Sydney, 9 October 2017 - Communications Alliance and Communications Compliance today pay tribute to much-loved and respected industry leader Deirdre Mason, who passed away on 8 October after a long battle with illness.

For the past five years Deirdre was Chair of Communications Compliance – the company set up by industry to monitor and assist the efforts of service providers to comply with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code. 

Much more than that, Deirdre was a trailblazer in the Australian telecommunications scene.

Deirdre was Director of Corporate Affairs at Telecom, as it then was, then Telstra for nine years from December 1990 to December 1999. She was the first woman appointed to the Telstra Executive team, first as Director of Corporate Marketing and then Director of Corporate Affairs.

Deirdre was a tireless promoter of women’s rights and welfare in the corporate sector and the community more generally.

She held numerous other senior roles across a storied career, including Chief Executive of the Committee for Sydney and Deputy Chair of the Premier’s Council for Women.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said Deirdre had done a magnificent job leading Communications Compliance as its inaugural Chair.

“I was lucky enough to work closely with Deirdre during and after the merger of OTC and Telecom Australia, to form Telstra – this the beginning of a professional collaboration and personal friendship over the past 25 years,

“Deirdre was crazy-smart but wise and compassionate with it – a gifted communicator with an acute sense of the need for business to understand its impact on the lives of individuals and to make that impact a positive one,

“She is being sadly missed by many today. Our thoughts are with her wife, Jenni and family members.”   

The Board of Communications Compliance expressed great sadness at Deirdre’s passing and highlighted her contribution to the telecommunications and wider community.

“I have fond memories of working with Deirdre and Frank Blount on the introduction of competition during my time as Minister for Communications and the Arts,” said Communications Alliance Chair, Michael Lee.

“More recently as a fellow director of Communications Compliance I have seen first- hand her determination to serve and her compassion for others despite her own serious health challenges”.

“Deirdre was fiercely intelligent and had the ability to immediately identify and address the key issues at play” said Communications Compliance Executive Director, Visu Thangavelu.

“Her appointment as Chair of Communications Compliance in 2012 gave a fledgling concept credibility and her commitment to her role and to the Board never wavered, despite her ongoing battle with illness.”

“She was also compassionate, passionate about community issues such as equality, and possessed a razor-sharp wit that endeared her to all who knew her.  Michael Lee, Victoria Rubensohn and I will always feel privileged to have had the opportunity to both personally know and work with Deirdre.

“She was a long-time servant of the Australian telecommunications community and the community at large and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with Jenni and other family members at this very sad time.”

Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see

Media information contact:
Kurt Graham
0431 478 558