Navy veteran wins ACS Indigenous IT student scholarship
Ex-Navy sailor Warren Faulkner has won the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) $5000 Indigenous information technology (IT) student scholarship for 2020.
According to the ACS, the annual scholarship is designed to support and showcase Indigenous achievement in IT studies.
Faulkner began his Bachelor of IT course at Charles Darwin University in July 2017 with the hopes of obtaining tertiary recognition for experience acquired over his 24 years in the industry.
“I believe I can apply these skills towards completing a successful career within the IT industry and benefiting my current [and] future employers, Indigenous organisations and my Indigenous heritage,” Faulkner said on winning the scholarship.
The ACS said Faulkner’s interest in technology sparked from his work on various communication systems — including Morse code — during his time as a signals communications sailor between 1987 and 1995.
Currently, he is employed as a manager within the Platform Services – Wintel Engineering team, situated in the Department of Environment and Energy’s IT branch. He previously spent 22 years with the Australian Taxation Office in IT roles including infrastructure provisioning, web hosting and desktop packaging.
“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 60-week Web Design and Development diploma with Careers Australia in June 2017, which introduced him to database-driven websites.
Charles Darwin University’s College of Engineering IT and the Environment’s Chair of IT, Professor Suresh Thennadil, said, “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’.
At the launch of the scholarship at Uluru last year, ACS President Yohan Ramasundara said the aim of the grant was 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,” Ramasundara said.
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