Tell us about yourself?
I have over 30 years experience as a lawyer. After Articles in Melbourne I went to Canberra as Associate to Sir Anthony Mason, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and then I was in private practice in Sydney and London. I went onto work with the Sydney Olympics as the lawyer for the host television broadcaster. I landed at IBM when they acquired the consulting business of PwC and I supported that business, was General Counsel for IBM Australia and New Zealand and then led teams around Asia Pacific for over 10 years and had 3 years based in Europe.
I enjoy travel, the visual arts and the Sydney Swans!
What led you into the world of Information Governance (IG)?
Looking back, I realise as a lawyer I have always been involved in the world of information governance! I have seen IG become an increasingly important part of corporate governance, both to know what information you have and how you are using it. My time in Europe taught me the importance of data privacy and IG. When I returned to Sydney I was fortunate to be on the team co-ordinating the roll out of GDPR to the business and clients across Asia Pacific.
Tell us about your current role in IG?
I am an advocate for IG and as a member of the InfoGovANZ International Advisory Council I have the opportunity to keep up with global developments in IG, and to engage with my network and former IBM colleagues in Europe and across Asia Pacific who are working in data privacy and IG.
What pressures are organisations facing to ensure IG best practices?
There are ever increasing pressures on organisations to ensure they adopt best practices for IG. This is driven by the understanding of the value of data and the broader uses being made of information, in particular around IA. Cybersecurity incident management also requires IG best practices. These have become critical to enable data to be harnessed in a responsible way. The range of legislative protections for data subjects, not only in Europe under GDPR but across so many Asia Pacific countries, requires IG best practices to be adopted to ensure compliance is achieved. This can create positive business opportunities for organisations which embrace best practices.
What are the biggest developments you have seen in the IG?
IG has moved from a sometimes back office function, which often struggled for budget and resources, to a consistent Board agenda item. There is an increasing acceptance of the importance and breadth of IG, seen in both the exponential increase in data creation and the rapid developments in the use of AI. The importance of having the multi-disciplinary approach to the design phase of AI and ensuring strong governance is an on-going development. The costly impact of cybersecurity events and data breaches has ensured that IG has a critical place in organisational operations and management.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in IG?
My tips would be to develop your network and being involved in InfoGov ANZ is a great way to do this! Engage and embrace the wider debates around IG, this makes it a very rewarding area to be involved in. You will find yourself at the cutting edge of so many global debates. This includes tech areas, don’t avoid them if you think you are not a geek, all of us need to understand how the systems that are supporting IG are set up. There is so much to learn and no matter how long you have been engaged in IG there are always new developments.
With the rapidly evolving technologies and digital disruption, where do you see IG heading in the next few years?
IG will continue to mature as multi-discipline area. IG will be challenged to keep abreast of the rapid technological developments and regulators will be playing catch-up to address new technologies causing digital disruption. As machine learning is leveraged, IG will have a critical role to ensure there is a robust debate around ethical use of IA.
Why is it important to be a member of InfoGovANZ ?
InfoGovANZ fosters broad debate and engagement around a range of current issues. Susan Bennett and the team run a great program of events which will enhance any practitioner’s understanding of IG as well as giving a global perspective. It is a great organisation to develop a network with a broad range of experienced practitioners, who generously share their knowledge and time.