An interview with Julie Hammer - Independent auDA Board Director and Deputy Chair

Posted by Helen Hollins on 11 November 2015

Second in the series - Spotlight on a Board Director

Julie describe for our blog readers your role on the auDA board

As one of the Independent Directors, I bring a perspective that is unbiased by business or consumer interests, but that is informed by a background of senior management in a very large government bureaucracy.  My roles as Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the Strategic Risk Committee give me a strong focus on ensuring that the Board is aware of changes in our environment and identifying and responding to any strategic risks.  My significant involvement in ICANN (on a voluntary basis) provides me with an understanding of global issues that impact on .au and relationships with many global colleagues for collaboration and learning. 

Why did you decide to get involved with auDA? 

After retiring from a 28 year career in the Air Force in full-time executive and policy roles, I was interested in moving into non-executive governance in a technically related field.  In 2007 when I joined the Board, the Internet and world wide web were rapidly evolving and pervading all aspects of Australian life, and the Domain Name System, the DNS, was at the heart of the technology.

What experience do you bring to the auDA board table, from your own career?

During the latter part of my career, I was involved in a range of projects that developed the Department of Defence’s command and control systems as well as their administrative and operational computing networks.  For two years, I led the team that ran the operational management of the communications and IT systems and immediately before retiring, I served as the acting Defence CIO.  During these and other earlier roles, I was involved in the security and intelligence communities and developed an understanding of risk and threat environments.

You recently represented auDA at ICANN54 Dublin, what key topics did the global Internet community address at this meeting?

My involvement in ICANN in recent years is multi-faceted. I am on ICANN’s SSAC, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, but also involved in several of the other interest groups, so I often feel like I have multiple personalities and have a difficult time spreading myself across all the areas of interest.  At the latest ICANN Meeting, a great deal of the focus was on developing the enhanced accountability measures that need to accompany the IANA Stewardship Transition from the US Government. I am one of the two SSAC Members of the Cross Community Working Group developing the new accountability framework, and this particular ICANN Meeting scheduled a great many additional sessions, both working sessions and community consultation sessions. Happily, much progress was made at ICANN54 and that phase of the work associated with Transition appears to be moving towards consensus and conclusion. 

Drawing from the International discussions, where do you see auDA's role in the future of the Australian Internet community? 

I see auDA’s role very much as the guardian of a trusted and secure Australian namespace.  auDA’s implementation of DNSSEC in the last year is a great example of progress, as is the introduction of the Information Security Standard which all .au Registrars have committed to meet.   It is also important that auDA ensure the Internet is accessible to all Australians to both run their businesses and to access services. It is important to continue auDA’s work supporting local communities with their geographic community websites, as well as to fund research projects through the auDA Foundation and to recognise achievement through the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards, the ANZIAs.

What were the highlights you experienced domestically when you attended auDA’s 2015 auIGF in Melbourne? 

The auIGF was a great success and listening to conversations over coffee, it was clear that many attendees wanted to go to more than one concurrent session. I was personally delighted to see the large attendance – standing room only! – at the session on security in .au and cybersecurity issues.  It was clear from the interest and the large number of questions that this is a topic area that we could build on in future auIGFs. It was also fantastic to see so many of our auDA members actively engaged at the auIGF this year. All members are entitled to a free ticket for the auIGF and other events we organise throughout the year, which we encourage them to take up. For more information on taking advantage of all auDA membership benefits, you can read about them here.