From The Editor

“If you’re going to look for a catastrophic event that will impact upon the livelihood of Australians … it will be a cyber security incident.” This quote comes from an  October 5, 2018 article in The Conversation. It is part of a series on the Future of VET, exploring issues within the sector and how to improve the decline in enrolments and shortages of qualified people in vocational jobs. See below, MacGibbon: cyber catastrophe is society’s ‘greatest existential threat’ right now.

Australia is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which includes Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States…If one of those countries seriously undermines digital security, as I think the bill that’s been proposed in Australia is going to do, [we] recognise that the downhill path from that could be very fast,” This quote is from a 2 October 2018 ABC Science blog , See below, Australia’s surveillance laws could damage internet security globally, overseas critics say.

Some of what works is as good as free: Some of these measures are expensive, some are almost free. All have been shown to have a high return in the US. There are good reasons to believe they could be highly effective in rural, regional and remote Australia..” This quote is from an October 25, 2018 article in  The Conversation  which notes “This puts the economic benefit of closing the urban-non urban gap at A$56 billion — about 3.3% of Gross Domestic Product.” See below, The best way to boost the economy is to improve the lives of deprived students.

Scepticism is an attitude that treats every claim to truth as up for debate. Religion, philosophy, science, history, psychology – generally, sceptics believe every source of knowledge has its limits, and its up to us to figure out what those are.” So says a 05 October 2018 article by The Ethics Centre, Ethics Explainer: Scepticism, which revisits the arguments of René Descarte, one of the Western canon’s most famous philosophers. “Descartes wanted to prove certain truths were innate and could not be contested. To do so, he started to pick out every claim to truth he could think of – including how we see the world – and challenge it.”

How can we know we exist, that what we perceive as reality is not just an illusion?  Descarte’s epiphany was that his doubting proved he was thinking;  “I think, therefore I am.” So where does ethics come in? Beset as we are by Fake News, Climate Change Scepticism, Gender Bias, Global protests and  discontent with Government, Threats of Warfare, how can ethics help? See below, I think I am, therefore I am, I think.


Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

MacGibbon: cyber catastrophe is society’s ‘greatest existential threat’ right now

“We recently went into a rather exposed Commonwealth department that comes to significant attention from some of our friends [read: enemies] offshore,” he added….“Many times they’ve suffered significant cyber security breaches, but having now successfully implemented our Essential Eight, we were unable to detect the offenders back in that system, and they’re a sophisticated foreign threat actor.”

Australia’s surveillance laws could damage internet security globally, overseas critics say

“It’s a very broadly permissive provision that they’re opening up for international use, and because there’s very little oversight, accountability or transparency built into the law, it’s unclear how people will ever know how this is being invoked or by whom

The best way to boost the economy is to improve the lives of deprived students

“What works the most, according to the US studies, are high-dose-small-group tutoring, balanced incentives for students, managed professional development for teachers, smaller class sizes, and a culture of high expectations.

I think I am, therefore I am, I think

“Acknowledging how powerful our habits and emotions are is key to recognising when we’re tempted to overlook the facts in favour of how something makes us feel.”



While there’s much we know about how students learn to read, research on books used to support beginning reading development is sparse. Guidelines provided in the Australian Curriculum and the National Literacy Progressions complicate matters further. Teachers are required to use two types of texts: decodable and predictable books.

Each book is underpinned by a different theory of reading, arguably in conflict. This contributes to uncertainty about when and how the books might be used.” This November 12, 2018 article in The Conversation uses picture books to explain What’s the difference between decodable and predictable books, and when should they be used?



ACOSM18: IT  Security – The Great Debate

Date: Thursday evening 20th  December
To round off 2018, QESP will host an ACOSM18 debate on Thursday evening 20th  December at the Swissotel Sydney.  This will be run as a joint QESP/ ACS NSW Branch/ PMI Sydney Chapter event, open to all and with discounts to QESP/ ACS NSW Branch/ PMI Sydney Chapter members.  The theme is  IT  Security,  debated  by a panel of ICT industry gurus fielding questions from enthusiastic practitioners. The Panel has representatives from QESP, ACS NSW Branch and PMI Sydney Chapter.

Julian (Jolly) Day, Founder & CEO of Consensus, will Chair the debate. The Panel includes Julia Checchia, President, PMI  Sydney; Ted Smillie, QESP Chair; and  high profile representatives from the ACS and the ICT Industry.


5.30 to 6.00: Registration, canapes and drinks

6.00: Opening by Chair and introduction of Panel

6.15: 5 minute presentations by each of the Panel

7.00: Q&A

7.30 to 8.00: Post-event networking

Cost (Inc GST)

Non Members:            $40

QESP, PMI and ACS  members $20

Students or seniors $20.

PMI and ACS Members can earn 2 PDU’s or CP Hours

Tickets are purchased through Eventbrite. Please follow the link below to purchase your ticket.

Purchase Ticket



As it happens, there is another big  event at the Swissotel during the day on 20th December, the Future Data Conference, with an amazing lineup of speakers, see They finish at 5:00pm on 20th for Networking drinks, and we are advising the  Future Data Conference speakers of the ACOSM18  debate in case any of them wish to take part. This could be an opportunity for QESP, ACS and PMI Members to catch up with some of the Future Data Conference participants.


Quote of the Day

A demagogue is a person with whom we disagree as to which gang should mismanage the country. Don Marquis

Quote from Yesteryear

I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.  – Solomon Short

Ted Smillie

QESP Chair