ACS elects NSW branch chair Helen McHugh as national president

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Technology professionals association the Australian Computer Society on Monday elected its NSW branch chair Helen McHugh as President for 2024-25.

Ms McHugh will be the second woman to lead the ACS in its 56-year history after winning the election held by the group’s National Congress. She succeeds Dr Nick Tate, who is stepping down as required under the ACS term limit.

The ACS recorded its biggest surplus in a decade earlier this year, netting gains of more than $7 million as revenue from its professional recognition scheme hit a record high.

The ACS is by far the best resourced of the tech sector’s not-for-profit representative organisations, but was rocked by controversies related to an ultimately botched corporate restructure in 2020.

ACS President Helen McHugh with outgoing President Nick Tate. Image: ACS

“It’s a great privilege to be elected President of ACS,” Ms McHugh said. “As the peak body for Australia’s IT profession, ACS represents both the heritage and the future of the nation’s technology sector.

“On a personal level, being elected President is a great honour given my father worked with Trevor Pearcey, one of the great pioneers of Australian computing. I’m hoping we can build on those foundations to grow ACS’ member base,” she said.

“I’m also focused on how we can deliver more value for members for the sector and boost ACS’ engagement with other groups and associations to amplify the technology sector’s positions.”

Dr Tate, who is stepping down after serving the two-year term limit, said it had been a privilege to lead the ACS and to hand the reigns to Ms McHugh.

At Monday’s vote four other positions were contested with the following members elected to roles on the National Management Committee.

  • Jeff Smith (Victoria) – Vice President (Membership Boards)
  • Roger Clarke (Canberra Branch) – National Congressional Representative
  • Tapan Dave (South Australian Branch) – National Congressional Representative
  • Rod Dilnutt (Victorian Branch) — National Congressional Representative

Ms McHugh and the new committee members will begin their new roles next year.

ACS chief executive Chris Vein, who joined from the US last year, said he would work with the new president to “transform the organisation to build its relevance to members and the wider technology community”.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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