About Me - My Biography

Sonja Bernhardt – serial technology entrepreneur, arguably Australia’s highest profile women in IT.

  • CEO and Director of award winning ThoughtWare, developers of governance, risk management and compliance software i.on
  • Featured in the Australian Government publication “Women Entrepreneurs – 18 Inspiring Tales of Small Business Success” (2007)
  • Founder of WIT – Women in Technology
  • Co-Founder of AWISE – Australian Women in IT and Science Entity
  • Innovator behind the sometimes controversial – but always ground-breaking and effective – campaigns to raise awareness and encourage girls and women into technology careers
  • Screen Goddess IT Calendar 2007, IT’s Million $ Babes Awards and Doing IT Around the World.

Sonja is passionate about her industry and since 1997 has consistently encouraged others to either take up a career in technology or adopt technology in their daily use through a multitude of career, role model, mentoring and board readiness programs that Sonja has been primarily responsible for designing and managing In addition she is the innovator of some high profile, high impact non traditional girl and women in technology activities.

Sonja holds three management and information technology related degrees: Bachelor of Arts majoring in abstract algebra and psychology (University of Qld Australia- 1987), Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (Qld University of Technology, Australia – 1989) and anMBA (Masters of Business Administration) (Queensland University of Technology, Australia – 1992)

In addition, she is a Certified Developer of Enterprise (CDE) and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. The first and currently only Australian inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame (Silicon Valley 2005).

In addition to WiT and AWISE Sonja has held and continues to hold a string of impressive board and executive appointments held locally, nationally and internationally. To mention a few:

  • International Taskforce for Women appointed regional coordinator for the Global Women and Technology Asia Pacific regional centre
  • Judge on the internationally respected Anita Borg Institute Social Impact Award Committee (2009)
  • Member of Australian Federal ICT Summit Advisory Group – this group reported directly to the Australian Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
  • Member of the Business Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) – science & technology careers taskforce
  • Foundation member of GIDGITS (Girls Into Doing Great Information Technology Society) Steering Committee
  • Appointed to the prestigious Government ICT Ministerial Advisory Group, this group reported directly to the Queensland State Minister and provided IT policy advice
  • Steering Committee member – “Skilling Cape Communities” technology training & education for indigenous communities
  • Overall Chair of the Australian Judging Panels for the Asia Pacific ICT Awards
  • Judge in the prestigious National “Secrets of Australian IT Innovation” Competition

She is known for her obvious enthusiasm, visionary leadership, intelligent rational thinking and business acumen. The Australian IT industry and her peers recognise her as an action oriented results achieving role model who consistently delivers benefits through her innovation, leadership, pioneering achievement and collaborative contribution to the development of the technology industries.

A mother of three – a son (1984) and two daughters (1982, 2003) – and grandmother of two, Sonja bases her life and all activities on a reality and reason based philosophy.