What’s the one piece of advice you'd give to yourself starting out on your career?
Say yes and take risks like you are doing but be careful about compromising to gain experience. My most miserable moments in my professional and personal life have been when I’ve not been true to myself, and tried to make everyone happy but the results were that no-one actually was, least of all me.

FITT Business Exchange - Update

24 September - Business Exchange Network Event

Effective networking skills and expanding your business network is always on top of the list for career development and advancement, and in September we responded with the introduction of the FITT Business Exchange Networking. An informal event held in the plush surrounds of The Hilton in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that received very positive feedback from attendees and members. Here’s some of what attendees had to say about the event;

“Informal networking …met new people without being constrained by being in a formal seated structure. Good location. Really must commend Origin for sponsoring this event. Their speech was powerful about their female participation rates in IT…”

“The event delivered on its promise to provide a forum to network.”

“The location was great - easy to get to and central. Having the speaker from Origin and learning about what they have been doing well. Very relaxed environment and informal and everyone was willing to socialise and meet new people.”
We want to hear from you so we can continuously improve and expand on the activities we provide for members so please email us at if you have any suggestions.

Next Event in January 2015 – watch this space for booking details

ICT Trends – Sydney a Success!

 VMWare and FITT present:
ICT Trends 2014 – Celebrating the Technology of Tomorrow

Our first ICT Trends event of 2014 was a huge success, with nearly 300 guests listening to some truly remarkable speeches on the future of IT.

We were delighted to have our event opened by The Honorable Dominic Perrottet MP, who outlined part of his vision within the Information Age in which we are currently living. For such a young industry, Australia and NSW in particular is a hive of industry and opportunity. 

Belinda Tee from IBM illustrated the mind-blowing future for ‘Watson’ – AlI coming soon to everyone’s life within your work, recreation, or health ….the possibilities of this ‘learning encyclopedia’ are endless and more accessible than you think.

Jorgen Collinson from Optus delighted the audience with the possibilities of time and resource efficient 3D printing. Examples discussed were big and tiny; for industry or personal use. The exponential opportunity is within the medical sector and includes such uses as prosthetics, and growing living tissue.

Shara Evans from Market Clarity then spoke about the necessity to marry technical innovation with the personal and corporate need for privacy and security. That to have innovation alone would open up possibilities of data accessibility most people would neither expect nor accept. 

Lia Timson from Fairfax Media did a wondering job as Master of Ceremonies for the event provider her experience of technology and innovation within the world. With thanks to all the speakers and guests - and we look forward to our next events in Melbourne.

There are still tickets available for Melbourne Click here for more information and presenter bios

Melbourne – Thursday, 30th October 12 - 2.30pm 
sales close Friday 24th October for this event.

The Minister for Technology, Victorian State Government, the Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips, MLC, will deliver the Welcome Address at 2014 ICT Trends Melbourne. Gordon Rich-Phillips is the Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Technology and Minister for the Aviation Industry for the Victorian State Government.

FITT Webinar – Book now

How to manage stress before it manages you - November 20th
Lisa Phillips

Stress is never going to completely disappear in our lives so in order to manage your stress; you need to take responsibility for it.
In this webinar, you will learn about why we get stressed, why it can be different for everyone; How to identify your personal stress triggers and how to change your mindset and take action in order to manage your own stress – before it manages you!

Lisa Phillips is a Life and Confidence Coach
About Lisa:

My passion in life is helping people really love, accept and believe in themselves. I love to see people grow during the coaching process and reach out and fulfill their wildest dreams! In particular, I gain great satisfaction watching my clients change from believing they are not worthy, deserving or good enough, to transforming into empowered, loving and responsible individuals who treat themselves like the amazing special people they truly are.

I decided to get into Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Success coaching at a time when it seemed that my life was falling apart around me. I had recently lost my job, got divorced and moved far away from my family and friends. This decision totally transformed my life and I have never looked back. I did not realise at the time what a positive impact coaching would make to all areas of my life. In particular, it allowed me to increase my self-esteem and confidence, and really believe that I was good enough to have the life I wanted to lead!

In addition to my formal training, I have completed workshops and courses with many of the world’s leading self-development experts, including Debbie Ford, Doreen Virtue, Erkhart Tolle and Louise L. Hay.

Please proceed through the REGISTER button at the bottom of the page, once you CLICK HERE

Volunteer with FITT – Various roles

If you are reading to the end of this newsletter then we can deduce two things, a) you are interested in our work and what we stand for and b) you might have some time on your hands. In either of these cases we’d love to hear from you and get you involved in working with us as a volunteer. 

All of the FITT committee and subcommittee are made up of unpaid volunteers, passionate women (and sometimes men) who give up their time and skills to make FITT a driving force in the world of IT for the past 25 years.

FITT has grown exponentially in the past couple of years and we need more volunteers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne (but anywhere else too) and across a number of disciplines such as Finance, HR, Marketing, Events, Technology and any area you can provide us skills in.

Whether you want to get involved once a year or dedicate a few spare hours a week we can find you something to do that will enrich your CV and make you feel good for giving back to the community.

To get the ball rolling send your CV and what skills or time you have to offer us and any portfolio of interest you’d like to get involved with to 


Exec Profile - Hilary Cinis, NICTA



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