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Message from the CEO

I attended the official opening of the Seeing Machines’ Guardian Monitoring Centre in Canberra yesterday.  

Seeing Machines is one of the ACT’s leading high technology companies. The company harnesses human factors science to create AI technology that observes a driver’s attention – reliably, unobtrusively, and in real time – and intervenes seamlessly when necessary to prevent a crash.

The ACT Government has awarded a funding grant to Seeing Machines under their “Future Skills for Future Job Grants Programs”. The grant has enabled Seeing Machines to relocate half of its 24/7 Guardian Centre workforce back to Australia from North America to adopt a ‘follow-the-sun’ approach to its 24/7 service provision around the world.

This striking operation, which employs many neuro-diverse staff, came about as a result of a coffee conversation I had with Gillian Smith of Seeing Machines just under a year ago.

To quote the Chief Minister, who opened the new Centre, “Rarely do you get such an alignment between social and economic objectives…we need a more diverse and inclusive economy here in the ACT…projects like this provide it.” 

The support of many other organisations, not least of all Skills Canberra, CIT, EmployForAbility (David Smith) and Job Access has seen this complex and challenging project succeed and become imbedded in the culture of the organisation. Of course, these types of changes need vision from the very top – that was delivered in spades by previous Chief Executive Ken Kroeger and being carried on by his successor Paul McGlone.  Other staff at Seeing machines such as Erica Collins and Nicole Makin deserve special recognition as well.  Special thanks also to Carolyne Queale for her insights and helping locate many of the initial cohort of job seekers. Congratulations!

Seeing Machines executives noted their delight to be working closely with the ACT Government and their partners, such as RDA ACT, to provide opportunities for people in Canberra, some with disabilities, to engage in meaningful long term sustainable employment in our region. The initiative means that the company has been able to make a significant reinvestment from the USA back into the Canberra economy. There are many lessons here for other Canberra companies struggling to find staff.

But when is all said and done, seeing some of the young people in the Centre hard at work today on their screens saving truck drivers’ lives: the pride and satisfaction on their faces.  PURE GOLD!

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