At its meeting on 5 November 2020 the Board of TelSoc awarded Life Membership of the Society to its immediate past President, Professor Reg Coutts.

The award is for outstanding service to the Society.  Reg was President from 2006 until this year, and remains an active participant in TelSoc affairs and ongoing member of the Board as Vice President.

Reg presided over the Board for a long time.  He was instrumental in guiding the organisation through the challenges of its merger with the Australian Computer Society in 2007 and its re-emergence as the independent TelSoc when the linkage finally foundered in 2013.  Those were difficult times for the Society and Reg’s leadership role was very important for the final outcome.

Throughout Reg’s presidency the Society has continued to serve the telecommunications industry as its learned society, with lectures, industry orations and the publication of the Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, a respected journal now in its 86th year of providing learned articles on a range of industry issues.

Reg’s outstanding service to the Society has been built on his equally outstanding contribution to the industry since the 1970s.  Being well-known and respected in the industry has enabled Reg to position the Society better to discharge its role.

Reg graduated as B.Sc., B.E.(Hon) and PhD in Engineering from the University of Adelaide.  He joined the Telecom Research Laboratory in Melbourne in 1976 working on radiocommunications.  He moved from the Labs to the Telstra Mobile Business Unit for five years from 1988 to make a substantial contribution to planning and rolling out Telstra’s mobile networks.

In 1993 Reg left Telstra to became a Professor in Telecommunications at the University of Adelaide, with the brief of commercialising the university’s relevant research.  In 2008 he was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to serve as a member of the NBN Expert Panel that evaluated the first round of bids for Australia’s broadband network.  Subsequently, in 2009, he was appointed as a Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority for a five-year term.

Reg has since operated his consulting business, Coutts Communications.  He has contributed to many industry forums and conferences.  In November 2018 he was admitted to the Pearcy Hall of Fame for “distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Australian ICT industry”.

Reg is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Engineers and a fellow of the Australian Computer Society.

TelSoc recognises and appreciates Reg’s contribution to the Society and to the industry.

Jim Holmes
President, TelSoc
3 December 2020