From The Editor

“AustCyber has partnered with the Australian British Chamber of Commerce to increase commercial cyber security opportunities between Australia and the United Kingdom.” A 21/05/2019 AustCyber report notes that “The partnership has been established to explore both markets and present new business opportunities for Australia’s burgeoning cyber security industry” and gives  of how this will be carried out. See below, AustCyber and the ABCC partner to increase opportunities for Australian cyber security companies.

 Currently, there is a well-known global shortage of skilled cyber security workers. In Australia, the shortage is severe and is predicted to reach 18,000 cyber security jobs required by 2026.” This quote is from another AustCyber report, 16/05/2019,  which notes that “In just two years we have seen TAFEs and universities around the country rapidly expand their cyber security program offering, often in close partnership with industry.” See below, Australian high schools are switching on to cyber security.

Policy makers are increasingly drawing on knowledge outside the public service to deal with the complexity of public policy. Academic research is one source of external expertise that can contribute to robust policy development. However there are significant barriers to meaningful knowledge exchange. A project between academics and a policy group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) set out to address these barriers and strengthen engagement. “ This quote is from a 26/05/2019 brief in The Drop, outlining  “a project to encourage knowledge sharing between academics and policy makers and overcome the barriers to knowledge exchange” See below,  Knowledge sharing between policy makers and academics.

“Five trial AccessLabs have taken place for policy makers, media and journalists, marine sector participants, community groups, and artists. Through direct citizen-scientist pairings, AccessLab encourages people to come with their own science-related questions and work one-to-one with a science researcher to find and access trustworthy information together. Among the many who’ve benefited from AccessLabs’ approach include a town councillor researching the impacts of building developments on the environment, a GP researching nutrition for advising patients with specific diseases, and a dancer and choreographer researching physiology and injuries.” This quote is from a May 28, 2019 ScienceDaily article, contributed by PLOS, which points out that “AccessLab is a powerful example of researchers using their expertise to unlock skills in their local communities. The workshops focus on transferring research skills rather than subject-specific knowledge, highlighting that not having a science background doesn’t need to be a barrier to understanding and using scientific knowledge.”

See below, AccessLab: New workshops to broaden access to scientific research.


Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

AustCyber and the ABCC partner to increase opportunities for Australian cyber security companies

“In 2019, AustCyber will be the major partner for a series of activities, including the Australian British Financial Services Catalyst, Australian British Health Catalyst and Australian British Infrastructure Catalyst.”

Australian high schools are switching on to cyber security

“Initiatives underway in this space include the Schools Cyber Security Challenges designed to provide high school teachers with resources to support the teaching of cyber security concepts, and to inform students of career opportunities in the field”.

Knowledge sharing between policy makers and academics

The project is a practical example of improving the engagement between policy makers and academics. It shows that brokers who can navigate the policy research divide have a critical role to play whether the brokers are from the academy (the early career researcher on secondment) or the world of practice (the policy team leader). It also demonstrates it is possible to overcome the barriers to building closer knowledge sharing relationships but this requires effort from both academics and policy makers.”

AccessLab: New workshops to broaden access to scientific research

“The act of pairing science academics with local community members from other backgrounds helps build understanding and trust between groups, at a time where this relationship is under increasing threat from different political and economic currents in society. This process also exposes science researchers to the difficulties accessing their work and the importance of publishing research findings in a way that is more inclusive..”



(QESP Editor’s Note: The following blog is from a May 27, 2019 post in The Conversation on which “a social psychologist, two ecologists and a cartoonist explain the toolbox of communication we need to resolve difficult issues.”)

Comic: how to have better arguments about the environment (or anything else)



Consensus Software Awards

World’s Most Successful Awards

2019 Awards Presentations

The first round of 2019 Consensus Software Awards were presented on the evening of Thursday 9th May at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) at their prestigious offices at Barangaroo in Sydney. There was one Winner and two Highly Commended locally designed and developed technologies. Page down to see their great solutions with links to their websites.

The second round of Consensus Awards in 2019 will be open from middle of June with Awards presented in October. See timetable below and if you would like further details, please send us an email.



Quote of the Day

“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” Mitch Kapor 

Quote from Yesteryear

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley


Ted Smillie

QESP Chair