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  • Who is the ACS Foundation?
    The ACS Foundation, registered with the ACNC, is a charitable entity dedicated to advancing information technology through education and research. It was founded by the Australian Computer Society in 2001.
  • What Does the ACS Foundation Do?
    The ACS Foundation operates developmental programs for students, aligning with the strategic goals of Australia's technology sector. By engaging with governments, industry groups, tech firms, educational bodies, and sponsors, the foundation devises, funds, and executes initiatives that serve the enduring interests of the technology domain in Australia.
  • What Programs Does the ACS Foundation Run?
    The ACS Foundation offers five key programs: Scholarships for university students: Administered as per our donors' guidelines, these scholarships provide financial aid in the form of academic, demographic grants, and 'work integrated learning' (WIL) placements. Students must apply and meet the specific criteria set for each scholarship. Foundation Jobs for emerging IT professionals: These are fixed-term employment opportunities for those starting their careers in technology. The Big Day In for primary and high school students: This event connects eloquent and enthusiastic industry professionals with students interested in technology, fostering early career inspiration. Career Wheel for high school students: It's a visual tool that outlines various tech-related careers, helping students to identify which technology path aligns with their interests. Women of STEM for female year 12 students: An annual scholarship supporting women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
  • What Has the ACS Foundation Achieved?
    Over the past 23 years, the ACS Foundation has: - Generated more than $85 million in contributions for Australia's technological advancement. - Granted over 8,500 scholarships to assist students in beginning their careers. - Collaborated with more than 250 sponsors and companies to enhance industry capacity. - Developed pathways for students from school to TAFE/university and into employment. - Merged work and life experiences with academic and university curricula. - Improved the prospects of Australia's technology sector. - Initiated scholarships, research grants, and innovation development programs.
  • Who are the Board of the ACS Foundation?
    The ACS Foundation is administered by its Trustees, who are empowered to make decisions relating to the allocation of funding and the strategic direction of the organisation: John Debrincat, Chairman ACS Foundation John is the founder, Managing Director and CEO of eCorner Pty Ltd; he is also the Managing Director of In House Consulting Pty Ltd. John Debrincat has over 32 years of experience in business in the Asia Pacific. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society, a member of the Company Directors Association, a member of the Australian Institute of Management and an Associate Member of Australian Human Resource Institute. John is also an Honorary Life Governor and board member of Sydney University Foundation for Information Technologies. Philip Argy, Deputy Chairman ACS Foundation Philip Argy is an experienced mediator, arbitrator, negotiator and strategist and is Principal and CEO of He was with the law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques for nearly 32 years. Philip qualified at the University of New South Wales for a Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems) degree in 1975 and a Bachelor of Laws the following year. He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Western Australia. Philip is a Past President, Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the ACS as well as a past president and founding member of the NSW Society for Computers and the Law. Karim Barbara Karim Barbara has 25 years+ experience in the ICT Industry. He has contributed to ICT policy and industry development within a federal government context, to ICT market segmentation and niche development at a national level within Telstra and to the commercialisation of ICT IP within R&D and corporate environments. Karim is a Co-founder and co-owner of CSN Technology Pty Ltd, a Cloud Services & Networking Start-up, and Managing Director of Barbara & Co Consulting Pty Ltd, focusing on the application of telecommunication and Information technologies to the Health, Aged Care and Social Services markets and is currently Program Director of the ‘Corporate Services 2018’ transformation initiative at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Professor Anthony (Tony) C. WATSON Emeritus Professor at Edit Cowan University In 1994 Tony was appointed Foundation Professor of Computer Science at Edith Cowan University, Head of Department of Information Technology and Engineering, in 2002 he became Executive Dean Faculty Computing, Health and Sciences, and in 2010 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International). Currently he is Emeritus Professor. He has participated in the computing industry and academia for more than 40 years. He has had extensive involvement in tertiary international education since 1985 and undertaken consultancies, research projects and activities in Spain, France, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, UEA, Myanmar (Burma), China as well as Australia for ECU, Government and private sectors. He is a Fellow of the ACS and an Honorary Life Member, and Chairman of the WA Chapter of the ACS Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Intersective Pty Ltd, a director of the Australian Computer Society Foundation, and a director of Paili Consulting Pty Ltd. Penny Coulter Penny Coulter has 25+ years' experience in IT recruitment covering contract, permanent recruitment and executive search, and an unparalleled network of contacts across the industry. In 2007, Penny together with her business partner created an IT recruitment services company, Taylor Coulter. In 2002, Penny Coulter joined the Board of ITCRA (Information Technology Contracting Recruitment Association). In March 2004, Penny was appointed Vice President of ITCRA and in August 2004, elected President, a position she held for 4 years until August 2008. Penny remains a Board member and an active member of ITRA Committees. In 2005, Penny became a member of an ICT Advisory Group assisting the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) in preparation of an ICT Participation Summit held September 2005. In 2006, she participated as an Industry Panel Expert (“Is ICT a Career?”) at the National ICT Skills Summit, hosted by Queensland Government and has presented “A Career in ICT, Now and the Future” to the ACS Young IT and to AIIA/FITT members. John Price John Price is a 30-year veteran of the ICT industry and a long-time contributor to industry growth through his involvement with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). When he stood down from the AIIA Board in late 2007 John was the longest serving Board member (15 years) including three years as Chairman. He also spent 20 years on the NSW Branch Committee. John remains a mentor on the AIIA MGSM entrepreneur development program. