Big Day In – Melbourne


About 450 secondary students from a wide range of Melbourne schools met at the Melbourne Convention Centre for a fabulous Big Day In event on Wednesday 30th June.


The Big Day In is a series of events across Australia run by the Australian Computer Society Foundation with an aim to encourage students to consider a future in the IT industry.


I had the pleasure of being the opening keynote presenter, challenging the teenagers to develop a range of skills that will help them prepare for a future workplace.


I shared with them how the World Economic Forum rated the top 5 skills required for thrive in the future as:

  1. Complex Problem Solving
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People Management
  5. Coordinating with others


We looked at some of the findings of the recent Australia 2030 – Prosperity through Innovation study by Innovation Science Australia stressing the importance of interpersonal, entrepreneurial & creative problem solving skills.


I shared some of the work of Marc Prensky who lists vital skills of the future into three categories Effective Thinking, Effective Action & Effective Relationships.


I challenged the teachers in the audience to set assessment tasks that help enhance the above skills and incorporate skill development in these areas into their existing curriculum.

I encouraged the students to develop the skills to brand themselves in creative ways through video, image manipulation, special effects web publication, app development and audio production. All areas led by Adobe’s amazing software tools.

Many of the students were from Victorian Department of Education Secondary Schools who all have free access to Adobe’s amazing Creative Cloud software such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Animate and more. A number of the students and teachers were not aware of the agreement between the Victorian Government and Adobe that allowed students access to this great industry standard software. I encouraged them to ask their IT Admin support to help provide access on their BYOD devices via EduSTAR. See for more information.

Students and teachers from Independent & Catholic school can also take advantage of similar agreements, but each school does need to opt-in to take advantage.


Other presenters for this event included:

  • Professor Caroline Chan, Head of School, Business IT & Logistics, RMIT
  • Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist
  • Dr Marthie Grobler, CSIRO’s Data61
  • Mark Angrish, ANZ
  • Richard White, WiseTech Global
  • Dayle Stevens, AGL Energy
  • Emma Simons, Microsoft
  • Pete Williams, Deloitte


Special thank you to John Ridge (AM) & Kerrie Bisaro from the Australian Computer Society Foundation for the work they put into organising the Big Day In events across Australia. I’m looking forward to speaking in Newcastle & Brisbane this coming week to round up a wonderful season of events for 2018.