Ballarat Heritage Event

7 September 2018 Ballarat

Tim Herring, Stuart Lee, George Fong, Wayne Fitzsimmons OAM, Barbara Ainsworth, Dr Peter ThorneTim Herring, Stuart Lee, George Fong, Wayne Fitzsimmons OAM, Barbara Ainsworth, Dr Peter Thorne

The Pearcey Foundation held a special Heritage Event on Friday 7th September 2018 at Federation University in Ballarat. The event ran from 3pm - 5:30pm and was entitled Celebrating the Past; Informing the Present; Inspiring the Future.

The Heritage session in Ballarat was a regional initiative by the Pearcey Foundation as part of the Digital Innovation Festival. It was held in the new state-of-the-art lecture theatre at Ballarat Technical School adjacent to Federation University.

The format of the afternoon was:

  • Introduction - Mr Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chairman Pearcey Foundation
  • Speakers:
    • Dr Peter Thorne - Expert on CSIRAC, Australia's first computer (1949)
    • Stuart Lee - Telecommunications Heritage Ltd, former Telstra Executive
    • Tim Herring - Executive Director, TelSoc
    • Barbara Ainsworth - Curator, Monash Museum of Computing History
  • Panel Discussion - chaired by Mr George Fong, Executive Committee and Infrastructure Committee Member, Federation University.


In opening the seminar, Wayne Fitzsimmons explained the background and purpose of the Pearcey Foundation. Then Peter Thorne spoke about the importance of preserving our ICT heritage, using the history of CSIRAC as an example.

The major achievement in establishing Heritage Communications Ltd on a sound footing was described by Stuart Lee who is a member of the Board of that new not-for-profit company which will preserve our telecommunications heritage.

Tim Herring presented a paper on the remarkable achievements of Ballarat inventor and ICT pioneer Charles Sutton Stuart.

Barbara Ainsworth described the establishment, content and future plans for the Monash University Museum of Computing History which is currently the best computing history display in Victoria and probably the best computing museum of any Australian university

This was followed by a panel session led by George Fong a local internet pioneer and a member of the Council of Federation University.

In addition to the successful seminar, areas of common interest, between Pearcey Institute projects and ICT initiatives in Ballarat were identified. It is hoped that these will lead to close collaboration in the future.