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Our team

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Patrick Kidd

Chief Executive Officer
Description

Patrick Kidd commenced as CEO of the DSO in October 2020. He brings substantial experience in training, stakeholder management and digital transformation. Prior to his appointment, Patrick worked for Infosys, where he led the program team implementing a large-scale digital transformation program into Services Australia. From November 2016 to October 2020 Patrick was a Principle consultant with Deloitte with a focus on strategy, operations and change.  During this time he was seconded as the CEO for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 where he led the team which won the bid, planned and delivered these very high profile Games. Patrick brings significant expertise in training development to the DSO, following a thirty-year career in the British Army (1985-2005) and the Australian Defence Force (2005-2015).

What inspired you to join DSO?

Rarely in a working career do you get the chance to be integrally engaged with the making of history - the DSO is a key initiative which has the potential to have a real impact on the shape of Australia's evolving workforce by working with and through others who share a common purpose. To be involved at the outset with such a committed team to develop this opportunity is an absolute privilege.        

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

The opportunity to realise undiscovered value by making the most of the incredible digital capabilities which have been made so accessible to us all.  

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Lyndon Blanchard

Operations Officer
Description

Lyndon leads Operations and Project Management at the Digital Skills Organisation. Since retiring from the New Zealand Defence Force in 2005 after 20 years’ service, Lyndon contracted to various Senior Business Analysis and Project Management positions, specialising in business optimisation, process improvement and digital transformation for SMEs and large State Government agencies. Lyndon brings to the DSO invaluable expertise in training delivery, development, and strategy, coupled with a depth of leadership and management at operational and strategic levels of business.

What inspired you to join DSO?

Having been involved with competency-based training and RTOs for over two decades, I was aware that technology advancements had fallen out of step with the current VET system. Driven by the desire to make a difference, the opportunity of the DSO to shape the future digital economy of Australia was one that I grasped immediately.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

Digital skills are one of the keys to Australia developing a future proofed, robust and world leading economy. Through wide collaboration, bold initiatives, and a desire to build a better place for the generations to come, the DSO is uniquely placed to make real change. In a time of uncertainty and unclear vision of the future, the DSO has the capability to foster and support growth within the vast and generally untapped potential of the Australian digital community.

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Geethani Nair

Evaluations Manager / VET Consultant
Description

Geethani Nair has had over 25 years of a varied and exciting professional career within the Australian VET sector immersing herself in roles across Technology training, ICT Management, VET Leadership and Education. As the former Head of Technology SkillsPoint at TAFE NSW, she has provided leadership to a diverse and extremely complex program of work leading a significant transformational business program that aimed to improve student experience. Her professional experience is appropriately supported by a number of formal qualifications including a Doctor of Education, Master of Information Technology, Graduate Diploma in VET and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. 

What inspired you to join DSO?

As a VET leader with strong experience in leading work-integrated training for the digital technology sector, I support the vision and the mission of DSO to explore agile, adaptive, and industry-relevant training pathways that lead to employment outcomes while providing the industry with employees that are equipped with relevant skills for now and for the future. 

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

Digital adoption and automation are vital for the growth and sustainability of Australia’s economy particularly in this post COVID world.  The rapidly changing technological landscape in Australia will force businesses across all industries to embrace more technology and automation resulting in an exponentially growing need for ‘digital skills’ in their workforce. 

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Ross Raeburn

Chief Marketing & Partnerships Officer
Description

Ross brings 20+ years experience in leading digital marketing agencies, focused on developing intelligent and influential engagement. Having grappled first hand in identifying, developing and retaining Australian digital talent, his perspective on the DSO mission is grounded in practical experience. Championing the intrinsic connection between developing valued and proven partnerships with leaders in the sector and shaping actions and results into compelling communications.

What inspired you to join DSO?

Having experienced my own interpretation of a digital career, one that was led by skills and a direct reflection of market needs, the mission and theory resonated. Equally as a father of two young children, the opportunity to influence our future thinking, models and investment was too interesting to miss.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

This question gets harder to succinctly answer, partly as digital becomes ubiquitous and partly as the technology itself becomes more invisible, hardware and software that is woven throughout our home and work lives and in doing so, increasing the need for all to understand and appreciate what a connected digital life entails.

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Katie Thomson

Digital Marketing & Communications Manager
Description

Katie is the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at the Digital Skills Organisation. With a Bachelor of Professional Communications and Media studies, Katie has developed interdisciplinary skills in the fields of journalism, media, advertising, and public relations. With a number of additional qualifications behind her, including Project Management Fundamentals and Change Management accreditation from APMG, Katie possesses strong interpersonal and communication skills that allow her to bring an enthusiastic approach to help drive the work of the DSO. 

What inspired you to join DSO?

