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Hi <<First Name>>,

Nothing stands still in the IT Industry and, after 23 years, we have decided it is time to change our name from SAGE AU to the IT Professionals Association (ITPA). There are many reasons for the change, but the main driver is that it will allow us to expand our coverage to all IT Professionals.

The change of name is not a decision we took lightly and to make sure we don’t lose the proud history of SAGE AU, we will be highlighting the careers of some of long term members – see below for the fascinating story of Morrie Wyatt.
To mark the transition, we distributed a press release to media outlets last month and held a webinar to announce the launch of ITPA. In case you missed the webinar, a recording was made and it is now posted on Youtube where it is available for you to catch up on at your leisure.

Both links provide additional detail about the logic behind the move from SAGE-AU to ITPA and why we think it is critical to the improvement of the perception, potential and practice of IT in Australia.

Click on the membership tab from the ITPA home page for more information on membership options or go straight to the Join ITPA page and get started with this exciting new independent professionals association.

What you have in this email is the first of what will be regular ITPA newsletters with a little information on what we are doing and hopefully some valuable information that will help you in the workplace.

Welcome to the first issue of ITPA's The Download. Your input is always welcome and we'd love to hear about your trials, tribulations and successes as a professional working in the IT industry. Afterall, the sharing of knowledge is one of the greatest member services we offer.

Robert Hudson,
ITPA President

In this Edition:

  • Why it is important to make your voice count
  • Meet Morrie Wyatt – SAGE AU Member for 29 years
  • Our response to Government’s view that ‘Australia does not need fast Internet’
  • Don’t miss our Short Courses!
  • How to become a Certified Practicing Member
  • ITPA Advice Forums
By Robert Hudson
For the last 20 years I have watched the Australian Accounting industry go from strength to strength whereby the two major accounting associations – the CPA and Chartered Accountants – now have a combined membership of almost 200,000 members. All these accountants also vote and it is not surprising that the Australian Government always gets these accounting industry associations involved in new financial regulations and even in developing components of the budget. 
Meanwhile, the high level of membership has also given the accounting associations funds to prosper, develop valuable member services and to establish their brands in Asia. CPA now has over 35,000 members in Asia which has created burgeoning career opportunities in the region for Australian accountants.
Contrast this to membership in Australian IT associations. According to the Deloitte Access Economics Digital Pulse report from 2015, there are over 628,000 IT professionals in Australia but less than 30,000 – or fewer than five per cent – are members of industry associations.

Meet Morrie Wyatt
One of the very early members of SAGE AU 

I was originally advised of the existence of SAGE-AU by our business software supplier, FGH Decision Support Systems, back in SAGE-AU's infancy, claiming the 98th membership (Complete with the F prefix. ;-)

FGH is long gone, but my SAGE-AU membership continued right through to the transition over to ITPA and I will stay involved with the new organisation. It is a move I fully endorse.

An Instrument maker and repairer by trade and Sysadmin by osmosis, I am actually still with the same company I started at over 39 years ago.
With the NBN continuing to be used as a political football rather than being a technology-driven, critical nation building infrastructure project, our stance has always been that Australians require fast internet for more than just leisure.

When senior cabinet Minister, Christopher Pyne implied that Australia does not need fast internet because no-one needs to download five movies at once, he is making a gross over-simplification of how broadband can impact service deliveries such as health and education in this country in both urban and regional areas.

And, that's not to mention commercial opportunity. Why shouldn't the next Facebook or Google or Microsoft be able to emerge from a great idea in Whyalla, Geraldton or Cunnamulla? Why shouldn't our domestic innovators be able to compete on a global scale?

Pyne, the Minister who is responsible for Innovation, Science and Industry in this country, is only demonstrating in this case that he is completely out of touch with the core aspects of his portfolio. These are all areas where the broad availability of high-speed internet is critical.

Don’t miss our Short Courses!
One of the exciting new services we will be offering as the ITPA is quarterly, free, online Short Courses.

The courses will normally be five weeks in duration with four weeks of study followed by an optional assessment in the 5th week.

They will be advanced ‘500 level’ courses designed for experienced IT Pros and will be delivered by senior ITPA Members. 

So far, we are planning to run Short courses on the following:
  • ITPA VMware Masterclass
  • ITPA IP6 Masterclass
  • ITPA Pen Testing Masterclass
If you have ideas for other Short Courses, get in touch with ITPA via:

How to become a Certified Practicing Member

Another new professional development and skills verification service we will be offering under the ITPA banner is the creation of certification program for practicing members.
In a similar way to which accountants or other professionals need to continue improving and demonstrating their skill sets to retain their accreditation, ITPA will be offering a Certified Practicing Member (CPM) level of membership.
In conjunction with regularly available (and free) courses (see above item), ITPA members who successfully complete at least one accredited course and a minimum of 20 Professional Development Points (PDPs) in the previous 12 months will be granted CPM status. 
The first course, an ITPA IP6 Masterclass, is expected to be run in January. More details will be supplied soon.
The object of the CPM program is to: 
* Help you stay relevant as the IT profession evolves and as the needs of the industry change
* Showcase your achievements on the ITPA Professional Skills Register (optional)

ITPA Advice Forums

One of the most valuable services currently offered to ITPA financial members is the Advice Forums which are hosted on the MyITPA section of the ITPA website. This service offers members the opportunity to engage and share knowledge with other ITPA members through reading and contributing comments on a range of subjects that are industry-based, technical or otherwise of interest to members.

Once logged in, members can start new threads, pose questions, answer questions or just engage in conversation with their industry peers. This peer review ensures that information shared is accurate and up-to-date while the closed nature of the lists means that members can ask questions without fear of reprisal for sharing information in a public domain.
The Forums receive an average of 22 posts per day and this is expected to grow rapidly in line with an expanding number of financial members under the new ITPA umbrella.

Below are some recent topics that have been discussed:

  • Issues sending email to Google hosted addresses
  • Server 2012R2 load balancing
  • Controlling SSH Access
  • Password policies
  • Systems for keeping client credentials secure
  • Getting Security Clearances
  • ACCC inquiry into broadband speed claims
  • VMware backup solutions

Meanwhile, the highly popular public technology forum Whirlpool recently saw a correspondent initiate a thread about SAGE-AU changing its name to ITPA. A largely positive discussion ensued and many answers to contributors’ questions were provided by ITPA President, Robert Hudson.

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