Sonja Bernhardt is the owner and CEO of ThoughtWare Australia—a software development firm she founded in 1999.
Her goal in her company is to contribute to the development of Queensland businesses. She is passionate about her industry, and for over a decade, has encouraged others to either take up a career in technology or adopt technology in their daily lives.
Sonja is a champion of IT within her home country of Australia and is the innovator behind results-achieving women in science and technology groups across Australia. These groups have led to wide-scale programs creating professional and academic development opportunities, thus helping thousands of school students and hundreds of professionals. Before founding ThoughtWare Australia, she held a position as a consultant for Mincom Limited.
As the Women in Technology’s first Australian Hall of Fame inductee, Sonja is one of the highest profiled women in the Australian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.
Her peers recognize her as an action-oriented, results-achieving, role model who consistently delivers benefits through her innovation. Along with this recognition, she demonstrates a spirit of pioneering achievement and collaborative contribution to the development of the technology industries.
Sonja has taken on a variety of volunteer positions to advance the world of tech she so passionately believes in and received many awards for her efforts.
In 2010, she served as a technical, committee member of the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council. In 2009, she was elected as a foundation member of Aged Care IT Vendors Association and also received the Optus ICT Achievement Award and the Our Women, Our State awards for industry or business from the Queensland government.
Sonja was also chosen to serve as the Regional Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Centre for Women and Technology in 2008.
In 2007, she volunteered as a member of APEC Digital Forum committee, and that same year was appointed to the United Nations Supported International Task force for Women and Information and Communication Technologies. Until 2005, she was both a member of the Federal ICT Summit Advisory Group and the Australian Government’s Business Higher Education Round Table. In 2004, she left her appointed position in the Queensland Government ICT Ministerial Advisory Group in Industry Development after serving in that capacity for four years.
Sonja has been recognized numerous times in "Who’s Who in Australia." Along with these recognitions, she has been published several times. Her publications include: "Women in IT in the New Social Era: A Critical Evidence-Based Review of Gender Inequality and the Potential for Change," "IT Workers: Human Capital Issues in a Knowledge-Based Environment," and "The Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology."
She received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011.
Sonja graduated with her MBA from the Queensland University of Technology in 1993.