My thanks to my former employer, the Canadian telecommunications giant Nortel Networks, for subsidising my higher education fees and related expenses. I am especially indebted to the late Daniel Allard and Director Jean-Luc Thibault for their support. The Network & Systems Solution team were like an extended family. My supervisors, Associate Professor Robyn Lindley (1997-1998), Associate Professor Carole Alcock and Professor Joan Cooper (1999-2003) have supported me throughout my candidature. I could not have hoped for better supervision. They always gave me quality time whenever we met to discuss my research, despite their extremely busy schedules. You never let me doubt that I would finish my PhD. I would also like to thank my dear students at University of Wollongong- you led by example.
I have always been blessed to be surrounded by a close-knit group of individuals including my good parents (George & Vasiliki Vlahos), in-laws (George & Helen Michael), and siblings (Christine, Arthur, Reggina & Dianne). You did everything you possibly could to make the ‘burden’ lighter. I especially appreciate the continued support of beloved friends Lella & George Constanti, Panayiota & Vasili Ziogas, Nicholas & Krystall Kyriacos, Nikos Evangelou, Aimilia Katsogiannis and John Kefalianos. You were always there for me when I needed you. Your innumerable good deeds, almost all of which have remained anonymous, gave me the strength to keep going when things got tough. Finally, my husband has been my greatest inspiration. He never let me lose sight of the ultimate goal- to complete an in-depth investigation of auto-ID. A recognised academic in the fields of History and Theology, his direction and correction was paramount in the completion of the thesis. If I was able to complete the study in a relatively short period of time, it was because he prevented me from falling into errors that other first-time thesis writers make. Michael, your advice and assistance throughout were vital; and if I have achieved anything of substance, it is because of you and the grace of God… Oh yes, and there is one more person to thank, the baby which I am presently carrying, who has been so patient over the last nine months- encouraging me to submit ‘sooner than later’.