Australia Chapter

The SSIT Australia Chapter is a joint chapter with the IEEE Region 10 Sections of Victoria (VIC), Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), and Western Australia (WA). It was established in Victoria in 2005, and expanded to cover other states in 2006.

Its first public event was Professor Don Schauder from Monash University speaking on “Good versus Evil: The Internet and Society”. Since then it has held a wide range of activities including technical meetings, played an active role in international conferences (Technology & Society in Asia, Singapore 2012; Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century, Boston 2014), and contributed to development of public policy through workshops on technology and public policy (2013), and remotely piloted aerial vehicles (2014). Throughout this time it has had an active committee, alongside a broad range of volunteers.

To sign up for our mailing list, please email ssit.australia (at)

This page is current as at 4 October 2017 and contains the following sections:

Coming Events

SSIT continues to develop a range of activities that explore the ethics and social implications of technology, ensuring that IEEE fulfils its mission of advancing technology FOR HUMANITY.

IEEE SSIT Australia supports the Online Hate Prevention Institute’s campaign for #DebateWithoutHate  to counter the bullying, harassment, vilification, bigotry and hate speech which is being expressed online as a result of the public debate around the same sex marriage postal survey. If want to report online content, click here.

2017 Office Holders & Committee Members
Chair: Lyria Bennett Moses, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia
Vice Chair: Kieran Tranter, Associate Professor at Griffith Law School
Secretary/Treasurer: John Lewis, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia
Communications: Tony Nolan, Risk Intelligence and Analytics Analyst, ATO
QLD Coordinator: Samuli Haataja, PhD Candidate, Griffith Law School
Consultant: Greg Adamson, President IEEE-SSIT

We are working to expand and consolidate our activities Australia-wide, and have implemented a new committee structure in 2015 to support our growth and raise our national profile. If you are interested in serving on the committee of SSIT Australia, we invite you to consider becoming a State/Territory Coordinator. Committee State/Territory Coordinator positions are currently available for the VIC, SA, ACT, NT, TAS and WA. If you wish to volunteer for any of these positions, please contact the Chair, Lyria Bennett Moses.

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Professional and Social Media presence
SSIT Australia on LinkedIn – SSIT Australia members are encouraged to join the group and participate in discussions of SSIT interest. We can always learn something from each other by sharing experiences or simply asking our colleagues for their comments or assistance.

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Recent Events

ISTAS 2017 (International Symposium on Technology and Society) will be held in SYDNEY (The Sydney Boulevard Hotel, 90 William Street) on 10-11 August. The broad theme “From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions” was addressed through a broad variety of presentations dealing with topics such as trust and technology, women empowerment, the impact of automation on work, programming robots to deceive, autonomous weapons, science diplomacy, smart cities, dangerous algorithms, identity theft and technologies for healthcare. We are grateful for technical support from the NSW section and for all of the volunteers who made this exciting event possible. During the conference dinner, NSW Section Member, Professor Katina Michael, was awarded the Society’s Brian M O’Connell Distinguished Service Award on 10 August for her role as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, a role she has held since 2012. During Professor Michael’s tenure, the size of the publication has increased dramatically, and the content has continued to develop into a rich mix of scholarly refereed content, and excellent shorter articles accessible to a general audience. The Magazine received the Society for Technical Communications Award of Distinction for Editorial Excellence in 2016. In her acceptance speech, Professor Michael thanked everyone who had contributed to the Magazine throughout its history and acknowledged the legacy of Brian M. O’Connell, a past SSIT president who made great contributions to the work of the Society who died in 2008 at the age of 47.

7 August 2017 SSIT Distinguished Lecture at UNSW. The President of SSIT, Paul Cunningham, gave a series of distinguished lectures around the time of the Conference, describing his work in mHealth4Africa and the importance of ensuring that technical interventions in resource constrained environments were ethical and collaborative. The talk emphasised the benefits of co-design, consultation and awareness of socio-cultural differences.

Sunday 16 October
Electric Vehicle Expo in Toowoomba, Qld

During the expo (Cobb+Co Museum – 10.30 to 3.30pm), our own Dr Kieran Tranter, Associate Professor at Griffith University, will present on “Where to next: driverless vehicles” at 12pm. For further information email or go to Entry to the museum is free for Toowoomba residents.


Four of our members, Greg Adamson, Kelly Hutchinson, Katina Michael and Pradeep Ray participated in ISTAS in Kerala, India. Here’s the video from Kelly’s presentation:

ISTAS 2016 Kelly Hutchinson , SSIT Australia sharing her views during the panel discussion on ‘Disruptive Technologies, Ethics and Global Development’.

