Empowering Women in Tech: A Recap of the Women in City Digital Program Launch

The inaugural launch of ‘Women in City Digital’, an initiative dedicated to empowering women working in digital and technology roles within the Gold Coast City Council, was held on Wednesday, 24th January 2024, at HOTA (Home of the Arts). The event brought together 150 women employed by the City of Gold Coast, fostering a community focused on building knowledge, networks, and opportunities.

The program was launched by the City of Gold Coast Chief Information Officer, Anthony Stinziani, a long-time supporter of women in technology. Stinziani’s opening remarks set an inspiring tone for the event, highlighting the city’s commitment to advancing gender diversity in the tech industry.

Following Stinziani, Cath Drinkwater, a key figure behind the initiative, shared her personal journey and motivations for championing this program. Her story underscored the importance of such a platform for women’s growth and empowerment in the digital age.

Sharon Hunneybell, Co-founder and CEO of the Gold Coast Innovation Hub, graced the stage as the inaugural guest speaker. In her presentation titled “Innovating with Data: My Journey and Our City’s Digital Evolution”, Sharon explored the transformative role of data in today’s tech-driven world. Drawing from her extensive experience in IT project management and her roles at companies like Opmantek, Frethan Technology, and IndyForms, she provided valuable insights into the revolutionary impact of data in business and governance.

A highlight of Sharon’s presentation was the discussion of the Collaborative IoT project at Hillcrest High School, demonstrating the real-world application of data in enhancing environmental education and sustainability. This project, where students use IoT technology to monitor and improve their local water and wildlife ecosystem, served as an inspiring example of the practical benefits of data literacy and technology in our communities.

Sharon’s talk concluded with a compelling call to action, urging the attendees to utilise the open data resources provided by the City of Gold Coast. She emphasised the potential of data in enhancing transparency, improving neighbourhoods, and fostering digital literacy across the city.

The Women in City Digital program is one of several initiatives designed to celebrate and elevate women in technology within the Gold Coast region. The event not only celebrated the launch of an important initiative but also marked the beginning of a journey towards greater inclusion and innovation in the digital landscape. We look forward to supporting the City of Gold Coast and the Women in City Digital initiative as it takes shape in 2024.

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