Geoff Huston Joins the Internet Australia Board

At the Internet Australia AGM held on the 7th of November in Melbourne and cyberspace, a key figure in the Australian internet was elected to the Board of Directors.

Geoff Huston, together with Peter Elford, also then of AARNet and the ANU, and Robert Elz, then of University of Melbourne, effected a full-time connection to the internet on the 23rd of June 1989 using a satellite link between the University of Melbourne and NASA on the US west coast.

Among the many key roles Geoff has played throughout the following three decades, including serving a term as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the worldwide Internet Society, he was a foundation Director of the Internet Society of Australia between 1996-98. In 2012 Geoff was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

As part of the board changes, Craig O’Toole has retired as a Director. Craig joined the Board in 2012 and has served as Treasurer for the past three years. The Board thanked Craig for his dedication and service. “Craig has contributed much time and energy to Internet Australia over the years, as part of the senior leadership and in managing the financial business as Treasurer” said Paul Brooks, Chair of Internet Australia. “His wise counsel and dedication has been invaluable to the organisation and for me personally, and we hope Craig will continue to be actively involved, particularly in representing the particular issues faced by users and businesses in regional Australia.”

Incoming Director Geoff Huston said, “Today the Internet is the world’s public communications medium. We all care about our Internet. Most Australians are now familiar with the national effort to rewire our homes, schools and businesses with fibre cable, and we all are keenly waiting the introduction of a new generation of mobile services with 5G networks. We all have high expectations about how the Internet can improve our world and so far the Internet is delivering on that promise. We are no longer an isolated community in the southern Pacific Ocean, but an engaged and vibrant part of the larger world. Our businesses, our public institutions, and all of us as individuals are engaged with a larger world of opportunity. But while this network is the bedrock of a digital society, it is subject to enormous threats, not only by malicious actors but by poorly conceived government actions and the erosion of public trust through over-enthusiastic behaviour by many of the Internet’s largest corporations in exploiting our personal profiles. We need to remember that the Internet is what we make it, and we need to maintain a clear voice about what our internet should be for each of us.

“Next year will be thirty years since we connected Australia into the internet, and a small research project in the university sector has now transformed our nation. We’d like to celebrate these changes. We’d like to commemorate the effort that created so many opportunities and has delivered so much value to Australians in all walks of life, and to bring public focus on our collective needs and expectations about the internet. As a voice for the Internet in Australia, Internet Australia would like to enlist your help in creating events that mark these revolutionary changes and anticipate what is to come.”



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