CONSENSUS AWARDS – SINCE 1999

Consensus IT Writers Awards

Nomination & Release Forms

IT Writers Nomination | Editors Nomination | Website Nomination | Editor Release Form | Kester Nomination


2018 AWARDS – NOMINATIONS OPEN

Nominations for the 2018 IT Writers Awards are open until Friday 23rd November and will be presented in mid-December. If you would like further details, please send us an email.

2017 AWARDS ANNOUNCED

The 2017 IT Writers Awards were announced by Julian Day Founder & CEO of Consensus and presented by IT Veteran Graeme Philipson at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Sydney on the evening of Monday 18th December. The Awards attracted 43 Entries from 13 journalists and editors.

2017_ITW_Winners

Graeme Philipson (Centre) with the Consensus IT Writers and Consensus IT Professional Awards Winners

If you would like to receive information about the Awards Presentations, please send us an email.

2017 WINNERS & FINALISTS

Best Feature
George Nott Journalist at IDG Communications Finalist
Jane Nicholls Editor & Journalist Finalist
Alex Zaharov-Reutt Technology Editor at iTWire.com Winner
Leon Spencer Head of News at ARN Finalist
Best Investigative
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Angus Kidman Editor-in-Chief at finder.com.au Finalist
Samira Sarraf Journalist at IDG Communications Finalist
Ros Page Technology Journalist, CHOICE Winner
Best News
Angus Kidman Editor-in-Chief at finder.com.au Finalist
Leon Spencer Head of News at ARN Finalist
Samira Sarraf Journalist at IDG Communications Finalist
Denham Sadler Freelance Writer Winner
Best Technical
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
George Nott Journalist at IDG Communications Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Australia Winner
Ros Page Technology Journalist, CHOICE Finalist
Most Controversial
George Nott Journalist at IDG Communications Winner
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Angus Kidman Editor-in-Chief at finder.com.au Finalist
James Riley Editorial Director at InnovationAus.com Finalist
Most Entertaining
Alex Zaharov-Reutt Technology Editor at iTWire.com Finalist
Angus Kidman Editor-in-Chief at finder.com.au Winner
James Riley Editorial Director at InnovationAus.com Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Australia Finalist
Best Editor
Byron Connolly Editor-in-Chief, CIO Australia Winner
Jonatahn Nally Editor, Technology Decisions Finalist
Best Website
http://www.arnnet.com.au/ Leon Spencer Finalist
http://www.innovationaus.com/a>
James Riley Winner

2016 CONSENSUS IT WRITERS AWARDS

The 2016 IT Writers Awards were presented by The Hon. Ed Husic MP, Member for Chifley, Shadow Spokesperson for Digital Innovation and Startups on the evening of Tuesday 14th June at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel in Sydney.

2016 WINNERS & FINALISTS

Best Feature
Liz Tay Business & Technology Journalist Finalist
Daniel Paperny Journalist, Benchmark Media Finalist
David Braue Technology Journalist Winner
James Riley Editor, Innovationaus Finalist
Best Investigative
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Finalist
Sholto Macpherson Software expert & commentator Finalist
Ros Page Journalist, Choice Winner
Best News
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Patrick Avenell News Editor, APN Educational Media Finalist
Jeremy Kirk Managing Editor, Information Security Media Group Winner
Best Technical
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Finalist
Jeremy Kirk Managing Editor, Information Security Media Group Winner
Ros Page Technology Journalist, CHOICE Finalist
Most Controversial
James Riley Editor, Innovationaus Winner
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Finalist
Most Entertaining
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Patrick Avenell News Editor, APN Educational Media Winner
James Riley Editor, Innovationaus Finalist
Best Editor
James Henderson Editor, ARN Winner
Jonatahn Nally Editor, Technology Decisions Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Finalist
Best Website
http://www.mansam.com.au/ Sam Leon Finalist
www.itwire.com Stan Beer Finalist
www.innovationaus.com James Riley Finalist
www.computerworld.com.au Rohan Pearce Winner
www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology Supratim Adhikari Finalist
www.itnews.com.au Allie Coyne Finalist

PREVIOUS AWARDS

The Winners of the 2013 Consensus IT Writers Awards were announced on the evening of 25th March and presented by Mr. Paul Fletcher MP, Member for Bradfield. See a list of Finalists and Winners below. The Awards recognise our IT Writers, Journalists and Editors. In addition to these Awards, the “Kester” Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to veteran journalist and editor Merri Mack.

The Best Author Award was presented to Prof. San Murugeson for his book “Harnessing Green IT – Principles & Prectices“. The Best Editor Award was not run this year due to inadequate nominations. The Awards were supported by the Australian Computer Society, Australian Consensus Technology Association, Cliftons, Hosted Continuity and Actuate.

