Highly regarded auDA Chair from 2000 to 2015 Tony Staley passed away this week, aged 83. Staley came to prominence as a “hard man” in Australia’s conservative Liberal Party, and as Minister for Posts and Telecommunications in late 1977 until he left politics at the general election in 1980. He was also Federal President of the Liberal Party from 1993 until 1999.
Staley’s appointment as auDA Chair was a smart move given the government of the day was again the conservative Liberal Party, serving in the role until 2015, given the close relationship a ccTLD manager must have with government.
Staley was a key player along with CEO Chris Disspain that led negotiations with ICANN and the Australian government to get .au delegated to the organisation. Together Staley and Disspain led a small team that was a leader in internet governance and ICANN circles.
He was revered by all who knew him through his role as auDA Chair, including by me in my time as an auDA director.
In a short statement from auDA, the organisation noted “throughout his tenure at auDA, Tony contributed significantly to the organisation including guiding the organisation through the establishment of the .au registry / registrar business model and the auDA Foundation, the first tender for the .au registry and commencing community consultation on .au direct. He was a strong supporter of auDA’s role as a leader in the ccTLD community.”
“Tony is remembered by auDA as a tireless advocate for the .au and a great Chair, who was instrumental in both raising awareness of .au and driving innovation in the .au domain,” auDA Chair Alan Cameron AO said.
“Tony’s commitment to the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance is a legacy that continues today,” auDA CEO Rosemary Sinclair AM said. “auDA thanks Tony for his contributions and, together with the .au community, mourns his passing. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”
A profile/obituary was published in the Australian Financial Review here.