15 January 2024

Meet the local IT company supporting dozens of charities every year

| James Coleman
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Brett Norton (Ironman), his wife (Supergirl), and 'Jarvis' the Holden on an esCarpade with Camp Quality

Brett Norton (Ironman), Cathy Norton (Supergirl), and ‘Jarvis’ the Holden on an esCarpade with Camp Quality. Photo: Brett Norton.

Brett Norton is fresh back in the office chair from an “esCarpade” where he and Cathy Norton drove their 1993 Holden VR Clubsport more than 3000 km across south-east Australia, raising funds for children impacted by cancer.

“Sometimes it feels like I’m almost never at work,” he says.

Brett is managing director for OPC, a family-owned and operated information technology company. Bringing laughter to school kids during Camp Quality’s annual esCarpade is just one of many ways they support not-for-profit organisations.

“We support Lifeline, Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Communities at Work, and Mental Health Australia, along with other high-profile not for profits, and about 60 to 70 smaller organisations throughout the ACT,” he says.

OPC’s annual contributions amount to more than $200,000 every year and employees are granted flex time every year to support a community or charity service of their choosing.

“Being part of our community is very important to us,” Brett says.

office building

OPC IT headquarters in Fyshwick. Photo: OPC.

Over the years, OPC has evolved from a retail outlet selling typewriters and word processors to providing fully managed ICT support, cyber security and web development services today.

Brett says the old-fashioned approach to IT was to have someone in the corner office who happened to know one end of a cable from the other. This doesn’t cut it today.

“It’s a complex business and you simply can’t know it all, with the ever-increasing risk of cyber attack to consider,” he says. “It can cripple a business in a heartbeat.

“We have about 30 people in the organisation, and to look after one small business today probably takes five or six different skill sets.”

He says OPC offers extensive IT support to small businesses and government agencies, all managed from a Canberra-based service desk, and for “half the price of employing someone”.

“You can simply leave it to us, and we look after the technology. It’s a much safer and cheaper way of managing IT.”

Brett Norton, Graciete Ferreira, Roya Behnia

OPC managing director Brett Norton alongside Master Builders ACT President Graciete Ferreira and ACT Pain Centre manager Roya Behnia. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

To help local organisations build up their IT defences, OPC held a cyber-security event last week, free of charge.

“In this changing world, cyber security has become paramount,” Brett says.

Partnering with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and Microsoft, ‘Activ8’ offered businesses and government agencies the opportunity to learn more about the very real threats that we are all facing and what actions you can take to protect your business in this new age. The name ‘Activ8’ is derived from the Essential 8 mitigation strategies, recognised the world over as best practice for avoiding the impacts of cybercrime.

“It was for anybody running an organisation that needs to know more about what they can do to protect their business against cybercrimes,” Brett says.

“To add a bit of fun to the event, I also invited Dionysus winery, and they brought their Essential 8 wines along.”

OPC is also hosting a ‘Business After Business’ networking event for members of the Canberra Business Chamber.

“We will continue to focus on the importance of cyber security and what measures organisations should be undertaking to protect their businesses,” Brett says.

‘Business After Business’ will be held at Manuka Oval on Manuka Circuit, Griffith, on Thursday, 26 May from 6 to 8 pm. Members of the Canberra Business Chamber can register online.


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