If you are interested in the Awards or would like further information, please send us an email

2010 Kester

Paul Fletcher MP (r) and Graeme Philipson (l) present Stuart Corner with the 2010 “Kester”

2013 CONSENSUS IT WRITERS AWARDS – RESULTS

Best Feature
Luke Hopewell Editor at Gizmodo Australia Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, Technology and Games at Australian Broadcasting Corporation Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Australia at IDG Communications Winner
Best Investigative
David Braue Technology Journalist Winner
Nick Ross Editor, Technology and Games at Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Finalist
Ros Page Journalist, Choice Finalist
Best News
Caitlin Fitzsimmons Social media editor, BRW at Fairfax Media Finalist
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Jeremy Kirk Sydney correspondent at IDG News Service Winner
Luke Hopewell Editor at Gizmodo Australia Finalist
Best Technical
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, Technology and Games at Australian Broadcasting Corporation Winner
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Australia at IDG Communications Finalist
Stephanie McDonald Senior Journalist at IDG Communications Finalist
Most Controversial
Angus Kidman Editor at Lifehacker Finalist
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, Technology and Games at Australian Broadcasting Corporation Winner
Most Entertaining
David Braue Technology Journalist Finalist
Patrick Avenell Editor at Current.com.au Finalist
Rohan Pearce Editor, Computerworld Australia at IDG Communications Winner
Best Website
www.current.com.au Patrick Avenell Finalist
www.gizmodo.com.au Luke Hopewell Finalist
www.kotaku.com.au Danny Allen Finalist
www.lifehacker.com.au Angus Kidman Winner

Categories for the IT Writers Awards are as follows:

– Most Controversial Writer
– Most Entertaining Writer
– Best Feature Writer
– Best News Writer
– Best Investigative Writer
– Best Technical Writer
– Best Website
– Best Editor
– Best Author

Only one entry per category is allowed per person. The article or publication must have been written or produced by an Australian writer. In addition, in 2001 the judges inaugurated the annual Kester Cranswick Life Time Achievement Award, in recognition of his high standard of journalism and esteem that he was held by his peers.

If you would like to receive an Entry Form, please send us an email.

2011 CONSENSUS IT WRITERS AWARDS – RESULTS

The Consensus IT Writers Awards were presented at Dimension Data in Sydney on Friday 21st October. They honour the quality of Information Technology journalism and writing in IT and industry publications. They are supported and endorsed by the Australian Computer Society. They are run alongside the 2011 Consensus IT Professional Awards.

ITW_ITP 2011 Group
Some Winners of the 2011 IT Professional & IT Writers Awards with (l) Phil Argy, Past President ACS

The “Kester” Lifetime Achievment Award was presented to Stuart Kennedy, Editor Australian IT, for his contribution to the industry as a jouralist and editor for more than 25 years. Kester Award

The Awards are structured to reflect both the individual excellence of journalists and writers, and also reward consistency in publication values for titles.

OUR THANKS TO THE JUDGES WHO PARTICIPATED IN 2011:

Abbass Ghanbary, Ashley Maher, Bill Kirkpatrick, Helen Hasan, Jim Foskett, Keith Sherringham, Mark Hollands, Nick Canny, Peter Yardley, Preetha Shekar, Simon Malian and Stuart Cumming. Click here for a profile of the 2010 Judges

WINNERS & FINALISTS OF THE 2011 IT WRITERS AWARDS

Click on Winner in the table below to read the winning articles

Best Feature
Georgina Swan Editor, CIO Australia Winner
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games Finalist
Best Investigative
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Winner
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games
Finalist
Elly Hart Night Editor, Gizmodo Australia Finalist
Best News
Simon Sharwood Journalist, JargonMaster Corporate Communications Finalist
Chloe Herrick Journalist, Enterprise Division, CIO, Computerworld, Techworld, CFO Winner
Best Technical
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games Finalist
Angus Kidman Editor, Lifehacker Australia Winner
Most Controversial
Jeanne-Vida Douglas Web Editor/Journalist, Fairfax Business Media Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games Winner
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Most Entertaining
Matthew Dickerson Editor, CRN Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games Finalist
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Mark Serrels Editor, Kotaku Australia Winner
Best Website
www.computerworld.com.au Computerworld Finalist
www.alluremedia.com.au Kotaku Australia Finalist
www.itwire.com.au ITWire Winner