Driven by the DSO’s efforts to make real change, I was particularly inspired by their commitment to better the digital economy by ensuring employees are industry-ready with relevant digital skills. By working hard to ensure training is made more accessible and consumable, the DSO continues to captivate my passions as we endeavour to meet the digital workforce needs of tomorrow and provide better opportunities for all. 

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

Digital skills are reshaping how we as a nation live, work and thrive in everyday life. These skills play a vital role in helping us succeed in both our professional and personal lives as we move through a world that is fast-paced and ever-changing. By equipping people with the relevant digital skills and knowledge, we as a society are able to grow exponentially, bettering the lives of Australian’s across the nation. 

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Bec Moran

Senior Manager Of Partnerships
Description

Bec has recently joined as the Senior Manager of Partnerships and brings a proactive and energetic attitude to the DSO. Bringing her experience in managing multiple stakeholders, she has worked collaboratively with partners in both the public and private sectors and thrives off working in a fast-paced team environment. 

What inspired you to join DSO?

Bec had the privilege of working for Patrick Kidd, CEO of DSO in a previous role and welcomed the opportunity to work with him again as his leadership style is one that promotes a team culture that is highly collaborative and agile. 

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

To me, digital skills are no longer optional, they matter everywhere and are central to our businesses. To be given the opportunity to empower stakeholders that range from senior ministers in state and federal government to private and public training providers, to industry bodies, employers and the broader business community, is one that I feel very passionately about, and look forward to building momentum around this. 

Our Board

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Yasmin Allen

Chairman
Description

Yasmin Allen’s current roles include Non-Executive Director at ASX Ltd, Cochlear Ltd and Santos Ltd. Chairman of Faethm.ai and Chairman of Advance.org. She is also a director at the National Portrait Gallery and the George Institute for Global Health; a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and Acting President of The Takeovers Panel. Yasmin has previously held positions as Vice President of Deutsche Bank, Director of ANZ Investment Bank in Sydney and Associate Director with HSBC in London.

What inspired you to join the Board?

It is imperative that we, as a country, continue to invest in our talent and skills. This is our only competitive advantage. It is imperative for our economy, but also for the fulfilment of our people and the development of our Nation. This board gives their time because we are all passionate about education, talent and the future of our country.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

Digital is everything. It is the future of work and society. We need to be able to understand its impact and moderate and ‘control’ its impact to protect and bring all of society along, as we benefit from the great advantages digital will inevitably bring.

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David Masters

Director and Chair of Industry Engagement Committee
Description

David Masters is the Corporate Affairs Director at Microsoft Australia and is currently the Chair of the Information and Communication Technology Industry Reference Committee. David has previously held the position of ICT Practice Director for public affairs consultancy Parker & Partners and has worked for the Australian Government as a senior public servant/adviser on a range of ICT policy issues. Microsoft has recently partnered with TAFEs across Australia to deliver a traineeship program that combines Microsoft Azure Certifications with a Certificate IV in Information Technology.

What inspired you to join the Board?

The DSO represents an incredible opportunity to create new training pathways into an exciting digital career. The industry leaders that have come together have a shared passion for growing the pool of skilled Australians who can successfully build, deploy and integrate technologies across all areas of business and society.   

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

As someone whose career has been focused on technology policy for the last two decades, I’ve witnessed digital technologies become deeply embedded into all sectors of the Australian economy. I’ve been lucky to have played a role in the training system for the last four years and believe strongly that improving the nation’s digital skills will deliver the next wave of economic prosperity.

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Emma Weston

Director and Chair of Communications & Marketing Committee
Description

Emma is the CEO and Co-Founder of AgriDigital, an Australian start-up that uses digital technologies to digitise and de-risk agricultural supply chains. She was recognised as Female FinTech Leader of the Year in Australia in 2017, and her diverse experience includes previous directorships at Australian Digital Commerce Association and FinTech Australia, where she served as deputy chair. Emma is a noted speaker on blockchain, agtech and fintech and also serves on several industry board and committees.

What inspired you to join the Board?

Joining the board is a unique opportunity to work with a driven team of industry leaders and digital skills practitioners to build and implement digital skills training pathways. By working together we can ensure that digital skilling and transitional career support is provided nationally - irrespective of learner location, age, stage of career and background.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

When I think about digital skills I do think of specialist technical skills such as engineering, cyber, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, robotics, quantum computing, blockchain and more. But increasingly I also consider skills across digital engagement channels, product development and delivery and skills such as how we live, thrive and build careers in a digital age as crucial to personal and business success.

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Dennis Dragatogiannis

Director
Description

Dennis leads the strategy identification, development and implementation across the Global Contingent workforce for DXC, an American multinational providing B2B IT services. Dennis has more than 25 years of professional experience including leadership within IT outsourcing industry, focusing on business strategy development, efficiency improvements and performance management. He is recognised as a Subject Matter Expert in global labour program strategy and delivery, agency contracting and statement of work (services).

