A Fireside Chat with Dr Elena Kelareva

Alumni Impact

Dr Elena Kelareva
Dr Elena Kelareva

In this inaugural Computing Leadership webinar, ANU alumnus Dr Elena Kelareva (PhD 2014, ANU) will talk about her diverse and dynamic career path, reflect on several career transitions, and share tips on getting things done in organisations large and small.

She will also reflect on the social roles of tech companies, and answer questions from the audience. The online seminar will be facilitated by ANU’s own Dr Charles Gretton, convener of the TechLauncher program.


U Melb BS (2006) > OMC Intl (2006-2012) > ANU/NICTA PhD (2013) > Google (2013-2017) > GippsTech (2017-) + Herdworking

In 2017, Elena traded in a decade-long technology career in Melbourne for a fresh start in Warragul, to pursue her passion for bringing digital innovation to regional communities. Hence, GippsTech was born.

In the years since, she has grown the company to over a dozen employees, working across digital, web, software, innovation, strategy, creative, consulting, and program delivery. Elena has been the instigator and driving force behind Start-up Gippsland - one of the largest regional start-up programs in Australia; she founded and grew Binary Shift into a leading regional innovation conference; and she co-founded the Herd Coworking Space in Warragul to create a hub for the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators.

Elena holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Australian National University and has worked for over ten years in large-scale digital product and software development. Prior to starting GippsTech, she spent 3.5 years at Google as a Product Manager for the Google Maps Web APIs. In 2018 she was selected as one of 3 finalists for the Regional Development Victoria Leadership Innovation Award. Elena is also a mentor at the Melbourne Accelerator Program and has helped many start-ups and small businesses develop and execute their digital product concepts.

Elena sees GippsTech as an extension of her personal commitment to build communities, foster growth, and create employment opportunities for digital and innovation professionals beyond the cities. GippsTech is a social enterprise, with a commitment to reinvest half of the company’s profits back into the community.

When I’m not at work I’m…

Either playing computer games, gardening, or running.

Let’s talk about pets…

I have 2 cats, Charlie and Oscar, and I’m a self-appointed crazy cat lady.

The best part of living and working in Gippsland is…

Being able to live in such a beautiful area and still do the work I love. As someone who lived in the Melbourne CBD for 10 years, I love that the only noise I hear when I wake up is birds.

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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