2010 WINNERS & FINALISTS

Best Feature
Jeanne-Vida Douglas Web Editor/Journalist, Fairfax Business Media Winner
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Winner
Tim Lohman Editor, Enterprise Content at IDG Communications Finalist
Trevor Clarke Editor, Computerworld Australia Finalist
Best Investigative
Nick Ross Editor, ABC Technology and Games
Winner
Julian Bajkowski Journalist, Australian Financial Review, Columnist MIS Australia Finalist
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Best News
Julian Bajkowski Journalist, Australian Financial Review, Columnist MIS Australia Winner
James Hutchinson Journalist, Computerworld Australia Finalist
Trevor Clarke Editor, Computerworld Australia Finalist
Best Technical
James Hutchinson Journalist, Computerworld Australia Winner
Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo Senior Research Analyst, Australian Institute of Criminology (Canberra) Finalist
Jeanne-Vida Douglas Web Editor/Journalist, Fairfax Business Media Finalist
Most Controversial
Jeanne-Vida Douglas Web Editor/Journalist, Fairfax Business Media Winner
Dan Staines Freelance Writer and content manager at website http://www.eegra.com Finalist
David Braue Contributor at Mediaconnect and Australian Macworld, Columnist and Contributor at ZDNet Australia Finalist
Most Entertaining
Matthew Dickerson ‘From the Coalface’ column published in CRN Winner
Peter Farquhar Technology Editor at News Digital Media Finalist
Tim Lohman Editor, Enterprise Content at IDG Communications Finalist
Best Author
Bhuvan Unhelkar Author, Consultant & Trainer, MethodScience Winner
Best Editor
Georgina Swan Editor, CIO magazine and http://www.cio.com.au Winner
Peter Farquhar Technology Editor at News Digital Media Finalist
Nick Ross Editor, The Overclocker Finalist
Trevor Clarke Editor, Computerworld Australia Finalist
Best Website
www.pcworld.com.au PC World Australia Website Winner
www.arnnet.com.au ARN Website Finalist
www.news.com.au/technology News Technology Website Finalist

The Israel Trade Commission also announced the Winner of their professional trip to Israel including flights, accommodation and a full professional program. This was won by Julian Bajkowski of the Australian Financial Review. Israel is a leading player in the global IT market, with the innovations of its companies earning it international prestige in the industry. The IT industry of Israel is a leading exporter of equipment and systems for the global market, with products and services ranking among the world’s most sophisticated and advanced of their kind. The Israel Trade Commission in Sydney is happy to match the best IT writer in Australia with the best IT sector in the world.

2006 CONSENSUS IT WRITERS AWARD WINNERS

IT Writers Awards Home | 2006 Winners | Kester Award | Kester Nomination

Congratulations to the 2006 Winners and Finalists and thank you to everyone that attended the Award presentations on 6th December

Award category 2006 Results
Most Controversial  Winner – Patrick GrayFinalists
David Braue
Project management’s perilous future – ZDNet Australia
Keith Power
Race you to the top – FO Software Guide
Patrick Gray
Apple more secure than Windows NT? – ZDNet Winner
Most Entertaining Winner – Peter DockrillFinalists
Renai LeMay
Lotus Notes needs the shrinkwrap treatment – ZDNet Australia
Peter Dockrill
Chip Chat selection – APC Magazine – June-December 2006
Ian Yates
We Will Shock You! – CRN Magazine
Best Feature Winner – Lilia GuanFinalists
Lilia Guam

Broadband Backwater – CRN Magazine
Elise Kelsey
Super sleuth – TelCall and CRM Magazines
Emma Connors
Private viewing – AFR Magazine
Best News Winner – Munir KotadiaFinalists
Nadia Cameron

Big W offer upsets Toshiba – ARN print and website
Munir Kotadia
Anti-virus series of news reports – ZDNet Australia
Peter Dockrill
Chinese gamers riot online – APC Magazine
Best Investigative   Winner -Nick RossFinalists
Rosalyn Page
DRM: Rights of passage – CHOICE Computer, CHOICE Online
Nick Ross
Twice the ink at half the price? – PC Authority
David Braue
Photo printing kiosks: Got what you paid for? – CNET Australia
Best Technical Winner – Craig SimmsFinalists
Laurence Grayson

VOB’s your uncle – Australian PC World Magazine
Craig Simms
Panel Beating – Atomic: Maximum Power Computing
David Braue
Tripping the light fantastic – APC
Best Editor Winner – Byron Connolly – CRNFinalists
Elise Kelsey

TelCall and CRM Magazines
Byron Connolly
CRN
Amanda Conroy
PC World magazine
David Kidd
PC Authority
Best Web-site Winner – www.builderau.com.auFinalists
www.atomicmpc.com.au
www.computerworld.com.au
www.builderau.com.au
www.itnews.com.au
The Kester John Costello

Our special thanks to Senator Ursula Stephens for attending on behalf of the Shadow Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Dennis Furini, Chief Executive Australian Computer Society


Nomination & Release Forms

IT Writers Nomination | Editors Nomination | Website Nomination | Editor Release Form | Kester Nomination


Kester_208x12

KESTER CRANSWICK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Many people in the IT industry have fond memories of Kester Cranswick, and a number of them have kindly shared their memories.

