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     In this Edition:
  • 457 Visas for IT Support Roles
  • Meet Phil Kernick – former SAGE-AU President
  • From the 5th Estate
  • Don’t miss our Short Courses!
  • Membership Growth: ITPA is Delivering Value
  • ITPA Advice Forums

Hi  <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the latest issue of ITPA Download, the monthly members' newsletter of our rapidly growing independent industry association. Membership is now approaching 8000 and we are continuing to convert Associate Members into full financial members at a pleasing rate.

In this issue, we have continued our series on long-term members of the organisation. We have a strong core of members like Phil Kernick who joined SAGE-AU a long time ago and have remained involved as their careers took regular tangents from their early roles as systems administrators. They have done so because being a part of a knowledge collective has delivered them value and because they believe that contributing to a community of peers has helped to advance their opportunities in the industry.

Phil, a former SAGE-AU President, was a one-man band all those years ago. A sole IT manager (read systems administrator) looking after the computers, server and network supporting 75 people in a Government funded operation. He has continued to study all through his career and now has three degrees. He is a firm believer that you should never stop learning. "Nothing you learn is wasted," he said in the profile piece and i couldn't sgree more.

He now runs a cyber security company that employs 60 people in Australia, North America and the UK, yet he still finds value in being a member of ITPA. Indeed, as you will read, he is still passionate about it.

So too should you be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities there are to share knowledge with your peers and learn from those who have trod the path before you. You could also do worse than heeding his advice on professional development through training and study, another thing we are determined to encourage and expand at ITPA.

It is the best way to stay employed and keep advancing in your careers in the face of international competition and evolving technology.

Meanwhile, we have weighed into the debate about apparent anomalies in the granting of 457 visas to overseas IT workers as locally educated graduates struggle to find work. Thankyou to all of the people who responded to my spot survey about anything suspicious you have seen in the industry.

We have managed to identify a few issues that need to be addressed and will continue to apply pressure to the appropriate regulatory and legislative authorities to ensure there is a fair playing field for local IT professionals. Keep us posted of your opinions on this matter and of any incidences of possible 457 visa abuse you come across.

Also always keep at the forefront of your involvement with ITPA that Your feedback on and contributions to the ITPA Download are always welcome.

Robert Hudson,
ITPA President

This is a press release issued by ITPA in March, 2017

March 2017, SYDNEY  – Temporary Work visa data extracted from The Commonwealth’s website shows that while the overall number of 457 visas issued over the last decade (excluding IT) has risen by just 2%, over the same period there has been a 136% rise in 457 visas issued for IT workers.
Breaking down the numbers further to specific entry level occupations such as Systems Administration and IT Support reveals that the growth rate for 457 visas granted blows out by over 480% over the decade of 2005/06 - 2015/16.
“The ITPA has no issue with local IT organisations using 457 visas if they are genuinely unable to find suitable local candidates”, said Martin Hale, Director at IT Professionals Association (ITPA), an independent industry body representing over 7000 members who work in Systems Administration and IT Support.

Long-Term Career Security in ITPA Membership
South Australian, Phil Kernick, a former SAGE-AU President and current cyber security specialist, has been a member of the organisation now known as ITPA since 1995 and he gets just as much value out of his membership today as he ever has.
For Phil, involvement with the then SAGE-AU organisation all started when he was employed as an IT Manager at CSIRO’s Adelaide-based Division of Human Nutrition.
“Back then, it was standard practice for CSIRO’s IT people to join SAGE-AU so I followed my colleagues and started attending meetings and conferences,” Kernick said. “It was a good thing to do at the time and I still get value from the membership.
“That was a long time ago now but it was an exciting time to be in IT and working at CSIRO was great. There were really smart people doing interesting research and collaborating with their scientific peers from all around the world.”
As a regular new feature of your ITPA Download newsletter, here is a somewhat irreverent look at some of the media chatter that has been happening over the last month.
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.

In most cases, they will be advanced ‘500 level’ courses designed for experienced IT Pros and will be delivered by senior ITPA Members and or third-party industry experts. 

ITPA's short courses are the foundation stones of our commitment to professional development an a pathway to Certified Practising Member status, so get keen and get registered.

So far, we are planning to run Short courses on the following:
  • IP6 Masterclass
  • Pen Testing Masterclass
If you have ideas for other Short Courses you think will be relevant to skills development for the membership, get in touch with ITPA via:
Membership Growth: ITPA is Delivering Value

Since launching in November 2016, ITPA's membership numbers have grown rapidly to now be nearly 8,000.

While most of these are Associate Members, there has also been a significant jump in the number of full-paying financial members.

As Long-term (former SAGE-AU) member, Mike Ciavarella said in a recent profile we wrote for The Download, ITPA offers tremendous value to members and led by pioneer, Jon Crust the list of Certified Practising Members continues to grow.

With the cost of an individual membership only $165 per year, you should really think about making that commitment, getting involved with ITPA and taking advantage of the knowledge sharing and credibility benefits that come with being a member.

For all information on ITPA membership levels, see the dedicated section of the website including specific information about the CPM program.

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:

  • Learning Internode - Which ISP is next ?
  • Getting Telstra to fit new phone lines
  • Updating Ubuntu Servers
  • Running Recovery Scans for GetBackData Simple
  • Windows 10 Users Losing Files During Update
  • Telstra Blocking GRE Protocol 47
  • SQL Recovery
  • Microsoft Application Verifier
There are plenty more, so if you are having any issues with the above subjects get online and see what sort of knowledge has been shared on the ITPA Members' Forums. Alternatively, if you have some expertise in any of these areas, your input would be valued.

If you are having technical issues at all, you can always start a new thread which will give you the opportunity to tap into the collective knowledge of the membership and get answers from real human beings who are living and breathing at the coal-face of the IT profession.

It is better than Google. It pays to be a member of ITPA.
Copyright © 2017 IT Professionals Association, All rights reserved.

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