2021 Pearcey Hall of Fame

David Thodey AO, Judy Hammond and Alan Noble were elevated to the Pearcey Hall of Fame at the annual Pearcey National Awards event held on Wednesday 24th November 2021 during a virtual presentation held via Zoom.

David Thodey AO

(See 2021 Pearcey Medal.)

Judy Hammond

Judy Hammond has been a major contributor to the ICT community, both in Australia and internationally, as a leader in the fields of human computer interaction, usability, and the social implications of information technology. She has done this as an educator, a leader in curriculum development at both school and university level, an advocate for the role of women in IT, as a broadcaster and as Australia's representative on international bodies such as the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP).

Judy Hammond was born in New Zealand and graduated in Pure Mathematics from Victoria University in Wellington. She spent several years teaching in primary and secondary schools in New Zealand, UK and Australia before completing a Master of Science and Society at UNSW, bringing together her enthusiasm for education and technology to benefit society.

After working as a programmer and systems analyst, Judy returned to academia and joined the newly established Higher Education Research Unit at Monash University, and then the School of Computing Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. There she developed and taught courses in programming, information systems, and social implications of computers; in one of the early computing science degree programs in Australia. From 1978 to 1979, she was a visiting scholar at The Open University in the UK, developing course materials for the first distance-education course on computer-based information systems.

Hammond has contributed to several major State and Federal Government projects, concerning information technology and education. From 1984 to 1986, she participated in the National Computer Education Programme to introduce Computers into Australian Schools and was director of the Information Technology in the Curriculum Programme at the Curriculum Development Centre in Canberra.

She has been an active participant in professional society matters. She was one of the earliest members of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). Judy was Director of the Community Affairs Board (responsible for Computer Education, Community Engagement, Young IT and Women in IT) and Chair of the ACS National Education Committee and ACS representative on the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, where she was Vice-President. As part of her ACS effort, she produced films and videos about information technology and social change - often with an educational focus - and, for two years, produced an interview series, "The Computer Programme", which was broadcast on Sydney radio station 2SER. Hammond also contributed a chapter on "ACS and Computer Education" for 'Computing in Australia: The Development of a Profession', published by the ACS in 1994, whose editors included Trevor Pearcey. She was the second woman in the ACS to be elected to the rank of Fellow, and was made an honorary life member and inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame in 2003.

Judy Hammond was Conference Chair for INTERACT '97, bringing the IFIP's international bi-annual conference on human-computer interaction (HCI) to Australia for the first time. She has published widely in the areas of social implications and HCI, and has been awarded many honours in Australia and internationally.

Alan Noble

Alan Noble grew up in Adelaide, graduating in 1982 with first class honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Adelaide. Since that time, Alan has spent his entire career working in the ICT industry, both in California and Australia, collaborating extensively across the commercial sector, academia and government.

In 1988, he gained a MSc from Stanford University in California, majoring in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. That same year he joined Schlumberger, where he honed his engineering and management skills, before co-founding his first startup, NetMind Technologies, in 1996. There he focussed on change detection and notification (CDN) at a time when most companies were still focused on Internet search. NetMind was the first company to develop so-called persistent search for automatically notifying users of changed search results, a capability developed only much later in products such as Google Alerts. While at NetMind, Noble also resumed a part-time lecturing role at University of California, specialising on delivering courses around distributed object programming and languages such as C++ and Java.

NetMind was acquired by Pumatech (later renamed as Intellisync) - with Noble appointed VP of Engineering - before it was in turn was acquired by Nokia. Noble returned home with his family to Adelaide, co-founded networking company Foursticks, then staged a management buyout with two former executives as NetPriva. Although ultimately, he and the team at NetPriva were able to sell the company in 2007, it was Noble's encouragement of his fellow entrepreneurs at Foursticks, his resilience under pressure, and his ability to celebrate failure, that allowed them to move on to successful careers.

At this point, Alan Noble was lured to join Google as Engineering Director for Google Australia, responsible for Google's research and development operations in Australia, overseeing the growth of Google's Sydney Engineering Centre from 20 engineers to over 650.

In 2008, Noble was appointed an Adjunct Professor to the Adelaide University's School of Computer Science; he was an advisor to Australia's Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb from 2013-2015 on strategies and priorities regarding STEM education and skills; and he served as a Director of the South Australian Museum for seven years from 2014-2021.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Noble's career is now emerging as he 'gives back' to the ICT industry. He mentored many young budding entrepreneurs and engineers while at Foursticks, NetPriva and Google, and took on many extra-curricular activities during that period. He co-founded StartupAUS in 2013, a not-for-profit venture fostering and building the community of technology entrepreneurship in Australia, and AusOcean in 2017, a not-for-profit organisation developing and applying technology to learn more about our oceans. He has attracted a diverse set of partners of like-minded people to this company who are determined to use advanced technologies to 'save our oceans', and he is keen to involve students in the enterprise wherever possible.


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