Caricature – Kester Cranswick at work editing the Oric Owner (Oric being a small computer of the eighties) one of many publications that Kester contributed to in the UK before moving back to Australia and establishing himself in Melbourne in the early 80’s.  Thanks to Steve Marshall for providing the image of Kester at work.

REMEMBERING KESTER CRANSWICK

This is a collection of stories and memories of Kester Cranswick. We decided to put this modest tribute together as this year, 2006, it will be ten years since Kester died. A recent conversation at an industry event made me realise that already many people in the ICT industry in Australia don’t know who Kester was and it seemed a good idea to share some memories.

Our grateful thanks to Imogen Boas for taking the time and trouble to collect and collate the moving tributes above.  If you have some memories of Kester that you would like to share please email Imogen.

Who better than to start things off than Graeme Philipson, who knew Kester well and who, when he died in 1996, wrote this beautiful tribute.

I first met Kester Cranswick by telephone in 1986. I was working for a seminar company trying to think of profitable ideas for computer conferences, and as part of my work I used to read the computer press to see what was hot and what was not.

One byline kept attracting my attention, that of ‘Kester Cranswick’, writing in Computing Australia. I noticed the byline for three reasons: the name was distinctive, the articles were very well written, and – most of all – there were so many of them. This guy was so prolific that more than once I thought that Kester Cranswick must be a shared pseudonym for two or more writers.

I was in the Melbourne office of my company one afternoon, visiting from Sydney, and I heard the receptionist say to one of my colleagues that Kester Cranswick was on the phone. After my friend had finished, I got on the line and introduced myself to Kester as one of his biggest fans.

He sounded surprised. When I subsequently followed a similar career to Kester’s, I found that people rarely acknowledge, let alone praise, what is written in the computer press and any favourable comment is very welcome. Kester accepted my words with the humility which I later found to be a trademark of his.

Kester soon became editor of Computing Australia, and I became editor of its fierce competitor Computerworld. But the competition was between our bosses, the publishers. As editors we were more colleagues, going to the same press conferences and flying away on the same junkets.

It’s a big group now, but back in the late 80s there were comparatively few computer journalists in Australia. We all got to know each other pretty well, and Kester and I became friends. We were never really close, but we knew each other well enough to see each other socially. I’d look him up when I was in Melbourne, and he and Beata even made the trek up to Gosford to visit us once.

Our careers moved on. I went freelance, and Kester became, of all things, an advisor to the federal government on information technology, on the personal staff of the minister, the great John Button. Senator Button has retired from politics now, but he will be long remembered for his dynamism in promoting new technology policies, and for his good humour and good manners. And for his small stature. He was like an imp, with a personality to match.

We were all a bit surprised that Kester got this job. It seemed a bit much. After all, he was just like us, and we could hardly expect to have got such a job. So there might have been a bit of jealousy involved. But it spoke heaps for his abilities. He was flying around between Sydney and Melbourne and Canberra, busying himself with what ever it is that personal advisors to the minister do, and we still saw a lot of him. We didn’t see a lot of what he did, but it was obvious that he was doing it well.

After a couple of years Kester resigned and set up a small public relations company. He did a lot of freelance writing, which is a good way to earn a living if you can write quickly and well and if you have lots of contacts. Kester had all these things. He was also very easy to deal with.

By this time I and Alistair Gordon, who had been Kester’s boss as publisher of Computing Australia, had started our own publishing company. Kester did some writing for us, just as I had once done some for him. Always good stuff, always on time, the total professional. It’s amazing how few freelance writers are like that. And they wonder why they’re always looking for work. Kester never had to look for work.

One everning in late 1994 I was in Melbourne overnight at a loose end, and I sought Kester out. I went out to his house in Ormond, and the two of us went to his local Chinese restaurant for a meal. I can’t remember what we talked about – probably just the usual chitchat about people and events in the computer industry. The stuff of our everyday lives.

As we walked back home Kester told me about the headaches he had been having. They had got worse in the last week or so, and he was thinking of going to the doctor about them. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with cancer.

It was all through him. Brain, bone, various organs. Shit, I thought. Kester’s just like me. We’re almost twins. Young son, lovely wife, career going well. It could have been me. What a lottery. It’s just not fair.

Kester didn’t die for another year and a half. I think he had some income insurance, and he was able to stop work to treat the cancer. I only saw him once again, but I spoke to him a few times on the phone. I was impressed with his attitude towards it all, and his determination to beat it. I thought to myself that nobody gets that riddled with cancer and survives, and Kester and Beata probably realised the same thing. But that doesn’t mean you don’t try and fight it.

