Sarah Halligan

Community Manager

I am hoping that the women I empower today will be our future influencers for tech/AI.

My Story

Hello, my name is Sarah, I am a mentor and Community Manager for the Young Women Leaders in AI program. I am a passionate technologist and love to learn. I am focused on inclusion and empowering others to pursue their dreams. 

My journey with Women in AI began in 2018, as a student attendee of the very first Young Women Leaders in AI program. The whole experience of the camp brought me a renewed passion for my career, confidence and a network that I never thought possible. I have always been the only girl at the table; however, this program has shown me that there is a whole community of women out there. I have found sisters that I can reach out to for support and motivation. I have gained some valuable mentors and lasting friends. I was so inspired by the camp that I just couldn’t keep away. I wanted to do everything in my power to allow other women to share this experience.

My enthusiasm for IT began at a very early age, inspired mostly by my father and his interest in technology and gaming. I very soon found the thrill of technology and pushing the limits with what it can do. With that, I had to learn how to troubleshoot my own computer issues mainly becasue my dad refused to keep fixing my computers when I broke them. Thus developed my – there’s always a way – solutions finding mindset. I have a curious nature and an – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing attitude.

My background is in software development and programming, and although I have no experience in AI yet, I can see the vital role it will play as well as the growth that machine learning can provide.  

I work full-time in Brisbane as a Technology Trainer and Applications Analyst for Hall & Wilcox Lawyers, who have recently been awarded the Highly Commended Employer of Choice Award from Women in Technology. Promoted from Technical Support role early 2019, I have thankfully been offered a dual role within this wounderful firm. This role means I am able pursue with my passion for applications development and drive for improving the user experience, as well as support my colleagues on their learning journey with technology. 

Outside of work and Women in AI, I am a part-time external university student with SCU, working through my Bachelor’s degree in IT (majoring in Software Development). In my spare time, I am usually creating websites, graphic design projects, attending networking events, training courses or painting.

Finally, my proudest achievement is motherhood. My husband and I have an intelligent and beautiful 3-year-old girl (b. 2016). Luckily, my husband is a wonderful stay at home father which allows me to pursue my career goals and passions, while maintaining a good home life for our daughter, Lydia.

I wear my geek/ mega nerd status with pride. It took me a long time to understand who I am and even decide a career in IT was for me. Born in 1988, I didn’t commence my professional pathway in IT until I was 22, and my first technical role came in 2013. That’s why I am so passionate about this program. I want to help pave the way for the next generation of girls to pursue their dreams. I want them to know that anything is possible if given enough time, the desire and the right support network. I want all girls in tech to feel they belong and know that they have valuable and worthy contributions to make. I am hoping that the women I empower today may, in turn, be the future influencers for my daughter. 

Use the links below to connect with her on Social Media, listen to her Podcast, read her blogs or watch her interview with us from the 2019 Camp.