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CEO says the brochures show outdated ideas about technology

"The Australian Computer Society should be stripped of its ability to accredit university courses and disbanded," Matt Barrie, CEO of wrote during a rant yesterday on social networking site LinkedIn.

Barrie was attacking the content of ACS Foundation brochures he received at an NICTA forum on improving technology education in Australia.

He said the ideas about IT and technology, as shown in the brochures, were outdated. For example, some brochures described IT to be about “electrical & electronic engineering: install, repair and service technology equipment”, and “network & communications: provide technical support to help people use software and hardware".

He then went on to call the ACS “morons” who are “doing more damage to the industry than help”.

ACS President Nick Tate commented on Barrie’s LinkedIn post to clarify that the brochures belong to the ACS Foundation, which is not part of the ACS.

“We are surprised to see such strong statements about the ACS based on such incorrect information,” Tate wrote.

“The great thing about the ACS is that in representing the ICT profession, we are happy to engage with and listen to those who wish to contribute to the profession.

“We think it would be useful, however, to start our discussions about meetings that the ACS has actually held and about documents that we have actually produced.”

Barrie made comments in response to Tate’s response saying that he won’t withdraw his statements on LinkedIn, and he doesn’t believe the ACS should go without some responsibility of issuing the brochures.

He also wrote that there needs to be an industry body that can represent a “modern technology industry”.

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Chaim S.


Funny... but at the very same time he has no problems with threatening bloggers with lawsuits for calling a SCAM.

Cyrus Lesser


Sounds like Mr Barrie got his facts wrong and should apologise to both the ACS and the ACS Foundation.

Pete Cooper


Matt is onto something here. The ACS is a protected species (e.g. immigration processes require tech people to engage with ACS) and frankly has missed representing large segments of the tech community that are creating more innovation, more jobs and more wealth for the nation. How many digital creative leaders, tech entrepreneur leaders or innovation directors in corporates would say ACS is their preferred industry body. It would be a short list. There is more excitement at fishburners, sydstart, the hub etc, tedx etc than in all the ACS events for the year combined. I'd like to extend an open invitation to any of the ACS leadership to engage with these groups (I am involved in some). Cheers, Pete.

Darian Alderton


..why would a person who makes their money from off shoring Australian IT jobs be upset at the only organisation that quality checks skills and qualifications in Australia....?

Darian Alderton


Hey Matt,

Why don't you hand back your Pearcey Award (ACS) and then resign as a fellow of Engineers Australia (another authority that does exactly what you accuse ACS of doing - accrediting overseas uni graduates of Australian uni's aplying for skilled migration?

Go on, if you have integrity.

While you are at it, why don't you explain that after 12 years as a "professor" your engineering graduates cannot program....

Matt...are you there?

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