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer society (ACS) and Australian Institute of Directors (AICD) and current Board Member of the ACS Foundation. John has a passion for the development of the ICT industry in particular Education and Training. John Ridge AM Executive Director John Ridge was appointed Executive Director in January 2005. John Ridge was the inaugural Chairman of the Foundation and was president of the ACS in 2000 and 2001. He worked tirelessly to ensure the ACS Foundation was established and has since played a substantial role in the successful development of the Foundation. John was recognised for his contribution to IT by his being awarded with an Order for Australia award. Since joining the ACS in the 1970s, John has served in varying capacities, initially as an Executive Committee Member of the NSW Branch, then serving as NSW Branch Chair, National Vice-President prior to his election as President for 2000-1 and more recently as National Marketing Director. Dennis Furini: Dennis Furini was CEO of the ACS from 1999 - 2007, having joined the Society in September 1999 after 10 years with Sydney Water where he earned a reputation for strong leadership, effective management, quality focus, communications and customer skills. He has over 35 years' experience in the IT industry in a career that has encompassed a diverse range of positions and working environments. Dennis began his professional life with Philips, where he spent 26 years in various national and international positions, including National Manager Information Systems and Automation. During the 1980s, he also established and managed a successful marketing and professional services business. He is a Fellow of the ACS.
  • What is the Women of STEM Scholarship?
    The Women of STEM Scholarship is an ACS Foundation managed scholarship that aims to: Inspire high school girls to select elective subjects in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics Grow future university educational opportunities for women in the fields of science, technology and engineering Promote advanced STEM professional and management careers and celebrate Australian women’s STEM career achievements. Provide financial support for women from diverse backgrounds and independent of any political, economic, religious or social framework.
  • What is an Internship?
    An internship is a general term for a work-based experience while a student is studying at university. An internship placement is often completed during a university's vacation period. A WIL scholarship is similar to an internship, but it often runs in parallel with the university semester. A WIL scholarship may span both the university vacation and also run concurrently with a university semester.
  • What is a WIL Scholarship?
    A WIL Scholarship is a flexible and pragmatic program to connect sponsor companies, students and universities. The ACS Foundation facilitates and administers this 3-way arrangement for the benefit of all parties. The sponsor company provides a paid workplace in industry that is related to the student's degree program and its requirements The student is able to practice their skills in the work environment while receiving a fortnightly distributed financial scholarship payment The university links its academic program and credit requirements with tailored industry support.
  • Student Questions the WIL Scholarship
    Do I need to be enrolled with an Australian University to apply for a WIL (Work Integrated Learning) Scholarship? Yes. You should be enrolled with an Australian University in either a technical or business related degree program. You should have completed at least one full semester with a minimum of a credit average on your academic transcript. Can I apply for a WIL Scholarship if I have graduated? If you are intending to enrol in a post-graduate study program with an Australian university, then you can apply for a WIL scholarship. Please be aware, that you cannot be awarded a WIL scholarship unless you are in an enrolled education program with an Australian university. What happens at the end of the WIL scholarship? Most host organisations have robust graduate programs. Their graduate programs are designed to select students from their WIL placements. A 2011 ACS Foundation survey found that 79% of WIL placement students received graduate employment offers from their host organisation. Should I wait until I graduate to look for work? As soon as you start tertiary studies, you should consider that you career has already started. Employees are increasingly hiring their graduates from those who have completed internships with them. To give yourself the best chance at the best jobs, you should ensure you complete an internship or scholarship while you are at university. What is the difference between an internship and a WIL scholarship? An internship is a general term for a work-based experience while a student is studying at university. An internship placement is often completed during a university's vacation period. A WIL scholarship is similar to an internship, but it often runs in parallel with the university semester. A WIL scholarship may span both the university vacation and also run concurrently with a university semester. Do I need to defer my studies to accept a WIL scholarship? It depends on the scholarship you are applying for. Some WIL scholarship placements are longer than others. It is your choice if you want to take a full study load, part-time study load or defer your studies for the semester in which you complete your WIL scholarship. What can I expect through the application process? An ACS Foundation team member will assess your application within a week of receiving it. The application will take 1-2 weeks to be assessed by ACS Foundation and will then be forwarded to the host organisation. If you are successful, ACS Foundation will organise an interview between yourself and the company representative. The ACS Foundation will organise contracts and manage your payments throughout your placement or employment.
