Lateral INCITE announces tech winners

Perth-based Nuheara and technology leaders Bob Cross and Greg Riebe have taken out honorary prizes at this year’s ICT Awards, led by Lateral.

The awards, which have continued for nearly 30 years, acknowledge the contributions from Western Australian technology leaders, entrepreneurs and companies have made to the sector.

The three recipients were awarded virtually this morning.

The program’s top prize, the INCITE Achiever of the Year award, recognises an individual’s contribution to the ICT industry in WA, as well as nationally and globally.

It was awarded to Dr Cross, who has worked in the ICT sector for nearly 40 years.

Awards chairs Sue Findlay and Niamh Toohey said Dr Cross led software development teams for the implementation of some of WA’s largest ICT projects including with Datec, IBM and Computer Sciences Corporation.

He then moved into the academic world where he established key partnerships for ECU with India, China and South East Asia.

Dr Cross is currently a director of management consulting business NOW Business Mastery, having served in the role for a decade. 

Previously, he was a principal at Whiteknight Business Consulting and the chair of The Professional Association for Australia’s ICT sector.

The second honorary prize, the Dr Mal Bryce Tech Company of the Year, was awarded to hearing device company Nuheara.

The business has developed ‘smart hearing’ products including the recent IQbuds2 MAX, which has won multiple innovation awards. It has more enhanced features than Apple’s AirPods and Google’s Pixel Buds, INCITE says.

Ms Findlay said IQbuds2 sat between high-end headsets and sophisticated hearing aids that were both affordable and accessible.

The award was named after former WA Deputy Premier Mal Bryce.

Dr Bryce, who helped establish Scitech’s discovery centre, passed away at the age of 74 in early 2018.

The third ICT prize, the Pearcey Award, was presented to Greg Riebe.

It acknowledges entrepreneurs that have taken a risk made or made a significant difference to the ICT sector, INCITE says.

Mr Riebe has worked as a mentor for more than 20 years in the industry, supporting emerging technology businesses. His services included readiness, capitalisation, breakthrough growth readiness and execution.

“He is also a mentor, speaker, adviser and the recent recipient of the 2020 Angel Investor of the Year Award, at a national level,” Ms Findlay and Ms Toohey said.

Awards chief judge Celia Joordan said the panel was impressed with the achievements and contributions from WA entrepreneurs each year.

“This year is no different as we received another round of exceptional entries, with every entry going through a rigorous judging process, involving a number of industry and technology leaders carefully viewing all applications against best practice selection criteria as part of a two-staged judging process,” Ms Joordan said.

“Congratulations to all the 2020 honorary awards nominees for your peer and industry recognition and a special congratulations to the winners.”

The ICT Awards is the longest-running and premier technology event in the state, INCITE says. This year marked the 29th program.

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Rule changes, interchange, kick-in 15m, lateral move on mark, 50m penalty, holding the ball, Mason Cox

The AFL have revealed three new rules for the 2021 season, as well as a rule that will be tested in the VFL and East Coast Competition, but some fans have already hit back at the changes.

The new rules are that there will be a max interchange cap of 75 players, down from 90 per match, players returning the ball from a behind will be given 15m instead of 10 and defensive players will be penalised for moving laterally on the mark, outside a 1m “level of tolerance”. This means that the defending player will only get minimal lateral movement on the mark and if the defender moves off the mark in any direction before “play on” is called, they will give away a 50m penalty.

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Another rule will be introduced to the VFL and East Coast competition will see three players from each team stationed inside 50, including a pair in the goalsquare, at all kick-ins, boundary throw-ins and ball-ups. The umpire will need to wait until all players are in position. The penalty for not complying is a 50m penalty. reported that this rule would be monitored with an aim to introduce it to for the 2022 AFL season.

The AFL has yet to reveal the length of next season as well as the quarter lengths, which is expected to revert back to 20 minute quarters plus time on.

AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking revealed the changes with the aim of introducing more fatigue and move openness in the game after defence continued to dominate.

“The main reason (for the 75 interchange cap) is to try and open up congestion around the ground,” Hocking said. “There are a lot of high pressure game styles which have kicked in, the pressure factors have increased, and have been on the increase for five years now, so our belief is we need to put a little bit of fatigue back into the system, and to recalibrate that part of the game and hopefully have the result of opening up the game.”

On the ban on lateral movement by defensive players on the mark, Hocking added: “We think that will open up the game, it will open up the 45 (degree angle) pass option, which is the best real estate.

“We just want more time and space back in the game, the fans are looking for a better balance between defence and attack, and the game has definitely swayed towards defence.

“My role in that as custodian of it is to make sure the right things are introduced to open the game back up, and to have more Dustin Martin moments that he did in the Grand Final, where he was able to find space, and we would like to create more of those – that‘s my role and I’m committed to finding that space.”

But social media was quick to react with Collingwood forward Mason Cox leading the charge.

“Any chance we could keep the rules the same for once? It’s been hard enough learning it from scratch much less it changing every year. Being an umpire would be a nightmare. Every year there are more changes to AFL than any other sport in the world I feel like,” he tweeted.

It easy to understand the frustration with plenty of talk about the mid-year moves that saw the holding the ball interpretation become one of the hot button issues of the season.

ABC radio host Andrew Hogan tweeted: “This is seriously the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Dustin Martin has ‘Dustin Martin moments’ because he is (and get ready cos this is wild) literally Dustin Martin…”

Former Hawks and Lions player Jordan Lisle also took aim while frustrated by all four of the new rules that are coming in.

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