Melbourne home to a new data governance institute

December 2016

Data Governance Australia (DGA) is a newly founded institute launched in October this year and Club Melbourne Ambassador Professor Graeme Samuel AC has been appointed the role of Chairman.

The shift towards a digital economy has seen a substantial spike in the volume of data being created. It is believed that there has been more data generated in the last two years than in the entire history of the human race.

Despite this, fewer than 0.5% of all data is analysed and used, missing out on a significant amount of potential benefits. The DGA are hoping to guide Victoria and wider Australia into the new era of data collection.

Data Governance Australia (DGA) was launched early in October by Victorian Minister of Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Hon. Philip Dalidakis, who is extremely supportive of the new institute.

“Not only will increasing our data capabilities and boost our growing expertise in cyber security, it will help safeguard our fast-growing digital economy and be a significant economic driver for Victoria in years to come.”

The DGA works with its members, including Woolworths, Coles, Westpac and Qantas, to commit to a Code of Practice – a set of guidelines around the collection, use and management of data in Australia. Membership has grown rapidly since its inception, with around 100 collectors of data planning to join the DGA in the near future.

But more than that, the DGA want to be seen as the champion of the responsible use of data, allowing its members to wear the DGA Trust Mark, providing consumers with confidence that DGA affiliated businesses are complying with the Code of Practice.   

Club Melbourne Ambassador, Professor Graeme Samuel, was selected for the role of Chairman, owing to his background in both law and business. He brings with him decades of experience working with governmental and other regulatory bodies, which is essential for the DGA, as it is represented at the highest levels of government.

Professor Samuel believes Australia should maintain a self-regulatory and innovative data environment and believes the DGA are the best resource to do that.

“The DGA not only want to meet the law and community expectations of today, but also focus on community expectations as they arise in the future and create the necessary protocol”, Professor Samuel said.

One of the roles of the DGA is to advocate policy to government regarding data usage. According to Professor Samuel, a body like the DGA is sorely needed in Australia as “legislation is behind the game and when something happens, governments tend to react in the extreme – they overreach.”

When asked what he will bring to the role of Chairman, Professor Samuel said his primary focus will be credibility and integrity.

“The importance of the organisation will only occur if it demonstrates integrity in relation to the Code of Practice. With integrity, credibility will develop. Maintaining the integrity of the DGA is of high priority to me.”

Data Governance Australia is an excellent opportunity to showcase Melbourne’s innovative attitude towards data.

We wish the DGA and Professor Graeme Samuel the best of luck with this new endeavour.