The Pearcey Oration is presented each year by an eminent expert.

The oration is an opportunity to explore, in depth, critical contemporary issues arising from the introduction and adoption of new and advanced technologies into our society.

Please join us at the 2023 Pearcey Oration, to be held on Wednesday 6th September at Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston Street, Carlton.

The 2023 Pearcey Oration, the most significant technology oration in the nation, will be delivered by 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons AO. Michelle is CEO and Founder of Silicon Quantum Computing and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology in Sydney.

She is internationally renowned for creating the field of atomic electronics and for pioneering new technologies to build computing devices in silicon at the atomic scale. Australia is a global leader in quantum computing and Michelle’s team is leading the global race to develop a quantum computer in silicon.

Michelle, has received over 30 globally recognised awards over her career to date. She has been recognised by the American Computer Museum as a pioneer in quantum computing, awarded the US Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and was named the 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Asia-Pacific Laureate in the Physical Sciences.

In 2018 Professor Simmons was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of London. She was the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Nature Quantum Information, Chair of the American Physical Society Division of Quantum Information in 2021, and in 2022 she was awarded the Royal Society’s prestigious Bakerian Medal for seminal contributions to our understanding of nature at the atomic-scale.

The Quantum Revolution: Australia leads the world into the new age of computing – again!!

Down-scaling has been the leading paradigm of the semiconductor industry since the invention of the first transistor in 1947, producing faster and smaller computers every year. However, device miniaturization has now reached the atomic limit, set by the discreteness of matter.

With the increasing volume and complexity of data, the desire for ever increasing compute power continues to grow with intensified research in alternative approaches for creating logic devices of the future. In this talk Professor Simmons will describe the emerging field of quantum information.

During her Oration, Michelle will focus on the development of a silicon-based quantum computer using a globally unique approach pioneered in Australia to build processors atom-by-atom.

Michelle will discuss how her team is leading an international race to manufacture prototype processors in Sydney and challenge the belief that high-end, high value products cannot be manufactured from our shores.

Dr Trevor Pearcey put Australia at the very forefront of the digital computing age when he built CSIRAC in 1947-49. Now, Professor Simmons is launching Australia into the age of quantum computing with the potential to dominate this core capability for the 21st century.

We invite you to share in Michelle’s passion and vision for a future of Australia enabled and driven by advanced technology.

The Pearcey Oration, along with the presentation of the Victorian 2023 Pearcey Entrepreneur Award, will be a sit-down dinner at Melbourne Connect on Wednesday, 6th September 2023.

The Pearcey Oration is the final flagship event of the Victorian Government Digital Innovation Festival and is a flagship event of the Melbourne Connect Innovation Week.

Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award

The Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award is presented each year to a mid-career individual, or team who are outstanding for their achievements and contributions in the development and/or application of information and communications technologies. More about this important award and past recipients can be found here.

In 2023, this prestigious award will be presented by the Honourable Ben Carroll, Victorian Minister for Industry and Innovation, Manufacturing Sovereignty, Employment and Public Transport.

Ben was born and raised in Airport West where his family has lived for more than 40 years. He attended local schools, including St Christopher’s Primary and St Bernard’s College and  later attended La Trobe University to complete a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Politics. Ben then went on to complete a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws in Global Business Law.

While studying, Ben worked part-time at Kmart Airport West for 8 years and played more than 50 games for the Airport West Football Club.

Ben has over 20 years’ experience in public service – and has worked as a lawyer for the Victorian Government, an adviser to former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and has volunteered with a community legal aid service.

Ben was elected to the seat of Niddrie in 2012 and proudly serves his local community in the Victorian Parliament.

Ben was a member of the Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee which undertook a groundbreaking inquiry into tackling the supply and use of crystal methamphetamine (ICE) in Victoria.

Between 2014 and 2017, Ben served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Justice in the Andrews Labor Government. He oversaw critical announcements for Victoria Police including an unprecedented increase in resources and a suite of important new reforms introduced to the Parliament to keep people safe.

On 16 October 2017, Ben was sworn in as Minister for Industry and Employment. In this role he oversaw the implementation of Australia’s first ever local jobs first legislation and Australia’s first Social Procurement Framework.  Ben worked closely with Victorian manufacturers to develop new business opportunities, launched new programs for people facing barriers to employment, and fought for Victorian jobs and industry.

Following the November 2018 state election, Ben was appointed the Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice, Crime Prevention and Victim Support.  As a Justice Minister, Ben progressed significant reforms for victims of crime, delivered a new 10-year Youth Justice Strategic Plan, and championed new initiatives to address the root causes of crime through jobs, housing and community participation.

On the 22 June 2020, he was appointed the Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety. In these roles Ben has overseen the delivery of hundreds of new train services as Big Build infrastructure is delivered; championed Victoria’s rolling stock industry and built an $8b pipeline of hundreds of new trains, trams and buses; accelerated the transition to zero emissions transport; and progressed reform of Victoria’s bus network through the release of the Bus Plan.

The 2023 Pearcey Oration is supported by Melbourne Connect and is part of Innovation Week.

This event will be video and audio recorded, live streamed, and a professional photographer will be present on the night. All the images and recordings will be edited and used for marketing by the Pearcey Foundation and its event partners. If you do not want to be recorded or photographed please make that known to the staff at the beginning of the night. This may require reallocating your seating.

The Pearcey Foundation is a proud DIF Victoria partner and the Pearcey Oration is a feature event of the #DIF2023 Festival which runs from 23 August to 6 September.