Page 117 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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I look forward to being able to support both the Southern District Motorsports Association and the heart kids in the future.

Creative Canberra: Bureaucrats, Boffins, Businessmen

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.43): I stand to commend to the Assembly a book by local identity Mr Peter Dawson entitled Creative Canberra: Bureaucrats, Boffins, Businessmen. Peter is a regular fixture in the ACT business community, with experience in international businesses and economic development issues, and he has been a senior fellow at the prestigious Cornell University. As the current director of the Australia Indonesia Business Council and chair of the ACT branch, and a fluent Bahasa Indonesia speaker, he is a passionate advocate for greater ties with Indonesia.

Mr Dawson’s book fills a gap in the literature about ACT businesses and also serves as a comprehensive compendium of what makes our city such an interesting place for business. For example, for those that do not know, just quoting from some of the introduction on the back of the book, we are home to the company with the world’s foremost wind-mapping technology, the global leader in digital core analysis for oil and gas exploration, the company which introduced large-scale multiplayer computer games in the world, and the world’s leader in second-generation quantum information security technology. And the list goes on.

There has been a dearth of stories singing the praises of our local business successes and achievements. Peter’s book addresses this shortage with a great deal of aplomb. If you run through it, just opening it at any page, you will see that.

There is QuintessenceLabs, quantum cryptology, with a picture of Vikram Sharma. Quintessence is a great firm in the ACT; the work it is doing in IT is quite extraordinary. If you push on, you get to Intelledox with Phil Williamson and Michelle Melbourne, again two locals who have built a firm that does work worldwide. Look at people like Ben Greene from Electro Optic Systems, EOS. You find a great story there. You get to people like the LipiTech team, who do a good job in what they do. The stories simply go on and on.

It is interesting, when you think about it, that from this small city some great firms have come forward. Even in the government, you only have to look at David Widdowson and the work done with the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, taking something that we do well as a local industry and turning it into something that brings money back into the ACT. Who could go past Tower Software and Brand Hoff, a firm that at one stage in the early 2000s delivered the largest rollout of a single piece of software in the world when it put forward 350,000 PCs for the United States Navy? That was an amazing effort for a firm from the ACT.

There is a chapter called “Aspen Medical: Project Managing the World”, about the work of Glenn Keys and Andrew Walker and how they have taken innovation and addressed the need for different groups to have their health issues addressed around the world.

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