Ian Birks was a rarity in our industry as he truly lived an ethos of collaboration. As an association leader he understood the value of working together to achieve a common purpose. It was his leadership of ASR and AIIA and as Chair of various entities that brought together often competing interests across industry, research and government. Ian in his affable way would inspire us to consider what could be, not just accept what was.
Ian’s commitment to the industry as an advocate for Australian ICT internationally was instrumental in raising the profile of our industry working with Austrade and state governments within the region as Chair of COMICTA from 2008-2011. Representing the country in international associations, WITSA, ASOCIO and APICTA and as host of the Asia Pacific Digital Innovation Summit in 2009, Ian was well respected.
This passion for the role technology could play in his adopted country saw him spearhead the creation of Australia 3.0 in 2011. Kelly Hutchinson, Australia 3.0 Program Manager was with Ian when he and Charles Lindop (NSW Pearcey Co-Chair) came up with the idea to leverage the iAwards platform.
“Ian felt that more could be done through a national forum where we could take the time to consider the big questions,” Hutchinson said. “He challenged us to ask how can Australia better harness the potential of Innovation underpinned by ICT capabilities. We are still pursuing this in the collaborative forum he envisaged.”
Wayne Fitzsimmons as Australia 3.0 Chair reaffirmed the commitment to pursue the agenda begun in 2011. “In this our 5th year the evolution of A3.0 will be worthy of Ian’s legacy” said Fitzsimmons.
The Australia 3.0 Steering Committee sends their condolences to Ian’s family at this difficult time.
Australia 3.0 will be part of Reimagination Summit hosted by ACS and Pearcey Foundation in Sydney on 17 November 2015.