Ann’s a real cham­pion

IT founder: Bur­rum woman recog­nised for early com­puter work

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - Local News - El­iza Wheeler

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.

PHOTO: ALIS­TAIR BRIGHTMAN

DIG­I­TAL CHAM­PION: Ann Mof­fatt with a 1959 printed cir­cuit next to her mod­ern day MacBook Pro.

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