Digital Careers contributes to increasing the number and quality of ICT graduates in Australia while building a robust and sustainable ICT capability for the future digital economy. Operating as a collaborative initiative of industry, research, primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions (universities and TAFE), and government, Digital Careers is focused on reducing the critical shortage of Australian ICT professionals by:

  • raising awareness and interest in ICT careers; and
  • growing and diversifying the pool of tertiary students preparing for a career in the ICT industry.

The program focuses on primary and secondary school students (school years 5-10), parents, teachers and school based career advisors. Funding is provided through the Australian Government as represented by the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, Data61, tertiary institutions, industry and state governments. Digital Careers acknowledges support of the members of the Digital Careers National Steering Committee and the organisations they represent.

  • Marie Johnson (Co-National Chair) Centre for Digital Business
  • Phil Robertson (Co-National Chair) Data61
  • Mary Mulcahy CSIRO
  • Paul Bailes Australian Computer Society
  • Kate Burleigh Intel
  • Suzanne Roche AIIA
  • Roslyn Prinsley Office of the Chief Scientist
  • Paul Cooper (State Chair VIC) SMS Management & Technology
  • Gavin Keeley (State Chair QLD) Cloud DC
  • Ben Macklin Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation & Science
  • Maurice Pagnucco (State Chair NSW) University of NSW
  • John Ridge ACS Foundation
  • Sally-Ann Williams Google
  • Jason Zagami Australian Council for Computers in Education




Digital Careers grew out of a program called Group X that was established in 2007 by The University of Queensland, The Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and  the Queensland Government. The Group X founders were Paul Bailes, Michael Blumenstein, Peter Grant, Simon Kaplan, Gavin Keeley, John Puttick, and Paul Russell.

Digital Careers leverages what was learnt from the Queensland pilot together with best practice and innovative approaches from elsewhere in Australia and internationally. Our goal is to achieve similar growth on a national scale. This year, Digital Careers aims to reach 140,000 students though a mix of activities and events. The national roll out represents an opportunity to communicate with school students all over Australia and grow a robust, innovative and internationally competitive ICT capability that will drive and grow productivity across most if not all industry sectors.

What We Do

Digital Careers concentrates on the start of the ICT pipeline by targeting school students, parents and teachers. It:

  • Focuses on improving awareness and promoting the benefits of ICT careers;
  • Enhances and amplifies engagement activities that develop and maintain student interest in ICT;
  • Develops collateral and online resources;
  • Enables professional development opportunities for ICT teachers.

The Digital Careers Program has three program elements:

1. Activities and Events for StudentsDigital Careers leads, participates in and supports a suite of events and activities focused on broadening and deepening student engagement with ICT. We run programs that:

  • Reach a large number of children, many of whom would normally not be interested in ICT;
  • Have a low barrier of entry;
  • Have a high level of retention;
  • Are gender inclusive; and
  • Are appropriate for year levels 5-10 (ages 10-15).

2. Teacher Professional DevelopmentDigital Careers works closely with the Educator Community including ACARA to ensure offerings of the program:

  • Meet the objectives the Digital Technologies Curriculum;
  • Help meet a current gap from the educator perspective;
  • Are provided in a manner that help meets their needs; and
  • Make it easy for teachers and students to engage.

3. Promotion and diversity of the ICT industryDigital Careers works with students to profile the diversity and opportunities provided by ICT careers. Activities include:

  • Profiling the role of ICT across a range of industries;
  • Attending career fairs and teacher conferences;
  • Developing online and social media; and
  • The production of promotional material.


Staff Profiles


Kara McLean

Kara McLean

National Operations Manager

Kara is our National Operations Manager who is responsible for the day to day more operation of the Digital Careers program, including reporting responsibilities to funding bodies, finances and providing support to the National Program Director and State Managers. Kara joins the team after working for the Australian Government on a range of funding programs focusing on community outreach, education, health and improved service delivery; such as Clever Networks and the Digital Regions Initiative. hide↑

Nicolette Venn

Nicolette Venn

State Manager, Qld & NT

Digital Careers is responsible for raising the profile of Information and Communication Technology relating careers more to students across Australia. As the State Manager, Qld & NT, Nicolette will be driving the expansion of this program to all regions in Qld and the Northern Territory. Nicolette has significant experience from the tertiary sector, primarily the University of Queensland. hide↑

Dr Thomas Montague

Dr Thomas Montague

State Manager VIC & Tas

Tom oversees the implementation of the Digital Careers program in Victoria and Tasmania. Tom has advised governments, more universities, business and industry on technology development, marketing and natural resource management. He is passionate about science and technology, data analysis and the benefits and opportunities these can bring. He has a PhD from the University of Oxford. hide↑

Katie Rowe

Katie Rowe

Event Coordinator NSW & ACT | Acting State Manager NSW & ACT

Katie is our NSW Event Coordinator, successfully managing all of the Digital Careers events within the state. Joining us more from an extensive background working with non-profits, Katie has organised events from fundraisers through to conferences and product launches. Having a passion to learn, she enjoys engaging with students to see what new and wonderful pieces of technology they can create. hide↑

Shannon Dooley

Shannon Dooley

Events Coordinator VIC

Shannon is our Event Coordinator looking after Digital Careers' events based in Vic & Tas. more Shannon is our Event Coordinator looking after Digital Careers' events based in Vic & Tas. Shannon has an extensive member association background across numerous industries with experience in Office Management, Administration, Communications, Event Management and most recently Project Coordinating the migration and implementation of a new Business System. She has a keen interest herself in ICT and would love to create her own app! hide↑

Steven Turner

Steven Turner

Event Coordinator QLD & NT

Steven has many years’ experience in the event industry, primarily within the ICT sector. During this time he gained more valuable experience in all areas of event management. He has worked as part of a successful team managing specific components for large international conferences and has had complete responsibility for end to end delivery of smaller corporate events such as business breakfasts and lunches, workshops and seminars. Steven is renowned for the quality of events under his responsibility and has earned high recognition within the marketplace. In the role of Event Coordinator QLD & NT, Digital Careers Steven is responsible for the successful delivery of the QLD and NT events program. hide↑

Allira Storey

North Queensland School’s Liaison Officer

Allira comes from a background of secondary teaching, policing and apprentice and trainee management/mentoring. She has more 13 years experience in the youth education sector and sees that her new role will enable her to continue to play a key part in the professional and personal development of teachers and students. This experience has given Allira strong expertise in mentoring/coaching, client relationship management, recruitment strategies and interviewing, human resources consultancy, performance management, business development, public speaking and providing quality customer service. Based in Townsville (servicing the North Queensland region from Rockhampton to Cairns) Allira is passionate about engaging with students, parents, teachers, industry and the community, and looks forward to developing strong professional relationships/networks and promoting the benefits and need of Digital Careers now and into the future. hide↑

Marissa Takahashi

Marissa Takahashi

National Business Development Manager

Marissa is our National Business Development Manager responsible for building key stakeholder relationships in particular more with Australian universities and identifying business opportunities for growth and advancement. hide↑