commentaryBeginning January 2006, lawyer Philip Argy will step
into the lead role at the Australian Computer Society.
A familiar face at the organisation, the senior partner
at Mallesons Stephen Jaques has previously served as ACS New
South Wales Branch Chair, coupled with several terms as vice
He will replace Edward Mandla, whose tenure as president was
described as "outstanding" by Argy.
"He's [Mandla] probably spent half his life in Canberra," Argy
told ZDNet Australia
in an interview. "He's definitely lifted the profile of the
While the corridors of power were being lobbied left, right
and centre, however, could it be that someone at the ACS took
their eye off the ball? Membership has fallen by 2,000 during the
past two years.
At the end of 2003, as Richard Hogg passed the baton to
Mandla, membership stood at 16,000-plus, according to the
organisation's Web site and previous press statements. As Argy
begins his two-year reign, he will inherit 14,000 members.
Does Argy have what it takes to stop the haemorrhage? To those
in doubt and to critics who plan to question the lawyer's
suitability for the job, he says he's been a programmer longer
than a lawyer, having once served as CIO at Mallesons. "I've got
my hands dirty in IT," he said.
While Mandla was bent on recruiting non-IT professionals to
the organisation, ie anyone who uses a computer, Argy plans to
take a different approach -- his main focus will be to improve
the professional standing and qualifications of IT workers.
"Thirty years in law teaches you something about
professionalism ... can I imbue [into] IT the professionalism
lawyers have been brought up with?
"Professionalism is an important risk mitigation strategy and
is critical to ensuring that Australia's ICT sector is held in
the highest regard by business, government and industry," he said
in a statement.
Argy is certainly entitled to his own views but I'm struggling
to decide which is worse -- his suggestion that our IT pros lack
professionalism or that the workers can learn something
Do you think Philip Argy is correct in saying IT
pros can learn a thing or two about professionalism from lawyers?
How do you think he will fare as president? Was Edward Mandla
effective during his tenure? Will you be renewing your
membership? Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org
or talkback below.