Order of Australia

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Order of Australia

Park Lane founder recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

Lurline Archay has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (General Division) for service to information technology.
Ms Archay (Lurline) founded Park Lane Information Technology in 1986, working in the business up until 2020.

“This award means a great deal to me,” Lurline said. “After dedicating my entire career to the IT industry and then building Park Lane over the last four decades, this is validation that my efforts have had a positive impact. I couldn’t be more delighted – both for myself and those family members and colleagues, who have supported me along the way”.

Lurline’s career began in the mid 1950s at insurer T & G Mutual Life Assurance Society. It was there that she discovered ADP (automated data processing) equipment. “I was mesmerised by it,” she said, “totally captivated. It was becoming very clear that information technology was about to fundamentally change the business landscape and I wanted to be part of it”.

As she climbed the career ladder, Lurline spent time at IBM before joining Thorn Australia, a subsidiary of UK multi-national Thorn Electrical Industries in 1976. She held the role of Information Services Manager, heading up a new function in the business which had been created to provide computer processing services for the group’s new Australian division. 

Over the years, Lurline oversaw progressive technology advances. These projects, each huge and cutting-edge at the time, included the establishment of a greenfields site in Melbourne, the purchase and implementation of ICL mainframe computers and the development of multiple databases and software. 

By the mid-1980s further change was afoot at the parent company (now Thorn EMI) giving rise to a new opportunity, and Lurline led a management buyout of the managed service division, establishing a new company; Park Lane Information Technology.

With Park Lane, Lurline mobilised a team and global partnership with the most progressive technology vendor at the time; Oracle. In developing a product that outperformed even Oracle’s offerings, Park Lane has built long-standing customer relationships that stand to this day.

Since 2020 Park Lane has been under new private ownership. The new owners maintain a close relationship with Lurline to this day. 

“Lurline and I worked very closely together for over four years”, explains CEO Melissa. “During that time we have learned an enormous amount from her. Understanding her back story, not just that told from her perspective, but through many of the people we’ve met and spent time with, has opened our eyes to the brave choices she has made in her life”. 

Lurline’s story is not just that of a professional in the emerging IT industry of the 1970s, it’s also a story of a courageous woman committed to bringing about progress in a heavily male dominated industry. 

“Lurline has become a great mentor of mine”, reflects Melissa. “She is someone I continue to reach out to for her sage advice and inputs. I respect her enormously and am thrilled that her contributions are being recognised. She’s an inspiring woman”.

12 June 2023