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Making it personal

AUSTRALIAN Information Industry Association chairman Phil Foxwell is keen to put his personal stamp on the organisation in the next year.

He has nominated three major areas of concern for the AIIA –education, government policy and the AIIA’s “own backyard”.

Already, he has initiated six-weekly meetings with State Development Minister Clive Brown, and he wishes to re-establish closer ties between the AIIA and TAFE colleges and government agencies.

“My interest is to become more involved with government agencies, to walk beside them, not behind them,” he told WA Business News.

As part of this, Mr Foxwell wants the local IT sector to present a more consistent face as a lobby group.

While not suggesting the AIIA and groups such as the Australian Computer Society and Software Engineering Australia (WA) should necessarily form a partnership, they should at least discuss how they could work better together, he said.

Gee Lightfoot, the chairwoman of the ACS, said she welcomed the idea of working with the AIIA.

She said the two groups, as well as the Australian Telecommunications Users Group, had already formed an alliance at a national level, and the WA industry would be well served by a similar union.

“Obviously if we all have the same goal, to look after the IT industry and to promote the industry and make sure we do it properly, we all need to work together,” Ms Lightfoot said.

“If we can actually agree on a common goal and work towards it, that would be good.”

Another consideration for the AIIA, Mr Foxwell suggested, was for it to pay more attention to lobbying Opposition parties in an effort to improve both its profile and ability to influence political thought.

Oppositions are often keen to support a cause, he said, and if the AIIA was able to establish a good working relationship with various non-government politicians, the organisation stood a better chance of improving its influence on policies relevant to the IT sector in the future.

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