​2016: The year that was

​2016: The year that was

A month-by-month look back at who and what made news in 2016.


Qantas’ CIO, Luc Hennekens quit his post and left the airline at the end of September to move closer to his family and pursue a new role at an organisation in France. Under Hennekens’ guidance, the airline introduced a new service centre, continued to move digital apps to the cloud, and improved service performance and project delivery.

Andrew Clowes, head of IT at global real estate firm, JLL, discussed how technology has moved agents out of the data dark ages.

ANZ announced that its customers could use a mobile payments platform to make contactless in-store purchases using a Visa debit or credit card or ANZ American Express card.

Former CUA CIO, David Gee, moved across to Metlife Insurance in Japan as its new statutory executive officer, senior VP, and CIO. Gee is based at the US$70 billion global insurance provider’s Tokyo office.

Former UXC Group IT chief, Craig Wishart, joined professional services firm KPMG as its Australian CIO. He replaced Anthony Stevens, who leads the firm’s digital services team in the newly-created role of chief digital officer.

Vodafone’s chief technology officer, Benoit Hanssen announced he was leaving to join the Hutchison group. Hanssen, who has been CTO at the telco for the past three years, led the transformation of Vodafone Hutchison Australia’s (VHA) network, company CEO. He was replaced this month by Kevin Millroy.

Also in July, Ian Brightwell, the former NSW Electoral Commission CIO, discussed his experience with e-voting during the 2015 state election and what can be changed at a federal level.

‘Intimidation and harassment’ had become part of the culture at the Queensland Building Services Authority, but tech has transformed its replacement, the QBCC.


Canadian-born GIS specialist Mel VanderWal told us how a prototype application he created to run on 360 degree video cameras would eventually become Google Street View.

The Department of Human Services announced it was seeking systems integrators for its $1 billion, seven-year Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program. Heritage Bank, Australia’s largest mutual bank, appointed former Billabong CIO, Wayne Marchant to a newly created chief information officer role.

Medibank Private appointed John Goodall to fill its vacant CIO role. He was the former general manager enterprise technology at Sportsbet. Former Westfield director of IT, Peter Bourke, was appointed head of group information systems at Hong Kong-based conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Limited.

Telstra's CIO, Erez Yarkoni announced he was leaving the telco to move back to the United States. Erez’s wife, Charlotte Yarkoni, also left her position as president of Telstra Software Group.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) blamed denial of service attacks originating from overseas for the outage which hit the census website as millions of Australians tried to log on to fill out the census. At the time, small business minister, Michael McCormack said that it wasn’t an attack nor was it a hack, but rather “an attempt to frustrate the collection of ABS census data”.

Meanwhile, pizza retailer, Domino’s announced that it would start delivering food using drones.New Zealand was chosen as a launch market for what eventually was the first commercial drone delivery service in the world.

Boeing’s CIO, Ted Colbert, exclusively told CIO Australia how he is leading a technology transformation that would prepare the $96 billion aviation giant for its second century of operation.


The prime minister's special cyber security advisor, Alistair MacGibbon, said the shut down of the census website would have a “lasting impact” on the public trust in the government to deliver digital services.

NSW Treasury’s CIO said the state government must leverage its size to attract talent and get better value from vendors. “If we’re to compete with the financial incentives on offer in the private sector, we need to find other ways to attract inspire and retain ICT talent,” said Ashton, formerly general manager of solution delivery for Coca-Cola Amatil.

Toll Group’s former interim CIO, Carl Duckinson, became the new IT chief at the Melbourne office of global engineering and advisory company, Aurecon. Duckinson replaced Sean Elwick who left the company in July after almost four years in the role.


IAG’s group executive, digital and technology, Claire Rawlins left the company after a year and a half. Rawlins, held CIO and digital transformation roles at NBN Co, Woolworths and Air New Zealand, was appointed head of IAG’s Digital Labs in December last year as part of a restructure.

Tourism Australia’s CIO, Dave Rumsey moved on from the organisation after five years in the role. Rumsey drove significant transformation across the organisation.

A hardware failure in the main database used by the Australian Securities Exchange’s equities trading system, ASX Trade, was blamed for a late open and early end to trading one day in October.

The ASX produced a post-mortem report on the failure, in the main database used by its equities trading system, ASX Trade, as ‘complex and unprecedented’ which took time to investigate and involved input from third party vendors.

Thermal imaging scanners and software could be used to identify travellers who become agitated on the approach to airport customs, Department of Immigration and Border Protection CIO Randall Brugeaud said.

RBA CIO Sarv Girn described how operational resilience helped the organisation survive a siege.


Mike Schuman moved on from his role as transformation business advisor at oil and gas giant, Woodside Energy. The former WA Police CIO as hired to spearhead change at the organisation. His departure coincided with the removal in September of the chief information officer role at Woodside. This role was previously held by Sara Braund who is now VP of Woodside’s HQ Technology Project.

ANZ appointed Gerard Florian as group executive technology as part of its technology and operations management shake-up. The appointment meant CIO, Scott Collary left the bank.

The Australian government’s chief digital officer, Paul Shetler resigned, less than two months after moving into the role from his position as chief executive officer at the government’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO), which he held since July last year.

CIO Australia announced its inaugural CIO50, a list that recognises IT chiefs who have driven transformative change across their organisations.


Former Telstra CEO David Thodey shared the story of how he was publicly shamed in front of an arena crowd by world-renowned diversity trainer Jane Elliott in what he calls “one of the most significant moments of my career.”

The federal government hired Atlassian’s former director of security, Craig Davies, as chief executive officer at its new Cyber Security Growth Centre. Peter Mahler was appointed as Swinburne University of Technology’s new chief information officer, replacing Lachlan Cameron who departed in October after just over two years in the role.

Kelvin McGrath quit as CIO at large freight and logistics organisation, Asciano after more than six years in the role. McGrath to focus on building his startup, MeetingQuality.

Meanwhile, the Australian Tax Office’s annual corporate tax transparency report revealed that several big multinational technology companies paid no tax in Australia during the 2014-15 financial year. Notable technology firms that had zero tax payable in Australia included Acer, ASG, Atlassian Australia, Citrix, Dicker Data, Dimension Data, HP South Pacific, IBM, Ingram Micro, NEC and Vodafone.

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