Gillard and others honour Jobs' memory

Prominent Australians and members of the information technology industry have expressed their sorrow at Steve Jobs' passing.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Prominent Australians and members of the information technology industry have expressed their sorrow at Steve Jobs' passing.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard
(Credit: Josh Taylor/CNET)

After US President Barack Obama's touching tribute, Prime Minister Julia Gillard also expressed her condolences.

"It's not too much to say he literally changed our world. All of us would be touched everyday in our daily lives by products that he was the creative genius behind. So this is very sad news and my condolences go to his family and friends," she said.

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a well-known user of Apple technology, said Jobs was "truly an architect of the modern networked society".

"He brought an elegance and functionality to the devices which have become for millions, whether they own Apple products or their imitators, the indispensable personal portals to a digital world," he said.

Jobs was a powerful driver of innovation, according to Innovation Minister Kim Carr.

"His visions through the Apple I and II computers helped to make the power of computing available for people to use in their everyday lives," he said in a statement. "But his influence has spread across the entire information and communications technology spectrum. In fact, he has led the development and adoption of innovations that bring them together seamlessly.

"While the Apple story is broader than just one man, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs' involvement with Apple is an example of just how innovation is a fertile driver of business success."

Labor Senator Kate Lundy said that he had transformed technology.

"If the number of Apple devices in the room today is anything to go by, we know that Steve Jobs and his leadership of Apple has transformed people's technology experience. It's taken technology out of the hands of technical professionals and into the hands of everybody. For this, Steve Jobs deserved recognition," she said.

"He's been a pioneer for decades, and the recent success reflected in Apple's corporate performance shows that his vision only got stronger."

Labor MP Ed Husic, who has previously criticised Apple's pricing, commented on the fullness of Jobs' life.

"What a life, what a mark he's left on the lives of others #RIPSteveJobs," he said on Twitter.

Telstra CEO David Thodey also weighed in on Jobs' catalytic effect on technology.

"Steve Jobs truly was a visionary and a pioneer. He changed the way we think about how technology becomes a seamless part of our lives; our music, our phones, our wireless access to information, applications and each other. That will be his legacy," he said.

Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan said Jobs was one of the greatest technology leaders the world has seen.

"He led the revolution which moved the mobile from the human ear to the eye. He sparked a movement that is still storming the world and changing human behaviour. Our thoughts today are with his partner and children, his friends and Apple colleagues."

Alan Noble, head of engineering, Google Australia, didn't know what to say.

"Steve Jobs changed the world we live in. Where do you begin with someone ... a giant of his stature?"

ANZ Bank's chief information officer Anne Weatherston at a CEDA event today relayed her regret at the executive's passing.

"We regret the loss of one of the greatest technology visionaries of our time," she said.

Online retailer Ruslan Kogan said that he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of Jobs.

"I think the Apple release said it perfectly when they said 'Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve'," he said.

"The fact that he resigned as CEO of the world's largest technology company only weeks ago shows how dedicated to the cause he was. The consumer electronics industry is the toughest industry in the world, and he remained at the forefront of it throughout his entire life. Steve Jobs will be sadly missed."

Tom Worthington, IT expert witness and adjunct senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at Australian National University, said Jobs' aura was more than just success.

"I think his talent was in the translation of technical ideas into seductive products, and trying over and over ... that everything he did was not a success. For example, the NeXT computer, few of us will ever have seen one. A little black cube full of clever ideas, but it needed to be refined some more. It's that keeping-trying."

Updated at 3:56pm 6 October 2011: Added tributes.

Stilgherrian and Josh Taylor contributed to this article

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