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League of extraordinary changemakers in the world of IT - Australia edition

The IT industry is ever-evolving. From developing avant-garde products to constantly upgrading existing technologies, the workforce in the IT sector is never complacent. Every year millions of young professionals join tech companies to make a career in one of the fastest growing industries in the world. To create an impact in the IT sector, they strive for expertise in their niche. From this pool of talented IT wizards, a few earn the right to call themselves changemakers.

While paving your own path is a must, you can never know too much about those who blazed one before you. Read on for stories from the journeys of IT changemakers from Australia to help you gain insight into how the greats made it.

Melaine Perkins

If you've ever used Canva to make a creative for Instagram or a presentation, you have Melanie Perkins to thank. One of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the world started Canva with her husband, Cliff Obrecht, in 2011. In an interview, Perkins confessed that more than 100 investors rejected her in Perth. Today, Perkins is the CEO of Canva, a graphic design platform valued at more than $1 billion. Unlike other tech unicorns, Canva is profitable and cash-positive, proving the efficacy of Perkins' business model.

She is also an active supporter of gender equality, a passion reflected in Canva's policies. She implemented policies to eliminate bias in the recruitment process. As a result, Canva obtained 41% female representation, significantly higher than the industry average of 28%.

Lloyd Ernst

Lloyd Ernst is an Australian internet pioneer and tech entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of Cloudstaff (Originally Sinocode), an outsourcing company providing solutions for real estate, accounting, development, commerce, health and many other industries. After founding the company in 2005, Ernst moved its operations to the Philippines after five years.

Even outside of Cloudstaff, he has had a long, illustrious career in the industry for over three decades, working with tech giants like Apple and Microsoft. A serial tech entrepreneur, Ernst also founded PowerUp and WebCentral. The latter was at one time Australia's largest web hosting company and winner of Microsoft's Global Hosting Power of the Year Award. WebCentral was the first company outside the US to receive this award.

With Cloudstaff, he is working relentlessly to integrate skilled professionals with different organizations. In addition, he is currently exploring the potential of AI and machine learning to transform the BPO industry and make it future-ready.

Alex Zaccaria

"Can you share your linktree?" is a phrase we have all heard countless times. And we have Alex Zaccaria to thank for that!

The co-founder of Linktree, Zaccaria, is an Australian IT wizard holding the mantel of co-founder at a number of successful companies. In 2011 Zaccaria launched his first venture, Bolster, a marketing agency geared towards building culture-driven campaigns that help brands connect with their audiences. Under his leadership, Bolster became one of the leading digital agencies in Australia.

Featured on B&T's 2017 list of 30 entrepreneurs under 30, he, his brother, and a friend created Linktree in 6 hours. Want to know more about Zaccaria? Check out his column in CEOWORLD Magazine, where, in addition to running multiple businesses, he contributes as an opinion columnist.

3 changemakers, 1 common thread

Of the 322 thousand + people working in the ICT Industry in Australia, these are just some of the extraordinary changemakers who have left a permanent mark on not just the industry, but the lives of each of the people their solutions have, and continue to, serve.

Hailing from different backgrounds and operating in different niches, what is the one factor that ties all the entrepreneurs mentioned above together? They all identified a problem their potential users were facing, were perhaps even unaware of facing due to the lack of a plausible solution, and built products aimed at helping make their lives easier.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs on IT changemakers from different parts of the world.