Connecting and collaborating with digital technology

With a high fail rate in first year maths, Sally Wheldrake knew her degree in computer science would have its challenges. With this in mind Sally and some her fellow students set up a weekly study group to help each other understand the content and pass the topic.

“At the end of each week we would celebrate our study successes with a drink on my mother’s patio,” says Sally.

On graduating from a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science at Flinders Sally worked in IT roles in Government including the Department of Planning and Urban Development and later at Origin Energy, before returning to Flinders to work in 2012.

Sally is now the Associate Director, Digital Research Services, Information and Digital Services at Flinders and an elected staff representative on the Flinders University Council. She is currently implementing Inspire, Australia’s first digital doctorate technology solution for higher degree research students and their supervisors. The platform allows the student lifecycle, from candidature management to thesis and examination, to be accessed electronically.

Working closely with her team and the Research Development and Support team, Sally is also leading a significant project that will transform research project administration and ethics applications. “It is a project that will greatly increase the discoverability of Flinders researchers and their research,” says Sally.

“During my degree at Flinders I took subjects such as Biology where part of the course was undertaking research, formulating hypotheses and writing up findings,” says Sally. “Learning how to undertake research and investigation has given me essential skills throughout my career, both within my primary roles and board roles.”

Sally is also a Board Member and Deputy Chair for Community Support Incorporated (CSI). The not for profit organisation provides individual support services to almost 1,000 South Australians living with disability, autism spectrum disorder, mental illness, complex health conditions, recovery support needs, and the elderly.

Inspired to help others Sally says, “The highlight of my career has been to collaborate with others to deliver real benefits and tangible outcomes for individuals and organisations, whether that is digital technology for University researchers or support services through CSI.”

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