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Our people: meet Peter Elford, Director Government Relations & eResearch

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Peter Elford, AARNet Director Government RelationsTell us about your career before AARNet?

My formative years were as a systems programmer at the Australian National University (ANU), where I worked from 1983 to 1990.

Then, from 1990 to 1993, as AARNet employee #2, I got to construct and operate the original AARNet.

From there I worked for Cisco for nearly 20 years, filling a variety of roles, from systems engineer to corporate consulting engineer (working on residential broadband and formal security), Federal region manager (responsible for Cisco’s engagement with the Federal government), and more recently, consulting systems architect and then business development manager (focusing on the education and research sectors).

I left Cisco in January 2013 and over the past twelve months have been based (back!) at the ANU working on the Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) project. As RDSI’s Network Programme Manager I was responsible for the DaShNet project, which has funded substantial upgrades to AARNet to support the networking requirements of the RDSI Nodes, and the deployment of Science DMZ’s to facilitate data-intensive research.

What does your role at AARNet involve?

As the Director, Government Relations and eResearch, I am responsible for building and sustaining relationships with federal and state government agencies, and for AARNet’s engagement with the Australian eResearch community. This involves interaction across a broad range of portfolios, particularly education and research, but also with agencies involved with health, communications, foreign affairs, arts, and regional development. I also lead the team responsible for working with institutions, disciplines and other eResearch service providers to enable better Australian research outcomes through the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

When you’re not working for AARNet?

I enjoy travelling, usually to go skiing or walking, and love the NSW south coast. I’m a keen Brumbies fan, and believe that cricket is test cricket. I’m a member of the Gungahlin Community Council, where I have been heavily involved in advocacy for, and the rollout of, the National Broadband Network, and yes, 100/40 is awesome!

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