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2021 Pearcey National Awards and November Conversation

Online – via Zoom      Wednesday 24 November 2021; from 4:00pm AEDT

The winners of the prestigious 2021 Pearcey National Awards – including the Pearcey Medal, Hall of Fame and National Entrepreneur Award – will be announced on Wednesday 24 November from 4:00pm AEDT.

The presentation will be followed by the final Pearcey Conversation for 2021 – Predictions for 2022 and Beyond! – with industry leaders sharing their valuable insights and predictions for the year ahead. Speakers include: Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chair, The Pearcey Foundation; Maria MacNamara, CEO and Advisory Board Member; Kerri Lee Sinclair, Investor and Non–Executive Board Member; Professor Toby Walsh, Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence, UNSW

The Pearcey Medal and Hall of Fame awards are very much recognition of personal efforts. They are honouring the endeavours, dedication, and outstanding contributions of individuals to Australia’s and the world’s ICT industry and Research.

The Pearcey Entrepreneur Award recognises a person in “mid career”, who is already a successful Tech Entrepreneur, and who has the potential to succeed further. The criteria are centred around taking a risk, making a difference and being an inspiration.

Congratulations to the 2021 State Entrepreneur Award Winners:

  • ACTDaniel Shaddock, Founder and CEO of Liquid Instruments
  • NSWJordan O’Reilly and Laura O’Reilly OAM, Co-Founders of Hireup
  • QLDMichael Holmstrom, Co-Founder and CEO of STEM Punks
  • SAMohan Koo, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of DTEX Systems
  • TASNina McMahon, Co-Founder and CEO of PopUp WiFi
  • VICBronwyn Le Grice, CEO of ANDHealth
  • WACharlie Gunningham, Managing Editor of The Property Tribune and Startup News; and Director of Dambu


Wayne Fitzsimmons

Wayne Fitzsimmons

Chair, The Pearcey Foundation

Wayne Fitzsimmons OAM is an experienced executive who has worked extensively in the US, UK, as well as Australia. He is a director of several small privately owned start-up and hi-tech companies in Australia including iPro, Acendre, and Mooroolbark Group. He is Chairman of the Pearcey Foundation ( which promotes the ICT sector in Australia to Australia. Wayne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Engineering from the University of Queensland.

Maria MacNamara

Maria MacNamara

CEO and Advisory Board Member

Maria MacNamara has specialist expertise in policy, politics, professional services and digital transformation and has spent over 25 years working in the professional services sector.

In her role as CEO of, Australia’s diaspora organisation, Maria undertook a successful whole of organisation transformation.

She has been an adviser to the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s current Ambassador to the United States while he was Senator for NSW, head of Strategy and Engagement at the Digital Transformation Agency within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Head of Strategy and Policy at WIRO in the NSW Government’s Department of Customer Services.

Maria sits on the board of the Spark Festival, the Advisory Council for the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police and the strategy board for the ARC Training Centre for Information Resilience (CIRES). She has been a co-founder of three startups and exited two. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of startups Idea Spies and Internet 2.0.

As the inaugural Convenor of the Australian Innovation Council, Maria connects leaders of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem with each other, with government, business and the not-for-profit sector domestically and globally.

Maria was recognised in the 2018 International Women’s Day Showcase, was a nominee in the 2018 Women of Influence Awards and was the winner of the Startcon Australasian Community Most Valuable Person Award in 2018.

Kerri Lee Sinclair

Kerri Lee Sinclair

Investor and Non–Executive Board Member

Kerri Lee Sinclair has spent over 20 years working across the high-growth ecosystem, from co-founding her own start-up (sold to Microsoft in 2007), through to working in some of Australia’s leading tech businesses, including Looksmart, Intelematics and Aconex. For the last 5 years she has deployed over $100m of venture capital for several family offices and sits on the Boards of several high-growth companies, including Versent, Agridigital and Spee3d.

An alumnae of the SBE Australia by Springboard Enterprises Program in 2000, she has been the Chair of the women-focused entrepreneurs network since 2018 and has been involved since the early days of the program in Australia. She is engaged with over 250 female entrepreneurs across the country helping them with the investment and acquisition opportunities they are reviewing.

She is also on the Investment Committee of the Alice Anderson Angel Sidecar Fund, and the Advisory Board of Invest Vic.

Toby Walsh

Scientia Professor Toby Walsh

Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence, UNSW

Toby Walsh is Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, research group leader at Data61, adjunct professor at QUT, external Professor of the Department of Information Science at Uppsala University, an honorary fellow of the School of Informatics at Edinburgh University and an Associate Member of the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW.

He was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and of AI Communications. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of the ACM, Journal of Automated Reasoning and the Constraints journal. He has been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the European Coordinating Committee for AI in recognition of his research in artificial intelligence and service to the community. He has won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT, the Humboldt Award, the Research Excellence Award of the Association for Constraint Programming and the .IJCAI Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award. He has been Secretary of the Association for Constraint Programming (ACP) and is Editor of CP News, the newsletter of the ACP. He is one of the Editors of the Handbook for Constraint Programming, and the Handbook for Satisfiability.

He has been Program and Conference Chair of the main conferences in Constraint Programming, Automated Reasoning and Artificial Intelligence.

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