National ICT Australia (NICTA) has appointed 35-year Australian ICT veteran Russell Yardley to its board, following the retirement of former Australian politician Theo Theophanous.
Yardley, who began developing interactive multimedia products in the mid-eighties, is a former member of the Victorian Premier's Task Force on Communications and Multimedia, The Victorian Government Technology Round Tables, and Ministerial Advisory Group for ICT.
NICTA's chairman Neville Stevens welcomed Yardley to the board.
"Highly regarded for entrepreneurship and business strategy, and with an extensive knowledge of government, Russell will be a tremendous asset to the NICTA board," he said.
"The board and I look forward to working with Russell as we focus on taking NICTA from strength to strength and building on its many years of success.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Theo Theophanous, who is retiring from the Board, for the time and energy he devoted to NICTA during his term."
Yardley is also currently chairman of Readify, Alcidion Corporation, GPY&Y Melbourne, Algonquin Investments and the iAwards. Yardley also serves on the boards of Bienalto and the Australian Information Industry Association.
Yardley's appointment comes despite NICTA axing 30 research positions at its Victoria Lab in February, as a result of Victorian government funding cuts.
NICTA CEO Hugh Durrant-Whyte told staff in late January that there would be a restructure of the Victoria Lab, resulting in a reduction of the lab by approximately half of its current headcount.
"I regret to say that there will need to be a significant number of redundancies at VRL as part of this reduction in size and the refocusing of activities. We will work with everyone concerned to make this as painless as possible," he said at the time.
The IT research agency is also on the hunt for more funding, after the Abbott government announced in this year's federal budget that NICTA will be fully funded by the private sector after the 2015-16 financial year. Telstra so far has been the only company to step in to fill the funding gap over the next five years.