I am lost with admiration with the way Kester and Beata behaved between the time Kester was diagnosed and when he died. I’ve had very little experience with death. Kester was not a close friend, but I’ve never had anyone closer to me die. I’m crying as I write this. I don’t know how much Kester and Beata cried. Probably a lot. I remember one telephone conversation I had with Beata after they had both resigned themselves to the inevitable. I couldn’t believe how strong she sounded. She probably burst into tears as soon as we got off the phone. Maybe she didn’t. It doesn’t matter. I kept asking myself how Rose and I would behave in that situation.

Kester died last week. We’d all been expecting it. They’d given up the battle a couple of months earlier and were doing their best to prepare for the inevitable. I never saw Kester in those final days, and I didn’t go to funeral, though I should have. But that means that I remember Kester as he was before the cancer, not after it.

What sort of fellow was he? You only ever hear good things about people after they die, and nobody’s perfect. But I can say a few things for sure about Kester Cranswick. He was always pleasant. I never saw him lose his temper, or heard of him doing so, or heard of him having a personal disagreement with anyone. He was so even-tempered, and he never seemed to worry about things.

He was very professional, and always did his work well. I don’t think he had a single enemy, or even anyone who disliked him. He was the most modest of men, though his many achievements gave him no reason to be so. He let his actions speak for him. Comparing him to myself, I feel a little smaller. I miss him a lot, and I hate the way he was snatched away so early.

Graeme Philipson, Wollongong, 30 January 1996.

Top 

Kester had a good understanding of our industry. He always took the time to understand and was interested in small growing local companies like Tangent. At the time I always felt he was one of the few good IT journalists around and that he brought a new level of professional journalism to the Australian IT media scene.

Rick Anstey, Founder and Director, inQbator

When I remember Kester, I think of his sharp intellect which didn’t suffer fools and his trendy red glasses.

Shuna Boyd, Boyd PR

I first meet Kester when I arrived in Melbourne, July 1985. I was lost, very home sick and he was so kind to me. He had moved to Melbourne from the UK and was part of the launch team on Computing at Computer Publications.

I remember him for his good humour, wit and rapier sharp observations on business and life in general. He was devoted to his wife Beata and so excited about being a dad. We all worked and partied hard in those days but Kester was always a gentleman and knew how to have fun without going too stupid.

As the years went by we all moved into different jobs and he went to work for Senator John Button as an advisor. He was great in his job and although always very busy, he always had time for a chat with an old mate. When we learnt that he was terribly sick, it was so sad; he had so much energy and so much to do. He and Beata were very brave and faced the cancer with strength and enormous courage. I expect Kester is now in heaven getting the issue out, firmly but politely interviewing new applicants and pouring the drinks whilst wearing a fetching set of suitable tailored wings and a another pair of loud brightly coloured spectacles.

Imogen Boas, Marketer

I knew Kester when he was the Victorian desk for Computing and writing for APC. My enduring impression is one of penetrating interest and incisive intellect, accompanied by a great urbanity.

Ian Davies, Founder and Managing Director, ISYS Search Software

My abiding (painful) memory of the funeral was speaking about him, standing in front of the congregation – church packed to the rafters – and choking up a little half way through. His young son got off the front pew, picked up a glass of water, and walked over and handed the water to me. It broke all of our hearts. Anyone who wasn’t crying before this soon was. The son who would grow up and never really know his father; the man and father in a box who wouldn’t see his son grow up.

Alistair Gordon, Director, MentorVest

Kester was a fine man, good friend and the consummate professional. His life was all too brief, but filled to the brim with achievement professionally, and also with the love of his wife Beata, son Elliot and extended family. He remains a beacon for us all, and is much missed.

Beverley Head, Freelance Writer

I didn’t know Kester at the end. Our lives had taken separate courses. In fact, I didn’t know of his fate until after his death. The inevitable flashbacks on learning that nature had chosen one of life’s gentlemen recalled, somewhat oddly, his charm. I thought that odd at the time because Kester was not always charming as the victim’s of his talented pen would attest.

Kester was a gentleman with a reasoned approach to life and work and, as far as I’m aware, his personal life. I remember thinking that, when things got tough or even when he and I had disagreements, I could rely on Kester to deal with the matter with logic and reasonableness. When a Computing rabble exercised their right to down tools, it was Kester in the Melbourne office who loyally carried on under the guise of a regional editorship, thus not taking industrial action himself but joining his editor, my mother and a few other blow-ins to keep weekly production on schedule.

