One of USC's first graduates wins major IT award | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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One of USC's first graduates wins major IT award

A Twin Waters information technology professional who was among the University of the Sunshine Coast’s first graduates in 1999 has won a national award for her skills.

Sunshine Coast Council employee Ann Yardley, was recently named the Australian Government’s 2015 ICT Professional of the Year.

The Commonwealth Department of Finance holds annual awards to promote excellence, innovation and professionalism in the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) across all government agencies.

Ms Yardley, a long-time council employee who is now its Business Solutions and Strategy Coordinator, said her USC Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) had contributed to her success.

“Winning this award is an amazing honour,” she said. “To be recognised by both my industry and my amazingly talented staff for leadership is an extraordinary feeling.

“The USC degree provided me with real-world skills and loads of support, and has enabled me to have a successful career without having to leave the Sunshine Coast.

The award cited Ms Yardley as “an accomplished professional who commenced her IT career 16 years ago, holding management positions which underpinned her ability to understand the business and the organisation”.

It read: “Combined with her leadership style, strategic insight and application of modern digital technology, she has inspired an agile and innovative culture ensuring an effective interface between the ICTS and the business.

“Ann’s combination of business focus and implementation, of new approaches to solving problems, and the delivery of new functionality has transformed not only the information and communications component of council, but the business itself.”

USC’s Director of Information Technology Services Maureen Klinkert, a former Maroochy Shire Council manager who first hired Ms Yardley in 1999, said she was delighted by Ms Yardley’s milestone and the links between the University and the council as ICT employers.

“Ann’s degree was an important qualification and she exhibited great communication skills that conveyed a passion to work with customers to drive business outcomes to make the Sunshine Coast a better place,” Ms Klinkert said.

“Ann’s career was kick-started by a great partnership between USC and Maroochy Shire Council (which amalgamated into Sunshine Coast Council in 2008).”

Ms Yardley said elements of her USC degree had been useful throughout her career.

“It focused on more than computer science and included analysis, management and marketing,” she said.

“I’m now involved in digital and smart technology projects – in my opinion, it’s the most exciting and challenging time in ICT since I started.”

— Julie Schomberg

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