Nina’s Bright Journey of Artificial Intelligence
As the current Group Executive, Digital and Technology at UnitingCare Queensland, Nina Du Thaler is a highly experienced woman with what she likes to call a Major in Artificial Intelligence. In all seriousness Nina did complete an IT degree and has then actively pursued a variety of roles across numerous industries to broaden her knowledge in business and IT.
She believes one of the main benefits in diversifying her portfolio was extending her network and developing a good cross section of skills and experience. Nina is close to the heart of WID with her interest in coaching and mentoring those she has met along the way. As well investing time in her own personal growth to ensure leadership behaviours can be honed. We know all too well she has done this, receiving the ITNews CIO (Utilities and Media category) of the year for 2016!
You can probably gather that Nina is a very driven and busy woman but this hasn’t stopped her from building her very own business with partner Bob Beusekom. Bright Zebra is Brisbane based and offers several products, one of these is a series of books “Diary of Elle” around cyber safety. The books are fun and relatable products for children aged 8-12 to interact with. In the future, these will be supported by games and social media products as well. The books are aimed at addressing a gap where parents were more often cutting children off from online interactions rather than learning and engaging with them.
The business was born from Nina’s collaboration with her business and life partner Bob Beusekom, due to a shared passion for exploring new things. Her best advice in finding a suitable business partner is to be very clear on what you are wanting to achieve and the level of commitment it is going to entail. She outlined a previous bad experience with business partners previously who didn’t have the same commitment to the development which causes issues. Probably a great tip for all studying digital students to take note when volunteering or interning.
Also important to note when marketing to children that parents also become the target audience. Nina acknowledges that the brand must be marketed in a way that is trusted, as such they have decided the website of Bright Zebra would have non advertising content on it. Preferred methods are actually face to face and school visits, showing that the old school off the line advertising scheme can work for digital products.
Nina has exciting plans coming with book three- Tom Tames his Online World being created right now and three more books planned to come! These books are available in e-books as well to let the children feel comfortable online when learning to encourage small safe interactions to build confidence.
Interested in hearing about other successful Women in Digital? Read about Brisbane Entrepreneur Deb Morrison’s journey to Entrepreneurship with PetCloud.