Gert Gast studied medicine at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and received his medical doctorate from the University Heidelberg in 1978. Between 1976 and 1980 he worked at the Klinikum Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg as anaesthetist trainee and completed his medical specialist training in anaesthesiology and intensive care. During this time he became interested in patient monitoring, data processing techniques and data management while becoming familiar with the anaesthesiology department’s mainframe computer system.
After completing his specialist training in Mannheim he held the position of co-director of the anaesthesiology and intensive care department in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, for six years where he continued patient data monitoring and computerised data processing..
In 1986 he migrated to Australia further pursuing his interests in information technology.
In 1991 he became one of the directors of Pegasus Networks P/L, one of Australia’s first commercial Internet Service providers and member of the international APC networking group (Association for Progressive Communication). During that time he was actively engaged in making Internet communication and information technologies available to government, education, communities, NGOs, and private enterprise.
At that time he also published several scholarly articles on online distance education and held workshops at Open Learning conferences.
He was founding member of I*EARN Australia (International Education and Resource Network), establishing international school partnerships. Briefly he also became executive member of AOLIN, the Australian Open Learning and Information Network.
During the nineties he was heavily involved with federal government-funded telecommunications projects for rural Australia (Telecentres and Telecottages, SkillShare).
In 1995, as president of the Byron Bay Telecottage, he began designing web sites for commercial and non-commercial customers, and has been doing this ever since. He continued teaching Internet technologies and web design privately as well as for government organisations (CES ‘Work for the Dole’).
Since February 2005 he has been lecturing at the SAE Institute in Byron Bay, where he has been teaching information management, information architecture, web design, and multimedia industry perspectives.
Gert’s specific academic interests are centred around human cognition, communication and human/computer interaction and he is a keen advocate of open source technologies.