Joanne Cooper, CEO of digi.me partner ID Exchange in Australia, has been announced as a New South Wales – Small Business State Finalist in the 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
The prestigious awards, which are now in their milestone 25th year, run under the tagline ‘Be inspired by the women changing business’ and Joanne won through to the State finals from over 22,000 nominations nationally.
Joanne founded ID Exchange, an Australian innovator enabling individuals to realise the value of their personal data while protecting their privacy, in 2015. She was accepted as a founding start-up – and just one of a handful of female founders – at Sydney’s prestigious Fintech incubator Stone & Chalk.
After working in the technology sector for over 30 years, she says it felt like the right time to act as an industry steward to assist the digital generation by utilising her diverse ICT expertise to ensure the future internet became safer for connected citizens.
She embarked on a UK/Australian Fintech trade delegation meeting with privacy and data focused European leaders as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation loomed, and forged a partnership with digi.me to introduce its platform into the Australian market plus look to interweave ID Exchange’s Opt In/Opt Out data access IP within its military grade secure infrastructure.
By representing enabling technology, the combined weight of ID Exchange and digi.me is currently forming key partnerships through Australia to underpin safer, private and consented data sharing, stimulating digital transformation and advancing the country’s data economy.
Joanne, the proud daughter of ICT pioneer Tom Cooper who introduced the first portable computer to Australia in 1982, has a long technological innovation history, starting her first business with her father as mentor at the age of just 18.
In 2018, in what Joanne calls ‘one of my proudest career honours’, she was named on One World Identity’s list of the Top 100 influencers in digital identity, alongside the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
She said: “My work is tireless as a widowed, single parent of a teenage daughter, but I am extremely passionate about using my skills to protect individual digital footprints and in turn the world.
“I truly believe my efforts will empower citizens, drive digital trust and Australian economic stimulus. This is my life’s work in action to protect my child’s future and evolve democracy.”
She added: “Having now participated in three Australian /UK trade delegations, numerous speaking events, media articles on data privacy and becoming an active industry stakeholder to Australia’s Treasury and ACCC regulator, we are punching high above our weight class for a small Aussie start-up.”
Digi.me founder and chairman Julian Ranger said: “Apart from her amazing experience and achievements stretching back to the 80s, what set Jo apart when we first met was her clear vision in a new technical area and her drive to make an effective change happen in market, despite numerous obstacles.
“Jo is a leader in Australia with regards to the private, secure and consented sharing of personal data and has brought together everyone from Government, regulators, Tier 1 businesses through to start ups and also the international community to propel her Opt In/Opt Out solutions, accompanied by digi.me, to the forefront of the market.”
The New South Wales final will take place on Tuesday, April 7 at the Four Seasons Sydney, and organisers promise an exclusive night of cocktails and conversation, along with winner announcements, hosted by Walkley Award-winning author, journalist and broadcaster Tracey Spicer AM.
Good luck Joanne!