Laying solid foundations:

Simon Malian, currently a third year student in the Bachelor of Information Technology scholarship program, was making his name in IT before he left school.

At 17 he had completed his Microsoft Certified System Engineer certification and become one of the youngest professional members of the Australian Computer Society. This was in addition to founding and chairing the school computer committee and achieving HSC results within the top few per cent in NSW.

Malian says "My aim has always been to use my talents for the benefit of the community", and in his case it's not just rhetoric. He set up The Malian Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides Open Source software tailored to help benevolent organisations around the world improve their efficiency. In eight months the foundation has achieved considerable success with over 450 clients spanning 55 countries and has overseas offices located in the UK, USA and Canada.

Malian's achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 2003 he was a finalist in the NSW Pearcey awards, an early-career award for IT&T pioneers, and in November 2004 was profiled as ‘IT professional of the month' by Jobnet, the largest IT&T careers website in Australia.

After completing his degree Malian is keen to continue pushing the envelope, with ideas for a venture capital company designed for young entrepreneurs and computer-based learning systems for Australian high schools. "My goals include furthering my academic study overseas and using The Malian Foundation to aid non-profit third world organisations," he says.

"I've always had good people walking beside me, mentoring me," he told Jobnet. "There have been numerous people who have given me support, confidence, advice, and inspiration. I think it's important for everyone, but particularly young people, to have mentors."

Alice Watkins

Faculty of Information Technology