Farewell to two leaders from the Australian Research Data Commons

Categorised: INSPIRE

There comes a time when we have to wish colleagues farewell, and this month we say farewell to two stars from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) –
Dr. Glenn Moloney and Dr. Ross Wilkinson. 

Glenn Moloney commenced as Nectar Director in early 2011. Very quickly Glenn’s appreciation for the needs of researchers was evident, as was his commitment to building infrastructure that was not only meeting their needs as they perceived them, but was forward looking regarding the deployment of emerging cloud technologies and the extraordinary change in the collaboration landscape that opened up for research. 

Glenn oversaw the initial build of the Nectar Research Cloud, along with the conceptualisation and establishment of the very popular and influential Virtual Labs. As Nectar matured, and the trajectory towards the ARDC became clearer, Glenn provided constructive leadership in joint discussions involving Nectar, RDS and ANDS. Glenn’s passion and expertise are widely recognised, and his contributions, as Director of Nectar, to the national eResearch landscape and to the ARDC as it begins its independent journey, have been substantial. 

Ross Wilkinson was at the helm of ANDS since 2009 and one of his first tasks was shaping a funded but somewhat formless entity into a powerful driving force for culture change in the research data space. Ross quickly recognised that the major investor in the chain of data was the institutions so he made that the focus of ANDS’ investments and shaped his interactions with the universities around this premise. There can be little doubt that this was a successful strategy and the question was eventually neatly summarised in the “four transformations” (ANDS’ precursor to FAIR). 

Ross also made an enormous impact on international initiatives and collaboration in the research data space. He was, in the best sense, one of the founding fathers of the Research Data Alliance and finishes up as Co-Chair of its Council. The reputational gain for Australian science and data innovation has been prodigious and will stand as a lasting legacy. 

Ross has been a strong supporter of the alliance between ANDS, RDS and Nectar to become, what we now know as, the ARDC. 

Thank you Ross and Glen for your leadership from all of us at the ARDC. We wish you both every health and happiness.

Ross Wilkinson and Glenn Maloney

Ross Wilkinson and Glenn Moloney