Grok Academy
Introducing Grok Academy!

The ACA is joining forces with Grok Learning to form a new organisation Grok Academy. This new organisation will be your one stop shop for all your digital technologies needs. For more information go to

Schools Cyber Challenges logo

New Primary Cyber Challenge released!
Get your students working on it now!

About the ACA

Helping teachers implement the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

The University of Sydney leads the Australian Computing Academy to provide the intellectual, technical, and practical leadership needed to fulfil the ambitious goals of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

The ACA collaborates regularly with education, industry and the broader tech community to champion a deeper understanding of Digital Technologies and their applications in a range of fields, including computer science, data science and cyber security.

Academy Staff

James Curran

James Curran is the Academic Director of the Australian Computing Academy and an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Sydney.

He is Director of the National Computer Science School, the largest computer science school outreach program in Australia. Each year, over 10,000 students and teachers participate in the 5-week NCSS Challenge.

James is a co-founder of Grok Learning, an Edtech startup that aims to teach children everywhere to learn to code.

He was a writer on the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, the new national computing curriculum.

In 2014, James was named ICT Leader of the Year by the ICT Educators of NSW and the Australian Council for Computers in Education.

Karsten Schulz

Karsten Schulz is the Deputy Academic Director of the Australian Computing Academy and an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Sydney. Karsten has a PhD in Computer Science and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Software Engineering. He leads the ACA's Digital Technologies Challenges project.

For 10 years, Karsten led the research division of a large multi-national ICT company in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region and between 2013 and 2016 he led the national Digital Careers Program.

In 2010, Karsten created the Young ICT Explorers Competition and in 2014 he founded the Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge which is part of the international Bebras Challenge.

Bruce Fuda

Bruce Fuda is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy and the Project Lead on the Schools Cyber Security Challenges Project. Prior to joining the ACA, he was acting as an Associate Principal of a government college in the ACT with a population of around 1200 students in Years 11 and 12. Bruce has 13 years experience working in secondary schools, teaching all years levels from Year 6 through 12.

He was a member of the advisory group for the writing of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, and later joined the writing team during the consultation and review process.

He was the 2016 ACCE/ACS Australian ICT Educator of the Year, and founding President of Information Technology Educators ACT.

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy. After a PhD in particle physics, he moved into science education research, science communication and outreach program development.

At the University of Sydney he has run the International Science School for over a decade, and with Grok Learning developed the Great Australian Science Byte to enthuse students about data science.

Daniel Hickmott

Daniel Hickmott is an Associate Lecturer at the Australian Computing Academy, teaching the M Ed (Digital Technologies). Prior to joining the ACA, he organised professional learning programs for teachers learning how to implement the Digital Technologies curriculum, as part of the Coding & STEM 4 Schools project run at the University of Newcastle.

He has a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) degree and has also recently submitted his PhD thesis in Education, which involved researching how primary school teachers integrate computing in different subjects. He is interested in understanding how findings from educational research can be applied to improve the teaching and learning of computing.

Daniel is optimistic that every Australian student will have the opportunity to learn computing through exciting and high-quality learning experiences in the near future. He is passionate about supporting teachers who are learning the skills and knowledge they will need to provide these experiences.

Kenni Bawden

Kenni Bawden is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy. Kenni has supported a range of education initiatives, including the National Computer Science School, the NCSS Challenge, and International Science School.

He is passionate about equity of access to quality educational resources, and has run workshops in regional Australia, with a focus on supporting his home town of Mount Gambier.

Kenni is an honourary GPN tutor recognising his behind the scenes contribution to the Girls' Programming Network.

Nicola O'Brien

Nicola O'Brien is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy and is responsible for teacher engagement. Nicola works with primary school students and teachers to bring coding and computer science to schools.

She is a Girls Programming Network Tutor. She also coaches students in the Tech Girls are Superheroes competition, travelling with a winning team to pitch their ideas in Silicon Valley in 2017.

Nicola loves working with students to solve real world problems with technology.

Owen Brasier

Owen Brasier is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy and the Project Lead of the WA Teachers Can Code Project. Owen was previously the manager and technical lead of MadMaker - an outreach project that teaches STEM skills through programming and has engaged over 2,500 students and teachers.

Owen is an electrical engineer whose passion is teaching students to create and build technology to improve the world around them.

Penny Player

Penny Player is a Computing Education Specialist at the Australian Computing Academy.

She is a tutor for the Sydney Girls Programming Network, and was the Coordinator of Zero Robotics at the University of Sydney, an international competition giving high school students the chance to program robotics satellites on board the International Space Station.

Sujatha Gunja

Sujatha Gunja is a Lecturer at the Australian Computing Academy, teaching in the M Ed (Digital Technologies). A secondary computing and humanities teacher by training, she has worked with students and staff across K-12 to instil a curiosity for how technology works.

She has helped establish K-12 STEM programs including after school code and robotics clubs. In addition to her role as a teacher, Sujatha’s interests include project based learning and how technology can be meaningfully integrated into education.

Prior to teaching, Sujatha worked in the IT industry as a software developer and technical team lead. She is passionate about finding opportunities for every student to experience success in their educational journeys.

Craig Carroll

Craig Carroll is the graphic designer at the Australian Computing Academy. He has a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts).

With over 20 years experience, he has worked in magazine publishing, fashion, outdoor media, brand and marketing services at The Unviversity of Sydney, as well as a working for a number of freelance clients. He has also presented to TAFE students on the Graphic Design industry and career placement.

He has won a number of awards including the Australian Publishers Award for Best Special Edition in 2014 for EmpireTV, Best Youth and Entertainment Cover Maggies 2013, and Best General Interest title in 2009 and 2012. He was also a Finalist for The Maggies Magazine Cover of the year 2014.

Josie Spongberg

Josie Spongberg has worked in tertiary administration for more than 20 years.

As the Computing Outreach Coordinator at the Australian Computing Academy, she manages the administration of the NCSS Summer School, the NCSS Challenge and the Girls’ Programming Network.

Lisette Tennant

Lisette Tennant is the Operations Manager at the Australian Computing Academy. With a background in finance, she has held various management roles in the UK and Australia in the hospitality, media and entertainment, banking and tertiary education sectors.

She has a Graduate Certificate in Business & Technology, University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Macquarie University. She is also a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

As Operations Manager Lisette will be responsible for improving the operational systems, processes and policies, and driving initiatives that will contribute to long-term operational excellence

Lyndsey Thomas

Lyndsey Thomas is a Project Officer at the Australian Computing Academy. As an experienced GPN and NCSS Challenge tutor, Lyndsey has worked extensively with school age students over recent years. She has also worked as a web developer, creating resources for teacher professional development with ICTENSW. Lyndsey has a background in Computer Science and is particularly passionate about encouraging young girls to study IT.

Her other interests include learning to live sustainably, her tiny but mighty balcony garden, good puns, and her little dog Charlie.