2020 National Awards

The 2020 Pearcey National Awards, were presented on Wednesday 25 November 2020 as a virtual event due to Covid restrictions. The presentation covered :

  • The 2020 Pearcey Medal was awarded to Prof. Jennifer Seberry, Emeritus Professor, Wollongong University
  • The 2020 Pearcey Hall of Fame awardees were Jeff Whittle AO ('Whittle it' in Mine Planning) and Owen Hill of Microbee fame
  • The 2020 National Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Grant Petty, CEO and Founder of Black Magic

The 2020 Pearcey Medal was presented by Prof Jon Whittle, Director data61, representing CSIRO with whom this annual presentation has been closely aligned since its inception in 1998.

asx logo 2016

We wish to thank the ASX for supporting us for the 2020 Pearcey Medal and Hall of Fame Awards.

In our final Conversation for 2020, our panel provided valuable insights and predictions for 2021. Our Speakers included

  • Jamila Gordon, CEO and Founder, Lumachain
  • Leanne Kemp, Queensland's Chief Entrepreneur
  • Elaine Stead, Managing Director, Human VC
  • Jon Whittle, Director, CSIRO's Data61

The discussion was moderated by Simon Foster, Treasurer, The Pearcey Foundation. This "Conversation" will shortly be uploaded to Pearcey's YouTube channel. All our prior Pearcey Conversations are available on the Pearcey Foundation YouTube Channel.

2020 Pearcey State Entrepreneur Awards

Congratulations to all our State Entrepreneurs:

State Date Details
Victoria Wed 2 Sep The 2020 Vic Award was held as part of the 2020 DIF. The winner was Grant Petty, Founder and CEO of Black Magic. Grant was also named as the 2020 Pearcey National Entrepreneur.
Queensland Tue 6 Oct

The 2020 Qld Award winner was Nicholas Therkelsen-Terry, CEO and co-founder of Max Kelsen. Sponsors were IceMedia and TechOne for which we are most grateful.


Tue 22 Sep

The 2020 ACT Chief Minister's Pearcey Award was presented to Shane Hill of Skoolbo, world famous eLearning platform for Children.


Tue 13 Oct

The 2020 NSW Award winner was Jamila Gordon, CEO and Founder of Lumachain. The virtual event was held in conjunction with the Pearcey Conversation on Ada Lovelace Day.

Tasmania Wed 6 Nov

The 2020 Tasmanian Award winner was Mike Cruise, founder and CEO of Definium Technologies. The combined physical and virtual event was held at Macquarie House in Launceston.

SA Wed 18 Nov

The 2020 SA Award winner was Dr Michelle Perugini, CEO and co-founder and CEO of Presagen and Life Whisperer.

WA Wed  25 Nov

The 2020 WA Pearcey Award winner was Greg Riebe, co-founder of Entrepreneurs in Residence

2020 Pearcey Oration

2020 Pearcey Oration was held on Wednesday 2 September 2020 and following the presentation of the 2020 Victorian State Entrepreneur Award. These two events were sponsored by the Victorian Government and form key elements of the Digital Innovation Festival (DIF) in its fifth year of celebration of Victoria's tech community. The 2020 Pearcey Oration explored the very pertinent topic of Resilience, specifically: How do we address our resilience and preparedness in this age of mistrust?

John Blackburn AOJohn Blackburn AO

The Oration was delivered by John Blackburn AO, Air Vice-Marshal (Retd) and Chair of The Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER). John is a consultant in the field of Defence and National Security. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, the Institute For Regional Security, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation and the Australian Institute of Energy. He has extensive experience across the fields of strategy, policy, planning, operational command, capability development and material acquisition. He recently featured as a panellist on the 29 July 2020 Pearcey Conversation on-line seminar entitled "The role of the ICT Community in the future resilience and self-reliance of Australia".

View on Pearcey YouTube channel.

