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Our people: meet Jason Arruzza, Education Outreach Manager

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Jason ArruzzaTell us about your career before AARNet?

For most of the past 20 years I have worked in K-12 schools: first as a science teacher in Connecticut, USA, where I first observed and was intrigued by how technology seemed to inherently boost students’ engagement in their learning. I was compelled to take my career in that direction and pursue focusing on ICT in school education.

In 2000, I emigrated to Australia and after some further study started working with schools to help bridge the digital divide. For nine years before joining AARNet, I worked in leadership roles as Director of ICT for large independent schools in Tasmania and New South Wales, responsible of all ICT strategic development and operations at each school.

What does your role at AARNet involve?

This is the fastest growing customer group for AARNet right now. I help K-12 schools and K-12 Government, Catholic and Independent school authorities across all states and territories connect to AARNet, provide support for their evolving requirements, and work to position AARNet as the premium fibre infrastructure provider to K-12 in Australia. I seek out, support and promote educational activities and initiatives that happen “above the network” where K-12 and AARNet connect.

What excites you most about your work?

Having directly experienced what it’s like to be a customer, I am passionate about the benefits and learning possibilities that the AARNet network facilitates. I often paraphrase the late entrepreneur Victor Kiam: “I liked the (AARNet) service so much, I went to work for the company!”

I spend a lot of time talking with schools about where they are in terms of connectivity, where they would like to go, and helping them get there. In a national role, this amounts to many and frequent conversations. 

As a former science teacher, the strong education and research focus at AARNet provides unending points of interest to learn more about and smart and interesting people to learn from. That AARNet is part of a global research and education network only expands that sense of wonder and excitement.

When you’re not working for AARNet?

I love spending time with my family, getting my two rambunctious boys involved in sport and boating with them in Sydney’s beautiful Pittwater.  I enjoy reading, listening to tech podcasts, surfing and live music. I also like to travel and relish dining with friends.


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