Warwick Calkin, UWA’s new Chief Information Officer, has spent the last decade working across the globe from Melbourne to the Netherlands, Vancouver and Saskatoon where the temperature didn’t rise over -40 degrees one winter.
He never envisaged a move to Perth, but an opportunity arose in 2014 and now the New Zealander can’t think of anywhere else he’d rather be and is ready for a new challenge.
“I’ve been working in IT in the corporate world since 1986 – when it was called data processing! I’ve had so many amazing opportunities, lived in some wonderful cities and travelled all around the world. But now I want to work for an organisation that is committed to genuine community engagement.
“I have a background in the mining industry which led me to Perth in 2014 and when the opportunity arose to work at UWA it was the perfect step for the direction I want my career to take.
“This is my first role within the tertiary sector so obviously that brings its challenges but I’m looking forward to this new environment and to feeling more connected to the WA community,” he says.
Now in his third week, Warwick’s initial attention is on getting back to basics.
“We need to ensure we’re conducting our core business well to set a solid foundation that can be built on. Once we have this we can leverage new technology and start developing more sophisticated systems.
“Our level of service can also be improved. Communication is the key; when a staff member submits a query, they want to be kept updated about how it is progressing. When changes in technology occur people want to understand the reasons for change and what’s in it for them.
“Also streamlining and simplifying how students interact with our IT systems is paramount.
“It’s easy to get caught up trying to fix the issues at hand, but you can’t leave a gap where information should be,” he says.
The self-confessed people person is looking forward to getting out and about, meeting staff from University IT as well as those around campus and our G08 partners.
“I know there’s been a lot of change recently, not only to structures but to processes as well.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to take stock of where we are and move forward. It’s a challenging place to be in but exciting,” he says.