Vic Gov Digital Innovation Festival 2020


2020 has certainly been a remarkable year with the onset of the pandemic. The members of the Pearcey Foundation felt it important that the tech sector show thought leadership by debating the pros and cons of the CovidSAFE app launched by our Federal Government in late April 2020. To this end, we have published two papers and held a public zoom seminar on the app and its ramifications for our community. Below are references to these activities in detail. No one could have foreseen the incredible disruption we are all experiencing in 2020 but, as one of our CovidSAFE speakers commented, this app is all about TRUST; TRUST in government in particular. He offered a definition: Trust is Integrity plus transparency over time.

History of the Australian ICT industry

Additionally we have launched our History of the Australian ICT industry initiative (last November 2019). We have assembled a great team of advisors, led by Dr Peter Thorne, all of whom are working with our author Graeme Philipson to curate a wonderful living document. The book is making great progress.


More details on all events, as well as on the Book, are available on our Pearcey Heritage website heritage.pearcey.org.au.

Please check out our press release for a consolidated list of activities:


Recent News

Jennifer Seberry

25 Nov 2020

2020 Pearcey Medal

Professor Jennifer Seberry was presented the prestigious Pearcey Medal as part of the 2020 Pearcey National Awards. The Pearcey Medal recognises a distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the ICT industry in Australia. »» Read more...

Jeff Whittle

25 Nov 2020

2020 Hall of Fame

Emeritus Professor Jennifer Seberry, Jeff Whittle AO and Owen Hill were elevated to the Pearcey Hall of Fame at the annual Pearcey National Awards event held on Wednesday 25th November 2020 over a Zoom call. »» Read more...

Grant Petty

25 Nov 2020

2020 Pearcey Entrepreneur Award

The 2020 Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award was presented to Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. The national award gives prominence to one of this year's State Pearcey winners for inspiring leadership, scale, impact, innovation and acclaim on the world stage. »» Read more...

Eureka Prize 2020

24 Nov 2020

2020 Eureka Science Award to Sydney Uni's "Sydney Nano"

Sydney Uni's Nano Centre in Department of Physics was awarded the 2020 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in protecting Australia. By harnessing the delicate interaction between light and sound, Professor Ben Eggleton and his team have produced a microchip that provides a unique advantage for defence platforms. »» Read more...

Dr Cathy Foley

09 Nov 2020

Appointment of Dr Cathy Foley as Chief Scientist Australia

Dr Cathy Foley AO, currently CSIRO Chief Scientist, and from December 2020, will become Chief Scientist of Australia. Cathy has made distinguished contributions to the understanding of superconducting materials and to the development of devices using superconductors for a number of applications including to detect magnetic fields and locate valuable deposits of minerals. »» Read more...

Mike Cruse

05 Nov 2020

2020 Tas Award

Technology entrepreneur, software developer and electrical engineer Mike Cruse was awarded the 2020 Tasmanian Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year. Mike is the founder and CEO of Definium Technologies, a company based in Launceston that designs and manufactures IoT devices and electronic products for national and international clients, as well as owning and operating a state-wide LoRaWAN network in Tasmania to ... »» Read more...


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Pearcey Medals for Lifetime Achievement

The Pearcey Medal is a prestigious annual individual award that recognizes a distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the ICT industry in Australia. »» Read more...

Statue 100

Pearcey Entrepreneur Awards

The Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award is a special recognition annual award. This award gives prominence to one of the State Pearcey winners for inspiring leadership, scale, impact, innovation and acclaim on the world stage. »» Read more...

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Pearcey Hall of Fame

The Pearcey Hall of Fame recognises individuals who have made very significant lifetime contributions into one or more of Australia's ICT research, industry, or professional development. It is a yearly award which includes the Pearcey Medallist and up to two other individuals. »» Read more...


State Nominations

The Pearcey Foundation welcomes nominations all year round for any of its awards. We encourage the nominations of anyone who has made a significant contribution to the ICT industry. Simply contact us with the details. »» Read more...


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Pearcey Institute

The Pearcey Institute was launched during the '60th Anniversary of Computing in Victoria' celebration in 2016 and was registered in 2018 as a 'Company limited by Guarantee' and designated the Pearcey Institute Limited (PIL). »» Read more...

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Thought Leadership

The Pearcey Foundation is proud to organise and participate in forums, roundtables and public debates on issues of national ICT importance. »» Read more...