What inspired you to join the Board?

Digital skills go beyond specialist digital roles or working in the Information Technology sector. Digital technology is now becoming a way of life both professionally and personally. Digital technology is permeating into our lives each and every day. We need to become digitally literate in order to be a digital citizen for both life and business success.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

Digital skills go beyond specialist digital roles or working in the Information Technology sector. Digital technology is now becoming a way of life both professionally and personally. Digital technology is permeating into our lives each and every day. We need to become digitally literate in order to be a digital citizen for both life and business success.

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Alex Badenoch

Director
Description

Alex is Group Executive Transformation, Communications and People at Telstra. She has worked with the organisation since 2016 and is accountable for the transformation roadmap and orchestrating the delivery of Telstra’s key priorities with a focus on transforming the way employees work. Prior to Telstra, Alex was the Director of Human Resources, Corporate Affairs and Customer at Asciano, Australia’s largest rail and ports operator, and brings a wealth of experience dealing with a highly diversified and international workforce.

What inspired you to join the Board?

I am passionate about the development of digital skills in Australia. Technology skills shortages were already an urgent issue before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now need to boost numbers at a much faster rate to support our nation’s transforming businesses and the digitisation of our economy.  Fewer new students in Australia currently enter STEM degrees than in other OECD countries, and this needs to change. It is critical that we provide learning avenues for both new entrants to the job market and people who need to re-skill to align to areas where there is job growth. Being on the Board is a great way to play an active role in this important national agenda. 

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

I am passionate about the development of digital skills in Australia. Technology skills shortages were already an urgent issue before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now need to boost numbers at a much faster rate to support our nation’s transforming businesses and the digitisation of our economy.  Fewer new students in Australia currently enter STEM degrees than in other OECD countries, and this needs to change. It is critical that we provide learning avenues for both new entrants to the job market and people who need to re-skill to align to areas where there is job growth. Being on the Board is a great way to play an active role in this important national agenda. 

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Marc Washbourne

Director & Company Secretary
Description

Marc is a tech entrepreneur and the CEO of ReadyTech (ASX:RDY) with 20 years’ experience in building technology for education and employment. A former software developer, Marc couples a technical background with high calibre business acumen to drive the overall vision and strategy of the ReadyTech group, leading the company to an ASX listing in 2019. Marc is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is on the advisory board of Year13, a digital business that supports the transition from school for young people.

What inspired you to join the Board?

Joining the DSO board is an exceptional opportunity to influence one of the most important factors in our future prosperity and global competitiveness – the development of Australia’s digital skills and digital economy. I believe that the pace of change of technology and Industry 4.0 means we need new and industry-led thinking to support the right environment for lifelong learning and agile and responsive digital skills.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

As the CEO of a technology company, I think about the technical skills including engineering, cyber and analytics, as well as the supporting roles of product and project management. More widely, I believe in the future almost every company will need to be a technology led company, and that means a vast array of digital skills required across every facet of business.

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Tom Moore

Director
Description

Tom Moore is an Australian military veteran and CEO & Co-founder of WithYouWithMe. Tom knows first-hand what it’s like to go from leading a 60-man combat team as an Infantry Officer in Afghanistan to getting knocked back from cold calling for entry level roles. 

In 2015, he founded WithYouWithMe to fix veteran unemployment and discovered a much wider problem at play in the workforce. Tom and the team at WithYouWithMe now work to help individuals uncover what they’re good at and upskill for new digital careers. 

Since launching WithYouWithMe has helped more than 20,000 veterans and hundreds of organisations through its digital academy. In 2019 WithYouWithMe was named by Deloitte as Asia-Pacific’s Fastest Growing Tech Company winning the Deloitte Fast500 – the first time an Aussie company has won the award in more than 19 years.

What inspired you to join the Board?

I have dedicated my life to helping individuals answer the age-old question – “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Having served in the Australian military and undergone a difficult transition, I have seen first-hand the pain and difficulty in finding a new career. 

I joined the DSO Board to help Australians find new careers with purpose and to assist organisations that are helping to make this possible.  I believe that Australia can be world leading in training digital skills.

What do ‘digital skills’ mean in your life and business?

My take on ‘Digital Skills’ is that they are necessary for every individual to succeed in a modern workplace. I don’t see digital skills as only career pathways such as cyber, data analytics or software development, but also as the building blocks required to be a modern consultant or project manager. 

I believe that everyone has the capacity to learn digital skills if taught in the right way, and this could be the key to unlocking a lot of potential across society. It’s time for us to make more things and we can do that digitally.

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