  • Host Company Questions about the WIL Scholarships
    Each organisation can construct the engagement model that suits both itself and the student. The organisation can customise the placement component of the scholarship to be: - Part time or full time - 3 months, 6 months or 12 months in duration - find the student themselves or select from ACS Foundation pre-screened candidates. - Undergraduate or Post Graduate The normal process by which the WIL program works is: Once the donor makes the decision to proceed with a scholarship / internship, the ACS Foundation will raise a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the donor. Once the WIL requirements have been decided by the donor, the scholarship will be advertised either via the media, throughout the ACSF email lists, via academic focused emails, or all of the above. Applications will then be sought, sorted, and a short list compiled by the ACS Foundation, and forwarded to the organisation. The donor decides the level of involvement they wish to have in the interview and selection process, and interviews conducted. This can be done on the basis that the ACS Foundation doesn’t participate, does participate, or is responsible for the whole selection process. Our donors can “outsource” their Student selection process down to the short list completely to us, if required. Once the successful candidate/s have been selected, they sign the ACS Foundation Student Agreement. Undergraduate applicants have normally completed 2 years of their 3 year degree course, and when successful in their WIL scholarship application, they spend up to one year in the donor organisation, before returning to their University to complete the final year of their degree. The student is engaged with the organisation on the basis of a scholarship, which is paid to them regularly, and currently the favoured standard model is fortnightly over 52 weeks. The donor needs to ensure that the scholarship funds have been paid to the ACS Foundation in advance. The students are normally paid their scholarships via the University they are enrolled at. The students are offered to their donors on a “first right of refusal” basis for employment following graduation, assuming the student is willing to be employed by their donor. A recent survey showed that donors provided graduate employment offers to over 79% of students who completed a WIL scholarship with them.
  • What is Foundation Jobs Pty Ltd?
    Established by the ACS Foundation in 2014, Foundation Jobs is the leading graduate specialist recruiting group that matches ICT graduates with employers in Australia. We are focussed on recruiting keen, professional and skilled undergraduate and post-graduate students right across Australia. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. The hardest job to find is your first job. Foundation Jobs core purpose is to help match quality Australian ICT students land their first job in the business sector. ​ By connecting employers with fresh and enthusiastic job seekers, the Foundation is laid for a long lasting career and contribution towards Australia's future and the future of Australians. All Foundation Jobs are paid employment positions that meet Australia's Fair Work and relevant Award arrangements. We recruit for: ​ Information Technology Architecture Education Energy Engineering Healthcare Logistics Manufacturing & Operations Marketing & Digital Office Support Procurement
  • What is a Foundation Job?
    A Foundation Job is an entry level, time-limited job for recent technology graduates. Graduates are employed by Foundation Jobs and placed for a period of up to 12 months with a host organisation in a role that aligns with the skills they have developed. These entry level roles are designed to allow students to apply their technology skills in paid employment with the view to receiving a permanent job offer from the host organisation. Graduates apply directly for the role they desire under the market brand 'Jobs Foundation'. Jobs Foundation is not an on-going labour hire company. We exist expressly to create entry level employment opportunities for both students and companies and celebrate when graduates and companies confirm permanent employment arrangements.
  • What are the 3 types of Supporters?
    If you share our desire to support Australia's technology students, then there are multiple ways you can become a supporter. Supporters include Sponsors, Donors and Hosts. Sponsors: Sponsors are organisations who provide financial and/or in-kind contribution to facilitate the running of a program that benefits the Australian technology industry. These programs are often designed to support Australia's education industry. Examples of these programs include The Big Day In and the Career Wheel. Donors: Are individuals and companies who provide tax-deductible donations to support a specific student or student demographic for the betterment of Australia's technology industry. These often take the form or scholarships and provide financial assistance to students. Hosts: Hosts are organisations and companies that open their premises for practical career development roles for students and graduates. These roles can be either WIL placements or employment-based roles. However, the roles are always time limited and established with the purpose to lead to full-time direct employment between the host organisation and the student. Hosts provide the bridge between full-time study and a full-time technology career.
  • Why Become a Sponsor?
    If you want to sponsor an ACS Foundation program, please call our team on (02) 8296 7744 or email
  • What Programs Can I Sponsor as a Donor?
