Tech Council chief executive Kate Pounder will step down from her role at the end of next week, marking the end of a chapter for the peak industry body representing Australia’s tech sector.
In a brief statement on Monday, the group said Ms Pounder had resigned in order to remain in Canberra to deal with a family health related matter.
Ms Pounder has been in the role for almost three years, having joined the Tech Council as founding CEO when it first began in mid-2021.
Since then, Ms Pounder has boosted awareness of technology-related issues amongst policymakers and successfully secured government support for a range of proposals.
This includes the target of having 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030, which was adopted by the Labor party ahead of the 2022 federal election, and collaborative work with the government on a digital internship program.
The government also adopted the industry body’s call for a new ‘Skills in Demand’ visa – intended to attract highly skilled talent from across the globe – making it easier for those earning an income of $135,000 or more to live and work in Australia.
Ms Pounder will officially step down on February 2, with head of public policy Ryan Black to act as CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
Tech Council Board Chair Robyn Denholm thanked Ms Pounder for her work raising the profile of the tech sector in Australia.
“Over the last three years, Kate has worked tirelessly to ensure that the tech sector has a strong and unified voice on the national stage,” Ms Denholm said.
“She has built a formidable team, bringing together policy, advocacy and building a large and diverse member ecosystem.
“The Board thanks Kate for her contribution and looks forward to her remaining a close ally of the sector.”
Ms Pounder said she was felt “so incredibly privileged” to have led the organisation since its inception.
“I hope to continue to champion the industry in a personal capacity and look forward to watching the organisation grow and continue its impact by elevating and championing our incredible tech sector,” Ms Pounder said.
Reacting to the news, Industry and Science minister Ed Husic thanked Ms Pounder for her role in championing the tech sector and acknowledged her influence on government policy.
“Over her three years as CEO, Kate’s leadership helped elevate and illuminate the vital role our tech sector plays in our economy and society,” Mr Husic said.
“Her ability to unify the sector around common goals was best demonstrated by her influential role in our government’s decision to set a target of 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030.
“I wish her and her family well for the future.”
A farewell event with TCA members will be held in late January.
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