I remember Kester demonstrating patience too, especially in his management of his sometimes erratic Elwood offsider. It used to amuse us somewhat (and somewhat perversely) in Sydney that such a gentleman should inherit that management task. But life wasn’t fair to Kester. We didn’t know then just how unfair it would be such a short time later.

Sean Howard, Founder of Computer Publications and OzEmail

I first became aware of Kester in the high octane atmosphere surrounding the launch of the Computing Australia trade weekly in Sydney, mid 1985, where I had signed on as a know nothing neophyte to the weird worlds of journalism and big business IT. I say aware, because Kester was down in Melbourne as features editor and figured mainly as a recipient of editor John Sterlicchi’s urgings over the phone to improve the quality of the trade rag’s content, otherwise known as tirades. Kester, being far away and one of the few of us who actually knew what he was doing, seemed to shoulder more than his share of these harangues.

I first laid eyes on Kester in a column shot inside the pages of Computing Oz and was amazed at the giant pair of glasses he wore. Later I learned I was supposed to be amazed. Kester’s purpose in wearing the goofy glasses was to make sure that once spotted, he was never forgotten.

I got to know Kester in more depth than as a fellow receiver of John’s bellowings when he came up to Sydney to edit Computing where he proved to be a quick minded, hype resilient and knowledgeable editor. But whereas John managed by vocal volume; Kester went for a more scientific approach and was occasionally seen nose deep in management theory tomes. Perhaps that is where he found the inspiration for his famous “half cut” memo.

In those long gone days when you could actually smoke in the office, the computer industry ran on a four and a half day week that ended at Friday lunchtime. From midday on, most of the industry, journos included, went on a lubrication fest. And so it was one Friday a group of us lowly paid, much abused Computing “rabble” as Sean Howard describes us elsewhere in this tribute, went to a nearby bar and got in the way of half a dozen or so tequila laybacks each. I felt pretty good after that, wandered back to office and didn’t notice that my knees had turned to jelly and my brain had turned into refried beans until I was nearly at my desk, where I slumped into a noisy, half coma for several hours until the ability to walk returned and I could stumble off for cleansing ales.

Next Monday, a printed memo (remember them?) arrived on our desks, advising, very reasonably I thought, not to come back to the office when “half cut” but to go home and be a blithering drunk in private. Us rabble loved the half cut memo and spent days noisily discussing the difference between quarter, half and full cut states.

My last contact with Kester was around a decade later, when I was working on David Frith’s Computer Daily News and Kester who had been doing a spot of freelancing for CDN, was dealing with his illness through a mix of modern medicine and spiritual work. I remember chatting with him about his approach, wanting very much for everything to work out for him and being struck by his dignity under extreme pressure.

Soon after that, he was gone.

Stuart Kennedy, IT Editor, The Australian

There truly is not much you can add to Graeme’s elegant and eloquent tribute. One anecdote we could include is the only time I saw Kester flustered.

We were in California on the usual Apple jolly and, on the last night, we slept at the home of John Sterlicchi who was then living in the Valley. As John had been a journo in Australia and was not averse to the turps – we all had a splendid dinner.

Next day, somewhat hungover, we went from the Sterlicchi house in San Jose to San Francisco airport. There, Kester found o his horror, he had left his passport in the Sterlicchi household, in a jacket hanging on the back of a door.

Bit of a panic. No way that the passport could be delivered in time for the flight.

Kester managed to talk the airline into letting him on the flight without a passport and then, when we arrived in Australia, he talked immigration into letting him in without a passport which, he said, would follow by post.

Although I am a bullshit artist of the first degree – yes, better than Graeme – I could not have managed it. Kester did because he was, the precise phrase, a sweet person and people trusted him. The world is much lessened by his absence.

Gareth Powell somewhere in the UK

I can remember clearly the first and last times we met. The first was in London in spring 1985 and I had just been appointed launch-editor of Computing Australia and, fingers-crossed, I advertised in the UK for any Aussie journos, who might be considering going home. Kester answered the ad and we met in London where he has just resigned as editor of a small monthly magazine to head back home.

Kester was full of charm and confidence and was looking forward to heading to Melbourne. I knew straight away he would be a great asset to Computing and I don’t think either one of us could believe our luck. I would have at least one professional journo working for me when I arrived in Australia and Kester would have no worries on the job front when he arrived home.

Fast forward around seven years and Kester with Gareth Powell and other tech journos showed up at Chez Sterlicchi in San Jose for a little relaxation after a press trip to Silicon Valley. A good time was had by all. Kester, I think by then, was also a proud father and we swapped baby photos. Sometime after lunch the party headed off to the airport.

