DOTW Winners November 2019
2nd December 2019
Smart Devices In The Home
2nd December 2019

Following the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday December 6, a new committee of members was elected. These are their stories.

David Stonier-Gibson, President

David Stonier-Gibson made his career choice when he was 11 years old – to be an electronics engineer. That was when the transistor radio was just 3 years old. By the time he got to his degree course the transistor had led to an explosion in computer technology. In first year he did Slide Rule 101 followed by computer programming 102. In Fortran IV programming he saw the potential for programmed devices as a component in electronic equipment.

Then in 1969, before graduation, working part time and studying part time, David had the opportunity to work one on one with a minicomputer, the venerable PDP8S, the first under $20,000 computer. He then spent the next four years waiting for someone to make a computer on a chip, totally excited by the possibilities of embedding a low cost computer device in an industrial control or instrumentation system. That opportunity came in the ’70s, when David developed a sophisticated instrument for the mining industry that was literally propelled on a set of mathematical equations – all coded in the floating point package he had to write in the architecture of a virtual Hewlett Packard HP65 programmable calculator.

Fast forward 40 years and David retired from SPLat Controls, the company whose precursor he founded 34 years earlier. His whole career had been dedicated to embedded machine controls on a range of microprocessor/controller platforms, including designing several virtual architectures intended to make the controls more domain specific.

David  joined Melb PC six years ago, via (of course!) the Microcontroller SIG.

Stephen Zuluaga, Vice President

Stephen has been a science and technology enthusiast since as long as he can remember, and since joining the club two years ago has been an active volunteer in helping the club provide more value.

The best example of this is perhaps from 12 months ago, when the Science and Technology group which regularly meets on Sundays, didn’t really exist. Fast forward 12 months to now, and it’s a thriving community of young-minded makers who recently exhibited at the Monash Mini Maker Faire in Clayton in an effort to further promote our club.

Having a professional background in IT engineering, business and education, he has a lot he wants to do for the club.

One major goal he has is to see how the club can help younger people learn about technology while they are yet to be inspired into particular career paths. Having worked in an ICT industry over-represented by men, and having two daughters, he is also very aware of the importance of supporting gender balance in the technology industry. His view is simple, “there is definite benefit from having more women involved in all aspects of technology”

He is in the process of working with members to improve a number of spaces in the Moorabbin club rooms. The goal is to dramatically raise the appeal of the spaces and to help younger prospective members see the value of joining our club.

He intends to get involved in helping to bring an initiative called Coder Dojo to the club. This will provide something for parents of technology-curious children to bring their child to in order to feed their interests. This will allow the club to potentially make a significant contribution towards inspiring and enabling the next generation of technologists.

John Swale, Secretary

John completed a B. Applied Science (Hons.) (Electronics) at Melbourne University in 1966. He was appointed to the new position of Technical Systems Analyst at the State Savings Bank of Victoria as part of the team developing the Bank’s first on-line banking system.

He left the Bank in 1972 to complete his MBA full time at Melbourne University.

In 1973 he established a computer department at Addressograph Multigraph Australia and installed an IBM System 3 to run commercial systems.

Kodak was the next organisation, with roles in computing, Administration Manager for the Victorian branch and then Estimating and Planning Manager for Commercial products.

Starting at Alcoa in 1982, he spent most of his career there conducting system integrity reviews and writing Disaster Recovery Plans for commercial and process control systems. In 2007 he formed his own consulting company and provided consulting services to Alcoa until 2014.

IBM released the PC onto the Australian market in 1983 and John soon bought a basic one  At the end of 1983, a meeting of enthusiasts decided to form a PC computer club. This was formalised as the Melbourne PC User Group Inc. in 1984 and John was one of the first to sign up as a member.

He was Secretary for eight years and in 1999 was awarded an Honorary Life Membership.

A short term as Secretary occurred when some Life Members were installed as a committee to regain control.  A further time as Secretary started when a President was removed. John was subsequently re-elected and is continuing until the 2020 AGM.

SIGs have been a major part of John’s time with Melb PC and he is active in eight SIGs, assisting in six of them and being Leader of the Windows Plus SIG.

Peter McConnachie, Treasurer

Peter was born 5th March 1955.
Attended St Kevin’s College from 1963 to 1972 – best subjects were Accounting, English and Maths.
Started weekend work in dad’s catering business from 14 years old till closed in 1972.
Started full time work for G.J.Coles in 1972 in head office, and completed accounting diploma a few years later.
Also worked part time at Monash Hotel Clayton and Club Hotel Ferntree Gully, learning the Hotel trade including reception, restaurant, and financial side from 1972 to 1978.
Moved into the IT side of the Coles group in 1979 and met John Hall and Dave Botherway.
Has worked in the IT side of their various sister brands including Kmart till retirement in 2019.