    Donors have a goal beyond the immediate bottom line of their annual report. Donors to the ACS Foundation share our goal of create more quality career pathways for students into the Australian technology industry. As such, we have multiple scholarship programs to which individuals and organisations can donate towards. The Women in STEM Scholarship Program The Women of STEM Scholarship is an ACS Foundation managed scholarship that aims to: Inspire high school girls to select elective subjects in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Grow future university educational opportunities for women in the fields of science, technology engineering. Promote advanced STEM professional and management careers and celebrate Australian women’s STEM career achievements. Provide financial support for women from diverse backgrounds and independent of any political, economic, religious or social framework. The Work Integrated Learning Scholarship Program Many university programs have a work placement requirement built in their technology degrees. As such students need to spend a period time (between 12 weeks and 12 months) in a workplace applying the knowledge and skills that they have developed. This placement is called 'work integrated learning'(WIL) and usually carries an element of academic credit for the student. Traditionally, it has been difficult for the student to find an organise the right type of placement that meets both the university requirements, suits them, and also adds value to the host organisation. This is where the ACS Foundation adds value. We bring all three parties together and package the arrangement into a WIL scholarship. We have been doing this for 20 years and have built win-win-win arrangements for all involved. WIL scholarship donors benefit by being able to evaluate students over an extended period in their workplace (“try before they buy”). This helps them make a decision on which students they feel would be most suited to offering a position in their graduate program. This arrangement results in employees gaining employees with a much higher level of loyalty to their organisation, and that loyalty will translate into better staff retention and less turn-over of employees and a reduction in the significant costs associated with staff recruitment and turn-over. Students benefit as they graduate not only with their degree qualifications, but with relevant and valuable industry experience. Research shows they gain better grades in their final year, and they have a better and more appreciated understanding of what is valued and required by their donor organisation and the industry. Some donors partner with us to front-ending their graduate programs with our WIL scholarship program, ensuring that the graduates who are offered positions within the organisation are fully familiar with the organisation, and are happy to be offered employment in the organisation.
  • Why Become A Host Company?
    A Host Company is an organisations who host a technology student in their company for a specified role over a specific time. This hosting arrangement can assist the student with academic pursuits and also lead to regular employment. Why do organisations sponsor students through the ACS Foundation? The ACS Foundation helps organisations access talented university students across Australia. Our integrated WIL Programs and one-stop-shop placement arrangements assist organisations in gaining the benefits of supporting students and connecting with universities, without the cumbersome administration. Will partnering with the ACS Foundation promote my organisation's profile to students and universities? Yes, your WIL scholarship will be created and promoted as your organisation's scholarship and will use your approved logo. The Partnering with the ACS Foundation further enhances your brand both on campus and in the industry more broadly. Here is a list of organisations who are already partnering with the ACS Foundation. How do I start sponsoring a student? When an organisation chooses to sponsor a student, a scholarship fund is utilised to set up an educational donation arrangement. The ACS Foundation then administers the fund on behalf of the donor, in conjunction with the university, for the benefit of the student. The ACS Foundation manages all the paperwork and distributes the donation fund so that every party receives the maximum benefit of the arrangement. To start sponsoring a student, use this form to get in touch with the ACS Foundation team.
  • What is the Technology Career Wheel?
    The Technology Career Wheel and map presents to students the variety of pathways and disciplines within a career in the technology sector. Being one of the four pillars of the STEM skill set, technology can be broadly viewed by the following four quadrants: Science and Design Roles Technology Services Roles Engineering Product Roles Mathematics and Data Roles Within each quadrant, the top 11 roles are profiled including a video of a practitioner in the role, the study pathways to get that job, the skills that are needed, and the entry level Australian salary range for that role. This information will help students determine their career destination and help map their pathway towards achieving it.
  • What is ACS Student Membership?
    The Australian Computer Society offers a special category of membership for active students.
  • What is the 'Present Your Capabilities' Course?
    Present Your Capabilities. You know you have skills and talent. But how can you prove that to an employer so they will offer you a job? The key is to present yourself and your capabilities in the best possible way. By conducing a personal inventory, , researching future employers and planning and practicing how your application and interview skills, you can secure the right job. This practical course is a step by step guide for job search success in Australia. This webinar originally presented by John for IT Masters was a four part webinar series with an audience ranging from students to experienced executives. For you to get the best from the course find a quiet place where you can imagine you are participating then subsequently treat the material on the slides as an aide Memoir that you can draw on from time to time when the appropriate situation arises. You will achieve the maximum from the course by giving the maximum to the exercises and information sharing. You will not be able to participate in the webinar as in communication with the presenter as this is a re run of a course, but you can gain from the answers to questions. The ACS Foundation is pleased to support this course. Hundreds of students have found this useful as they apply for scholarships, internships and graduate roles. IT Masters also run a corresponding exam to solidify the learning outcomes from this program.
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