Some hours later I received a phone call from Kester saying he had left his jacket and passport at my house. In his inimitable way he was unworried about this development while I, who had had a few contretemps with immigration folks, was very perturbed. His reaction turned out to be the right one. He must have charmed his way on board the plane back to Sydney because he certainly didn’t get the passport I was holding until long after he arrived back in Australia. Good on ya Kester!

John Sterlicchi, Edittech International,[Founding Editor of Computing Australia]

Kester and I were not friends, rather work colleagues. We sat on opposite sides of the publishing fence and, when he took over the Editors’ role on Computing from Sterlicchi, I wasn’t confident that he would fill the shoes. How wrong I was. He brought to the role principles and professionalism. It seemed that, when all else was in turmoil (as it so frequently was on Computing), a quiet, smiling calm, pervaded him. He listened to both sides of the argument and made a considered judgement, regardless of the strength of the sales pitch.

The last time I saw Kester was a few years later, when we accidentally met one evening in a Tullamarine departure lounge, both headed for Sydney. We sat next to each other on the flight and then I gave him a lift home. I remember thinking, after I dropped him off, that I had enjoyed his company and that he had given me food for thought. Kester was always generous in spirit. He was a generous person. He was always a gentle man.

Mark Reiss, Computer Publications 1986-1988

2017_Kester
David Braue being presented with the 2017 “Kester” by Graeme Philipson, veteran IT Journalist and recipient of the 2005 “Kester”.

The 2016 Consensus Awards
Stan Beer (Middle) being presented with the 2016 “Kester” by The Hon. Ed Husic with Julian Day, Founder & CEO Consensus, Graeme Philipson, veteran IT Journalist and recipient of the 2005 “Kester”, and Beata Cranswick.

2013 Kester
Merri Mack (2nd right) being presented with the 2013 “Kester” by Paul Fletcher (3rd right) with left to right) Julian Day, Founder & CEO Consensus, Mark Gamble, Technical Director Actuate, Paul James, GM Professional Services Hosted Continuity and (far right) Graeme Philipson, veteran IT Journalist and recipient of the 2005 “Kester”.

If there is a person that you would like to nominate to receive a ‘Kester’ Lifetime Achievement Award please complete the Kester Nomination form.

KESTER AWARD RECIPIENTS

2017 David Braue
2016 Stan Beer
2013 Merri Mack
2011 Stuart Kennedy
2010 Stuart Corner
2006 John Costello
2005 Graeme Philipson
2004 Beverley Head
2003 Helen Dancer
2002 Helen Meredith
2001 Kester Cranswick
2000 David Frith – Winner of Lifetime Achievement Award prior to it being named in Kester’s honour

Kester Stuart Kennedy
Stuart Kennedy being presented with the 2011 “Kester” by The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Shadow Minister for Broadband & Communications

KESTER AWARD WINNER BIOGRAPHIES

As part of our commitment to the outstanding individuals who have contributed to IT journalism in Australia we intend to place on this page a short biography of each Kester recipient If you have interesting anecdote or can provide any background information it would be gratefully accepted.

MERRI MACK 2013

Merri Mack started writing about the computer industry for IDG in 1985. She is one of the best-known IT journalists in Australia, not just because of her abilities and longevity in the industry but because of her bubbly personality and infectious enthusiasm. But it hides a steely determination. Perhaps it comes from her running (she is a competition marathoner) – she never gives up. It seems she’s always there.

After starting out in nursing (“it wasn’t for me”) she moved into computer operations before she started as a features editor for Computerworld Australia. She had more news stories published in her first year than any of the journalists who were supposed to be covering that beat. She was headhunted to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as Public Relations Manager in 1986 until 1990, then did the same job at Fujitsu Australia until 1995.

As Manager of the IT consultancy for PR firm Macro Communications she was in charge of Bill Gates’ first media trip to Australia in 1997. She then returned to journalism, and to her old job of features editor of Computerworld, moving to PC Week in 2001 before freelancing after that publication closed down. She is best known in recent years as the long time editor of Voice & Data magazine (2004-2012). She is now a freelance writer and editor, and a contributing editor to Computer Daily News.

STUART KENNEDY 2011

Stuart Kennedy is one of Australia’s best known and experienced IT journalists. He became IT editor of The Australian in 2003, and is now its longest serving editor. The Tuesday IT section in The Australian was for many years the largest IT supplement in any newspaper in the world. It was also the first.

Before coming to IT journalism Stuart was a bus driver, hippy, university dropout and motorcyclist. His eclectic experiences qualified him as a journalist for Computing Australia, a weekly that was launched in 1985 and which totally transformed IT journalism in Australia by publishing real news and exposes. As part of the launch team, Stuart’s investigative journalism and colourful writing style was an integral part of its appeal.

