NSW Education appoints new CIO


The NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) this morning confirmed it had appointed Victorian public servant Stephen Loquet as its new chief information officer.

According to a DET spokesperson, Loquet will take up the role of CIO from 31 January, following the resignation of Stephen Wilson in June 2010, who left after five years and is currently working as head of technology at Qantas. The news was broken first by the AustralianIT this morning.

The NSW DET runs one of the largest technology support departments in Australia. According to DET official figures, the average ratio of computers to students in schools is now 1 to 6 and is expected to improve as more computers will be delivered under the Digital Education Revolution project. With a budget of $442 million the NSW and Commonwealth Government will work to maximise the distribution of laptops across schools in the state by 2012.

The spokesperson said Loquet, who is currently a senior IT executive with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood, has a strong IT background and a deep understanding of the education sector.

“Stephen is well versed in the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution and has successfully implemented and managed major change program and has worked effectively with a broad range of stakeholders including school principals,” the DET spokesperson said.

Wilson oversaw some dramatic changes at the department during his time at the wheel.

For starters, in 2008 DET migrated its 1.5 million school students off its Microsoft Exchange email platform and onto Gmail, in one of the largest Gmail migrations globally so far. Wilson has also been involved in the rollout of the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution program in the state — in March he said the department was rolling out 10,000 laptops to students per week.

A lower profile rollout recently saw a massive deployment of Microsoft’s Hyper-V software to some 437 schools across NSW, in what again constituted one of the largest deployments known in Australia of the software — a rival technology to virtualisation leader VMWare.

Image credit: Rob Owen-Wahl, royalty free