Come to our Events

Celebrating Women’s contribution to Australia’s digital age

Tuesday 13 October 2020; 2:00pm – 4:00pm AEDT

Hosted by the Pearcey Foundation with the support of the Tech Girls Movement Foundation, held on Ada Lovelace Day. Join the Pearcey Foundation in celebrating the amazing contributions of female Australians to the digital age. The online event invites tech and history enthusiasts to join us in looking to the female future of Australian innovation with the great insights from our past present and future tech pioneers. Guest speakers include;
  • Kerrie Mengersen FAA – Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Queensland University of Technology
  • Jennifer Seberry – Emeritus Professor, School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science, University of Wollongong
  • Helen Vorrath – experienced industry veteran
  • Alison Harcourt AO – Australian mathematician and statistician
  • And MC’d by Kelly Hutchinson – Deputy Chair of the Pearcey Foundation and Founder of DSI Australia

Stories from female pioneers on their career journeys.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Kelly Hutchinson – Deputy Chair, Pearcey Foundation
Minister Address
Down the Rabbit Hole!
Australian mathematician and statistician
Professor of Statistics, Queensland University of Technology
Finding our superpowers!
Founder, Intelledox
Teleworked at F1 in UK; past executive at AMP; founder of FITT
Keeping it Agile – career stepping stones
Experienced industry veteran
Emeritus Professor, School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science, University of Wollongong
Passionate techies
Venture capitalist and former IT entrepreneur
Continuing the discussion of how best to celebrate our female pioneers

*This program is subject to change


Barbara Cameron
Barbara Cameron

Barbara Cameron, born 1931, studied Applied Physics at MTC, now RMIT, while working in Melbourne as a lab assistant at the Defence Research Laboratories, with Dr Sweitzke from Max Plank Institute. After time out with four children she investigated the new computer industry in 1969 and started with Shell Oil as a computer programmer using COBOL and PL/1 in the areas of refinery, marketing, payroll and accounting software for the IBM mainframe. She designed software for the first personal computers in Shell in early 1980s. Barbara then retired in 1986 and established Pixels Software for the hospitality industry. Later on she sold this, travelled and painted the outback.

Barbara’s part-time feminist activities cover B.A. La Trobe University in Women’s History, Women’s Electoral Lobby, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and is currently website developer for WEL Victoria. She is the author of The Host Behind: The Establishment of a Victorian Women’s Centre; “The Flappers and the Feminists. She contributed to the study of women’s emancipation in the 1920s” in Worth Her Salt, Bevege; and “From Charleston to Cha-cha” in Double Time, Lake and Kelly.

Michelle Deaker
Dr Michelle Deaker
Venture capitalist and former IT entrepreneur
Michelle Deaker is Managing Partner of leading venture capital firm, OneVentures. The firm now managers over $420M across 4 major funds and raising a fifth $200M growth capital fund. Michelle is a former successful entrepreneur and business executive with over 20years experience in information technology enterprise businesses targeting finance, retail, media, security and education. Michelle is a director of OneVentures portfolio companies Phocas (Business Intelligence), My Mobile Data (Ai), Employment Hero (HR Cloud) and 8i (VR/AR). She has served on the Boards of major listed and unlisted companies across media, healthcare and information technologies in Australia and North America including Seven West Media (Yahoo7, 7Network, WAM, Pacific Magazines) (ASX:SWM) and NICTA (CSIRO’s Data61).
Alison Grant Harcourt AO
Alison Grant Harcourt AO

Alison Grant Harcourt AO (née Doig; born 24 November 1929) is an Australian mathematician and statistician most well-known for co-authoring seminal papers on optimisation, co-defining the branch and bound algorithm along with Ailsa Land whilst carrying out research at the London School of Economics. By the mid-1960s, Alison returned to the University of Melbourne to take up a position as a Senior Lecturer in Statistics. Her talents were in high demand as a statistical collaborator, and she went on to have a strong career as a statistician. She was also part of the team which developed a poverty line as part of the 1972 Henderson Inquiry into poverty in Australia and helped to introduce the double randomisation method of ordering candidates used in Australian elections. Alison was also foundation secretary of the Victorian branch of the Statistical Society of Australia (1963-1967), and has co-authored two books and written numerous journal articles. She formally retired in 1994 but continues to make a difference to the lives of our students, sharing her passion for teaching as a sessional tutor in undergraduate statistics subjects at the University of Melbourne.