Stuart then worked for The Bulletin, then Australia’s leading news magazine. His cover story “Why the Banks are Bastards” was one of the most talked about pieces it ever published, and still reverberates today. He then worked on a number of leading IT publications, including Strategic Publishing’s MIS and CFO magazines (now owned by Fairfax), David Frith’s Computer Daily News, and David Richards’ IT News. He was also a test rider and contributor to Two Wheels magazine, indulging his passion for motor bikes.

The IT industry needs writers, and characters, like Stuart Kennedy.

STUART CORNER 2010

Stuart Corner is one of Australia’s most experienced writers and commentators on telecommunications. He started his career in journalism in 1984 with IDG working on Computerworld Australia and in 1986 co-founded C&C News Pty Ltd which launched Australia’s first weekly newsletter on telecommunications and Australian Communications as a full colour monthly magazine.

In 1989 he started the weekly subscription telecoms newsletter, Exchange which is still going after 22 years, now a compilation of ExchangeDaily, and both published by iTWire. He is presently the telecommunications editor of and a director of iTWire.com a news web site dedicated to IT and telecomms news launched in September 2005.

He is also a speaker and broadcaster on telecommunications topics and has been awarded Telecommunications Journalist of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG), twice and one by the Service Providers Industry Assocation (SPAN). Stuart’s writing is underpinned by a solid technical background. He holds a Higher National Certificate in Electronic Engineering from Paddington Technical College (UK) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (technical) from the University of London.

Before migrating to Australia in 1979 he worked as an electronics engineer in the UK’s offshore oil industry and as a technical college lecturer in electronics. Before joining IDG in 1984, he was a customer engineering instructor at Fujitsu Australia (then known as Facom Australia) where he taught technicians on the maintenance of IBM compatible mainframe computers and associated communications equipment.

GRAEME PHILIPSON 2005

Graeme Philipson has been writing about computers since 1983, when he started an Apple II magazine for Gareth Powell. After a stint with analyst company Yankee Group he became editor of Computerworld in 1987 and 1988, and was founding editor of IBM mainframe magazine True Blue in 1989. He was a columnist for Computing Australia for many years before founding Strategic Publishing Group with Alistair Gordon in 1992.

Strategic’s best known title was MIS magazine, which within five years was being published in NZ, Singapore and India. The company was sold to John Fairfax in 1999, just before the tech crash. Graeme was founding editor of MIS, and editorial director of Strategic. He also started and ran Strategic’s market research division, which was sold to Gartner in 1997 before being reacquired just in time to be sold to Fairfax. He joined Gartner for two years as part of the deal.

Graeme had a weekly column in The Australian’s IT section from 1992 to 1997, and has had one in The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age since 1999. He writes extensively for UK analyst company the Butler Group, and has monthly columns about IT in Campus Review and Print21, the magazine of the Printing Industry Association. He is in demand as a conference speaker, and is writing a book on the history of software. This year he began a new market research company, Connection Research, concentrating on the Digital Home space.

BEVERLEY HEAD 2004

The 2004 Kester Cranswick lifetime achievement award goes very deservedly to Beverly Head, who has been writing about IT in Australia for longer than most of us (and she) cares to remember. Bev has always been a true professional, cutting her teeth on Fleet Street in the early 1980s before moving to Computerword Australia in 1986.

She has worked for many of the industry’s leading publications, and was for ten years the IT editor of the Australian Financial Review, where she was instrumental in turning that publication’s IT pages into the enormously respected section it is today. The IT section went daily while she was editor, and when she left in 1997 she was Features Editor for the entire publication.

In recent years Bev has worked on a freelance basis, allowing her more time to devote to her family. She continues to contribute to the AFR and other Fairfax publications, and was for some years a columnist in BRW. Rumours that she was the junket queen in the IT boom years of the mid 1990s are only partially true she did go on those trips, but she worked very hard and always wrote the best stuff afterwards.

Graeme Philipson on behalf of the judging panel

HELEN DANCER 2003

This award celebrates the life and career of a very special person in information technology journalism, one who made a tremendous impact on all who met and knew her.

Helen Dancer began writing about technology long before it became a field for the trendy. She knew the issues and wrote about them — and the people involved in them — with flair, passion, clarity and great understanding, for a wide range of titles, publishing houses and audiences.

She was always a true professional. Nobody did it better. Her words always fitted and were delivered spot on time, as many an editor will attest.

But she was much more than a proficient and gifted technological writer. She had warmth and wit and a canny commonsense that was universally engaging. She was a wonderful mentor to the many young journalists entering the trade. And she faced life with enormous courage, never allowing a long and debilitating illness to get between her and her work or her and her many friends.

All of us who knew, respected and loved Helen miss her deeply. It is most fitting that this award should be her memorial.

David Frith on behalf of the judging panel


Advertisements
Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: