The NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) this morning confirmed it has appointed Victorian public servant Stephen Loquet as its new chief information officer.
According to DET, Loquet will take up the role of CIO from 31 January, as reported by AustralianIT. The appointment followed the resignation of Stephen Wilson in June 2010, who left after five years and is currently working as head of technology at Qantas.
The NSW DET runs one of the largest technology support departments in Australia. According to DET official figures, the average ratio of computers to students in schools is now one to six and is expected to improve as more computers are delivered under the Digital Education Revolution project. With a budget of $442 million, the NSW and Commonwealth Government will work to maximise the distribution of laptops across schools in the state by 2012.
The department said Loquet, who is currently a senior IT executive with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood, has a strong IT background and a deep understanding of the education sector.
"Stephen is well versed in the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution and has successfully implemented and managed major change program and has worked effectively with a broad range of stakeholders including school principals," it said.
Wilson oversaw some dramatic changes at the department during his time at the wheel.
For starters, in 2008 DET migrated its 1.5 million school students off its Microsoft Exchange email platform and onto Gmail in one of the largest Gmail migrations globally so far. Wilson has also been involved in the roll-out of the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution program in the state: in March he said the department was rolling out 10,000 laptops to students per week.
A lower-profile roll-out recently saw a massive deployment of Microsoft's Hyper-V software to some 437 schools across NSW, in what again constituted one of the largest deployments known in Australia of the software — a rival technology to that of virtualisation leader VMWare.