Non-work activities:
Ballroom and Square Dancing from 1979 – met Trish through Square Dancing and married her in 1982.
Joined Freemasonry in 1986, Master of Lodge in 1990, Treasurer from 1992, and still have many friends from those years.
Took up Flying in 1993 at Moorabbin, but only flys a PC Sim these days – too expensive for the real thing.

Retired from fulltime work in 2019, but works part time in Trish’s Bookkeeping business.
Joined the Melb PC User Group through the Mornington Genealogy SIG and then volunteered for the Treasurer’s role (back doing what he really enjoys).
Still enjoys camping, travelling, and eventually hopes to become a Grey Nomad.

Rob Brown

Rob is a convenor of the Microcontroller Workshop and has been on committee since November 2018. One of Rob’s biggest projects during the last committee term was playing an instrumental role in the design and building of the QR code reader which is now used for signing into events at Moorabbin. Rob was also involved with a number of the improvements made to the Moorabbin premises during the last committee term. Rob enjoys travel and spent a number of months in 2019 caravanning around Australia.

Lorenzo (Aavon) Fernando

Aavon emigrated to Australia two years ago from Sri Lanka. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a diploma in Automotive Engineering. He currently works for a truck manufacturer in Bayswater. He is also secretary of his church. Aavon joined Melbourne PC User Group through the Science and Tech Projects Group. Before being elected to committee, he played an integral role in the Server Room rationalisation project that has been taking place.

Stewart Gruneklee

Prior to retirement, Stewart had extensive experience in the fire protection industry encompassing technical and management roles. His skills included design, manufacture, compliance engineering, technical support, sales, training and general management. His product focus included electronic fire detection and evacuation equipment. He also spent over 30 years in the RAAF Reserve as an avionics technician working on a variety of aircraft such as Vampire, Iroquois, Macchi, Caribou, Hercules, HS748, and Hornet.

Stewart’s main interests now include caravanning throughout Australia, having completed a very quick 5 months lap in 2017, house renovating, learning a second language, and reading.

Stewart has a long history of committee involvement with non-profit associations and community groups including Jaycees, Fire Protection Association Australia, Standards Australia and Scout groups. He has been a Melb PC committee member in 2012-13, 2015-19 an office volunteer since 2016 and Treasurer 2017-19. He is a current committee member.

Paul Hattam

Paul has been interested in computers since he was a kid. He grew up being a Windows user, being interested in new and emerging technology and gaming. Paul comes from a professional background in health care and horticulture.

Flynn Howard

Flynn is a qualified machinist who is currently completing a university degree. He joined Melbourne PC User Group through the Science and Tech Projects Group.

Harry Lewis

Born 1941, Sale, Cheshire, UK


Secondary: Manchester Grammar School; Wyggeston School, Leicester (post-Attenborough brothers)

Higher: Oxford University (MA, Literae Humaniores); Stanford University (PhD, Philosophy).

Employment: teacher/researcher in philosophy, University of Leeds, UK, with administrative roles including Sub-Dean of Arts, and later Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students.  Various computer-related activities including support of machine-assisted logic teaching; introduction of computers into departmental office; membership of teams managing Year 2000 transition and replacement of University student/teaching management system; co-director of Centre for Theoretical Computer Science.

Retired 2002 and emigrated to Australia.

Joined Melb PC 2004; Committee member 2012-15, 2016-present; President 2013-2015.

Member of iHelp team 2011-present. Supporting email systems, including data-migration from legacy system to, and from to Office 365.  Checked and validated post-migration membership data in CiviCRM, our current membership database.

Hugh Macdonald

Hugh Macdonald has been interested in computers since his father brought home the family’s first IBM-compatible PC in about 1987. Ever since he’s had a keen interest in keeping up with the latest in technology. Professionally, Hugh primarily works as a sports media and sports marketing lecturer and tutor at Lat Trobe University and Holmesglen Institute, and has been contributing his knowledge of media production and marketing to the club, particularly through PC Update and the Facebook pages. Hugh also works as an IT consultant for Intuitive Strategy, helping small businesses with their web hosting, email, networking and workstation setups. He has been involved in improvements to IT facilities at the club. Additionally, he hopes to help setup Coder Dojo at the club, which is an initiative to teach young people how to code.

Dave Williams

Dave Williams has been working in the creative tech industry since the early 2000’s. This has included a diverse skill set that includes live sound production, recording bands in-studio, and working with a speaker manufacture company. After establishing Tigermoth Audio Production in early 2012 he has branched into the film and TV industry, delivering services as a production sound recordist, post-production editor and sound designer for a range of independent and corporate clients. From 2012 to 2018 he also worked as a tertiary lecturer at a creative industries college teaching a range of subjects to both audio engineering and film & tv students. Dave has an ongoing and extensive set of hobbies and interests that include such things as general science, 3D printing, electronics, modular system design, carpentry, and gardening to name but a few. If Dave had to define his raison d’être, it would be ‘creative technical problem solving’, he lives for the continuous process of learning, thinking, and making, that such a philosophy entails.