Ann’s a real champion
IT founder: Burrum woman recognised for early computer work
THERE were only 300 listed computers in the world when Burrum Heads resident Ann Moffat started computer programming.
Now Ms Moffatt has been recognised for her work bringing computer use and texting to the forefront of our everyday lives.
The 76-year-old has been named one of Queensland’s Community Digital Champions.
Born in England, Ms Moffatt landed her first job as a computer programmer in 1959 at Kodak.
By the time she moved to Australia in 1974, she was in charge of almost 500 employees at the FI Group in the UK.
She worked as an IT executive for AMP from 1975 to 1987, and was the only woman executive until the second-last year she was there.
Being the only woman brought its own issues to an already challenging career, as she faced rumours that she slept with three other executives to get her job.
“That’s common for men to say ‘oh yes she slept with the boss to get the job’,” Ms Moffatt said.
“One of the executives asked me not to debunk the rumour because it made him seem more interesting and people actually wanted to sit next to him during the lunch break and talk to him for the first time.
She said today there were still more men than women working in IT.
“I’ve done talks at all girl schools and the students always ask me if I’m married and have children,” she said.
“It seems to be the fear of girls that if they have a challenging career, they won’t have time for anything else, but that’s not that case.”
Ms Moffatt has four children and has been married three times.
“So clearly I’ve had no issues finding husbands,” she said.
“And I’ve travelled to every corner of the globe.”
After accomplishing so much in her life, Ms Moffatt said she was very happy to spend the rest of her time living in Burrum Heads and working with the community.
DIGITAL CHAMPION: Ann Moffatt with a 1959 printed circuit next to her modern day MacBook Pro.