Vale James Strong AO
5 March 2013 at 8:44 am
James Strong AO
The charity and commerce sectors are mourning the death of the Chairman of the Australian Institute of Company Director and philanthropist, James Strong AO, who died peacefully on Sunday in Sydney.
Strong had a distinguished career in business – was a former Qantas chief – and was also described as an outstanding leader in the world of the arts, sport and charities.
In 2006 Strong was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to business and commerce, particularly in the aviation, insurance and retail fields, and to the arts as an administrator and philanthropist.
He was Chairman of Kathmandu Holdings Limited and a Director of Qantas Airways Limited. He was also Chairman of the Organising Committee for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Saxton Speakers Bureau, the V8 Supercars championship and Painaustralia, a Board Member of CanAssist and the Sydney Writers' Festival and a member of the Nomura Australia Advisory Board and Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
He was formerly the Chairman of Woolworths, Chairman of Insurance Australia Group (IAG) Limited and Rip Curl Group Pty Limited, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Qantas Airways Limited from 1993 to 2001, Group Chief Executive of DB Group Limited in New Zealand, National Managing Partner and later Chairman of law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Chief Executive of Trans Australian Airlines (later Australian Airlines) and Executive Director of the Australian Mining Industry Council.
“James was one of the outstanding business leaders of his generation,” Company Directors’ Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director John Colvin said.
“One of Australia’s most respected company directors, he was widely acknowledged for his business leadership, integrity and commercial acumen.
“His leadership extended far wider, however, including prominent roles in the arts, sport, charities and philanthropy.
“He was passionate about a range of important issues for directors, leading by example in areas like promoting greater gender diversity on company boards and executives and professional development for directors.
“His leadership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, both as a National Director and, for all too brief a time, as Chairman was also outstanding.
“More broadly, his enormous contribution to our organisation, as a speaker at our conference and events, as a spokesman and as a mentor, was both incredibly generous and immensely valuable.
“His great experience, intelligence and compassion always shone through in everything he did and Company Directors was greatly enriched by his involvement with us.
“He was an inspiration to all who worked with him for his insights and generosity of spirit, and a great friend.”