Former AIIA CEO and respected ICT industry stalwart, Ian Birks, has sadly passed away.
“His passing is a great personal loss to me – and of course, a sad loss for the industry,” AIIA Chair, Kee Wong, said.
“Ian was more than a colleague, he was an outstanding leader and voice in advocating the role of ICT in driving Australia’s economy.”
Birks’ career highlights include CEO of the AIIA, Ideas International and the Australian Services Roundtable.
He was also a member of the Australian Government's Small Business Ministerial Advisory Council; the CSIRO Digital Productivity Flagship and Services Advisory Committee; Chair of the Australian Government's IT Industry Innovation Council and former Board member of the AIIA.
“Ian will be remembered fondly for his presence, passion and sharp wit,” an AIIA statement said.
Data#3 managing director, John Grant, convinced Birks to take up the CEO post at the AIIA.
"He was a delightful man and great to work with," Grant said. "When I was AIIA chairman, and he was CEO, we put together AIIA's campaign around the national broadband network and lobbied government at the highest level."
"It's desperately sad to see him go so early."
Intel Asia Pacific regional sales director, Philip Cronin, said he was a colleague, friend and a fellow passionate Manchester City supporter.
"We spent long hours and many days together as we were working on the digital economy, NBN, services agenda and many others, we got to know each other extremely well," Cronin said.
"Over those years we learnt that the importance of our industry can be often underestimated and we sometimes underestimated ourselves. Ian's work in that period was really exemplary and he had a real passion for ICT in Australia."
Cronin said anyone who has worked with him or sat in meeting with him, would reflect on the legacy that he has left and it would be felt for a long time.
The Board and staff at the AIIA have expressed their condolences to his family at this difficult time.