Friday, 16 August 2019 11:59

Telecoms regulatory veteran Holthuyzen wins industry top award


Telecommunications industry regulation veteran Fay Holthuyzen has taken out the top award as the Australian Communications Ambassador 2019 at the 13th Annual Communications Alliance ACOMM Awards in Sydney.

The award to Holthuyzen - announced on Thursday at the awards night attended by more than 450 industry leaders – was awarded for her “sustained and meritorious contribution to Australian telecommunications policy, to industry co-regulation and the protection of Australian communications consumers”.

“Fay was a senior an influential figure throughout the liberalisation phase of the Australian telecoms industry, in her role as Deputy Secretary of the Federal Department of Communications,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.

“Just as importantly, Fay has, twice during the past decade, thrown herself into what is almost certainly the most demanding and complex role in the co-regulatory sphere - as Independent Chair of the working committees that have revised industry’s Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) Code.

“It is a daunting assignment, trying to pull together the views of consumer representatives, regulators, industry and the general public and create a consensus on how best to protect the interests of consumers, while retaining a workable commercial environment that promotes innovation, improved customer outcomes and ethical business practices.

“The task demands skilful navigation across a landscape that takes account of technical and business process issues as well as a vast array of vital human considerations, including the needs of vulnerable customers and less advantaged individuals throughout Australian society.”

“During the two major revisions of the Code since 2011, Fay has shown masterful analytical and diplomatic skills - along with huge amounts of patience and perseverance - and has produced outstanding outcomes on both occasions.”

Here’s the full list of winners of the 2019 ACOMM Awards:

  • Innovation - Large Company - Telstra for their Track and Monitor solution that can help businesses track moving assets, reduce costs and improve the customer experience.
  • Innovation - SME – Southern Phone for their Next Home Phone product that eliminates the stress, pressure and confusion experienced by senior Australians during the copper disconnection as part of the nbnTM rollout.
  • Vendor Innovation – Speedcast for their SIGMA Gateway an integrated connectivity management platform. It seamlessly manages global VSAT, L-band, Fleet Xpress, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi and MSS services, and provides automated and efficient management of multiple secured WAN links.
  • Internet of Things Start Up – Meshed IoT for their 100% private Australian owned company that provides IoT networks and operations and maintenance services for the government, water, building and construction and research sectors in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Commitment to Customer Service – Aussie Broadband for their “Making it easy” initiative - Aussie Broadband’s commitment to customer service improvement is driven by the reason why they are in business – because they believe people deserve the truth, whether it paints them in a good light or not.
  • Services to the Industry, Professional Services – King & Wood Mallesons with one of the largest teams of telecommunications specialists in Australia, KWM pride themselves on providing commercially astute and technically excellent legal advice.
  • Best Mobile Solution – Vodafone Hutchison Australia for their market first handset plans with endless data and no lock-in contracts are offering customers true freedom and flexibility
  • Community Contribution – Telstra Foundation & NBN Co

         Telstra Foundation for their IDX Flint Program, in conjunction with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island youth, community leaders and Elders to explore digital technology

         NBN Co for going above and beyond to keep the community of Townsville connected during the floods via its Satellite vehicles providing a lifeline at arguably the most critical time for a community, where lives were at  extreme risk.

  • Satellite Provider of the Year Award – Pivotel Satellite and Farmbot Australia for Farmbot water monitoring solutions incorporating Pivotel’s satellite technology.
  • Best Marketing Initiative – Cisco for their 2019 Cisco Live annual customer and partner conference, held in March 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. Cisco Live is widely acknowledged as the premier event for education, connections and a source of inspiration for technology professionals.


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Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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