4 October 2016 at Griffith University (Brisbane)
Keeping the human perspective in technology: Plant names and metadata structures

Plant names have the potential to act as a standardized metadata system for ordering and accessing all the biological information about plants that is increasingly being collected, stored, searched, retrieved and integrated through computers. This seminar argues naming according to the plant naming codes (the laws of plant naming) provides a superior metadata structure because they enable information linkages across diverse information collections and they retain the benefit of being rule based, memorable, understandable and communicable, compared to disembodied signs like Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs), LifeScience Identifiers (LSIDs) and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). The choice between “Doi: 10.11.86Z/1471-23458-142-917” or “Phaius australisF.Muell.”?

Charles Lawson is a Professor in the Griffith Law School, Griffith University. He studied science and law at The Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in biochemistry and genetics and a Bachelor of Laws. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the ANU’s Research School of Biological Sciences in molecular biology and biochemistry and a Master of Laws from Queensland University of Technology for research into gene patenting and competition. Before joining the university sector he worked as a lawyer in both the private and public sectors, including at the Australian Government Solicitor and the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation. His research focus is on intellectual property and public administration law.


15 September 2016 – Anni Rowland-Campbell on The Effect of the World Wide Web on Humans and Machines: Implications for Managing Data at UNSW in Sydney.

July 13-15, 2016 (Melbourne)
‘IEEE ‘Thinking Machines in the Physical World’ Conference’
Drawing together leaders in control systems, cybernetics and the social implications of technology research fields from around the globe, this exciting second conference in the 21st Century Norbert Wiener series is building to be the highlight for SSIT Australia in 2016. For details, visit the conference website.

17 December 2015 at 10.30 am for 11 am start (Sydney)
Workshop on Health and Engineering
(Technical Talks with EMB and CESoc/BTS/PSES)

Venue: Asia-Pacific Ubiquitous Healthcare Research Centre (APuHC), UNSW Business School, Quadrangle Building 1039 Meeting Room, UNSW Australia Kensington campus

Register by email to Stefan Mozar (s.mozar (at) for cateering purposes. This is a FREE event.

Principles of Starting Social Businesses in Developing Countries (A/Prof Mahfuz Ashraf)
An Assessment of Community Readiness for mHealth in Rural Bangladesh (Dr Fatema Khatun)
Applying “Big Data” and Business Intelligence Insights to Improving Clinical Care for Cancer (John Lewis)
Robotics for Home Healthcare (Dr Arni Ariani)

December 10, 2015 (Sydney)
“We’re all Data Now: What Big Data Could Mean for Law & Policy” (panel discussion)

For Radio National broadcast, click here.

Panelists: Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School; Annelise Riles, Jack G. Clarke Professor of Law in Far East Legal Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University; Christian Sandvig, Associate Professor of Information & Communication Studies at the University of Michigan

Moderator: Antony Funnell, ABC Radio National

When: Thursday 10 December, 17:00 – 18:30
Where: UNSW Kensington Campus, Building F8, UNSW Law Ground Floor Law Theatre, Room G04, Sydney
For further details, visit the conference website.

December 3, 2015 (Brisbane)
‘Disruptive Technologies and Our Transport Future”, hosted by the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) and Urban Research Program, Griffith University.
Australia is currently experiencing a transport revolution caused by various technologies disrupting established and accepted transport practices and industries. In this lecture Associate Professor Matthew Burke of Griffith University will highlight the challenges and opportunities in Australia’s transport future by mapping some of the current disruptive technologies in public and private transport and in logistics, and looking at where Australian transport might be in 2030 and beyond. For a copy of the brochure, click HERE
When: Thursday 3 December 2015, 5.30 – 7.00pm
Where: Room 1.23, Building S07, Graduate Centre, Griffith University South Bank Campus, Brisbane

November 2015 (Dublin) ‘ISTAS 2015’, SSIT’s flagship annual conference
The 21st IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS2015) takes place in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland on 11-12 November 2015. For detailed information, visit the conference website.

October 28, 2015 (Melbourne)
‘RFID: Past, Present and Future’, a one-day workshop
Where: RMIT
RFID technology in its current form is been around for 20 years, and it evolved from technologies developed during World War II. Since then, RFID have emerged as a promising technology in the areas of retail, logistics, finance, transportation, healthcare and security. The goal of this workshop is to highlight these achievements of RFID and explore future application and prospects of this technology. To understand the future of RFID, we present a one-day workshop having researchers and industry practitioners from Australia to review the history as well as latest challenges, innovations and opportunities in real world applications. For a copy of the brochure, click HERE

April 28 (Melbourne) and April 30, 2015 (Sydney)
‘National Security and Societal Implications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Related Technologies’ by Professor Philip Hall (University of Melbourne and SSIT member, IEEE-USA Committee on Transport & Aerospace Policy)
In this talk, Philip gave an update of considerations arising from two recent expert workshops on the topic that he organised and chaired in Melbourne (29-30 September 2014) and Washington DC (20-21 March 2015). He provided an overview of the recent UAE Government ‘Drones for Good’ Award held in Dubai and for which he was a finalist judge (5-8 February 2015), and the ICAO RPAS Symposium, which he attended in Montreal (23-25 March 2015) as a guest of the ICAO RPAS Program Office. A key thread of the talk was the legal and civil liberties challenges that have been identified.
For a copy of the brochure, click HERE
For a copy of Philip’s presentation, click HERE