Jan Kornweibel
Jan Kornweibel
Jan Kornweibel’s involvement in Curtin University’s Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) eventuated in 2015, in the wake of her decision to wind down her own, more than 50-year, career in computer technology – which saw her start working with computers in London in 1965. In 1981, her interest in disabled people being helped with computer technology was piqued with being awarded a Churchill Fellowship that saw her travelling to the USA, UK, France, and Netherlands to study developments in the practical application of computerised aids for disability. Jan honed her skills working as a project manager, principal consultant, and other technical roles with the likes of the Commonwealth Bank, Optus, and others – including extensive work remediating the Y2K bug, which she described as “just another big testing project”. Jan was instrumental in coordinating the first ACS National conference in Western Australia, and has continued to mentor females throughout her 50 years of membership of the ACS.
Michelle Melbourne
Michelle Melbourne

Michelle Melbourne is one of Australia’s most successful technology entrepreneurs having recently sold the enterprise software company – Intelledox – that she co-founded, to the global leader in its category. Michelle has over 30 years of international business experience in software systems with a specific passion for technology, people and change. She has worked on major technology transformation projects around the world where she brings people and technology together with her engaging and entrepreneurial leadership skills. She is currently an advisor to CEOs, governments and high growth technology companies and has more recently become an investor in impactful technology companies. Michelle is an experienced Director, Non-Executive Director, Board Chair and Deputy Chair as well as an accomplished public speaker on software systems, innovation and team culture.

 Kerrie Mengersen
Dr Kerrie Mengersen
Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Queensland University of Technology in the Science and Engineering Faculty
Kerrie Mengersen FAA is an Australian statistician. She earned BA (Hons I) and PhD degrees in Mathematics, majoring in Statistics and Computing, from the University of New England (Armidale, New South Wales, Australia) in 1985 and 1989, respectively. She is the Director of the Bayesian Research and Applications Group (BRAG). This group is part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights.[4] She has co-authored three books and edited two, and has written 27 book chapters and approximately 250 journal articles. Her research cuts across a broad spectrum of statistical practice. She is primarily known for her work in Bayesian statistics and meta-analysis, and has worked in applications of statistics in medicine and environmental science. In 2016, she was the first woman to be awarded the Statistical Society of Australia’s Pitman Medal, which recognises outstanding achievement in the statistics discipline. She talks about new challenges for statisticians in a YouTube video. She has contributed to Australian biosecurity efforts. In October 2015 her research in building virtual habitats was highlighted on the ABC. Mengersen was the National President of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSAI) in 2013, and was the International President of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) in 2016.
Dr Ann Moffatt
Dr Ann Moffatt

Ann Moffatt (born 1939 in England). She showed a remarkable aptitude for maths and became one of the UK’s first female computer programmers.

In the 1960s Moffatt led the way in Teleworking while working with the FI Group in the UK, a group created to allow women programmers to work from home while raising their children, on projects such as writing programs to analyse the Concorde black box whilst the airplane was in development. Computer Sciences Australia recruited Ann in 1974 to advise on database developments for AMP, soon after she was appointed an Executive at AMP.

Ann was the Director of the Institute of Information Technology at the University of NSW from 1989 to 1992, and expanded the Institute to undertake training and AI and Metrics research for Digital as well as training for Apple.

In 1989 Ann was instrumental in the formation of Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications (FITT), which is a highly successful self-help network for women in the ICT industries.

She had difficulty retiring but now lives the quiet life in subtropical Queensland.

Jennifer Seberry
Jennifer Seberry
Emeritus Professor, School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science, University of Wollongong
Jennifer Seberry (born 1944 in Sydney) is an Australian cryptographer, mathematician, and computer scientist. She was formerly the head of the Department of Computer Science and director of the Centre for Computer Security Research at the University of Wollongong
Helen Vorrath
Helen Vorrath

Helen Vorrath is an experienced IT and management consultant whose broad range of skills derives from more than fifty years as an IT professional and from Helen’s management roles in small and large organisations. She has worked as a consultant in all levels of Government, for government agencies and utilities undergoing privatisation and outsourcing, and for NFP organisations. Her experience in the education sector includes reviews of administrative systems for three Universities. An experienced workshop facilitator, Helen has also been a lecturer and written distance education material and a textbook. Helen holds a BSc, BA and MBA, all from the University of Melbourne.

In addition to a range of executive management positions, Helen has held non-executive directorships of several statutory authorities and private companies.

Stay in the loop

To stay up to date with all things Pearcey, please send us an email with your full name and email address to to be added to the mailing list.

Quick Links

About the Pearcey Foundation

About the Project

Contact Us