April 10, 2015 (Melbourne)
‘The Future of Science & Technology Research under Defence Controls: A Forum on DTCB 2015’, a panel discussion chaired by Dr Kevin Korb (Monash University)
Where: University of Melbourne
This forum will first briefly introduce the Defence Trade Controls Act and the amendments newly proposed by Chief Scientist Ian Chubb’s Steering Group (DTCB 2015) and how they will impact science and technology research. Speakers representing a variety of viewpoints will respond, followed by a discussion open to the audience. For a copy of the brochure, click HERE

March 1, 2015 (Melbourne)
‘Future challenges in technology’ by Dr Greg Adamson (University of Melbourne and 2015 President of IEEE-SSIT)
Where: Unitarian Hall, 110 Grey St. East Melbourne
Over the past 30 years the technical community has developed an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the impact of technology on society. Global climate change, the importance of humanitarian technologies, technology for development, privacy and security, and the importance of ethics are all now accepted as part of the technology challenge. Is our job done? In this talk, Dr Adamson will speak about three important challenges for the next 20 to 50 years: the future of work; autonomous warfare; and, human-machine boundaries.
For more information visit:

February 25, 2015 (Melbourne)
‘Social Media & Cyber-Racism’ by Dr Andre Oboler (CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute).
Where: Monash University
The growth of online hate represents a major challenge to social media companies, governments and society. It ranges from cyberbullying against individuals to online attacks on segments of society: racism, homophobia, misogyny, religious intolerance and hate targeting people with disabilities. This talk will explore the problem of online hate and the technical, ethical, policy, legal and political challenges. For a copy of the brochure, click HERE.

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Past Events – 2014
September 29-30, 2014 (Melbourne)
The Eighth Workshop in the Social Implications of National Security series, with the theme Remotely Piloted Airborne Vehicles and Related Technologies, was held at The University of Melbourne, Australia, from 29-30 September, 2014 as a side event of the Carlton Connect 2014 Conference: Challenges, Partnerships, Solutions. The workshop was a joint activity of the SSIT Australia Chapter, the University of Wollongong (UOW), the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA)’s Securing Australia’s Future Project 5 (SAF05), the Carlton Connect Initiative (CCI), the IEEE-USA Committee on Transportation and Aerospace Policy (CTAP), and the Australian Defence Science Institute (DSI). IEEE-USA CTAP and SSIT have endorsed a proposal for a follow-up workshop to be held in Washington DC in mid-March 2015, involving 20 participants from Australia, the US and Europe, and hopefully a representative from ICAO.

  • The Workshop Program and Information Booklet is available HERE,
  • The Workshop Summary Report is available HERE, and
  • An Opinion article by Philip Hall, Workshop Chair, has also been published in the Technology and Society Magazine, Winter 2014 edition (pp21,31).

May 22, 2014 (Sydney)
IEEE SSIT and the Cyberspace Law and Policy Community invited members and guests to a presentation by David Vaile on BIG DATA: The Challenge to Privacy and Informed Consent’. Following David’s talk, there was a commentary from Dr Lyria Bennett Moses (Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law UNSW) and Holly Raiche (ACCAN, ISOC-AU). Download the brochure HERE.

April 9, 2014 (Melbourne)
The Melbourne Emergence meetup group invited IEEE SSIT Australia members to attend their recent monthly meeting, which was held on Thursday evening 9th April at the Central Queensland University’s Melbourne campus, 108 Lonsdale St. The guest speaker was Professor Roger Hadgraft; as part Roger’s overarching research interest in innovations in engineering education, he gave a presentation on ‘Educating Sustainability Engineers – Redesigning Curricula’. For more details, click HERE.

Professor Hadgraft is the new Deputy Dean, Learning and Teaching in the School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, and in his previous appointment was Innovation Professor in Engineering Education at RMIT University where he established the Bachelor of Sustainable Systems Engineering degree course. Prior appointments include 5 years as Director, Engineering Learning Unit at the University of Melbourne; 5 years as Director for Teaching & Learning in Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering at RMIT University; and 16 years as a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Monash University.

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Memory Lane
auschapt 2007 pic23 February 2007 – Successful planning day in Melbourne for the newly expanded Australia Chapter including members from Melbourne, as well as from Wollongong and Sydney.  Pictured from left to right are: Dixon Kwok, Gabriele Hermansson, Holly Tootell, Tim Cousins, Cam Kiley, Greg Adamson, and Lee Blyth.

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