OSA Presents 2011 Advocate of Optics Recognition to Senator Stephen Conroy of Australia


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Presents 2011 Advocate of Optics Recognition to Senator Stephen Conroy of Australia

Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy honored at CLEO Pac Rim in Sydney

Advocate of Optics Awards

Senator Stephen Conroy of Australia was recognized as OSA’s 2011 Advocate of Optics Aug. 29 at IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim in Sydney. Pictured left to right: IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim General Chair Ken Baldwin, Senator Conroy, and OSA President-Elect Tony Heinz.

SYDNEY, Aug. 29—The Optical Society (OSA) presented its 2011 Advocate of Optics recognition to Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy today.  Senator Conroy was recognized at the Plenary Session of the International Quantum Electronics Conference/Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Pacific Rim (IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim) in Sydney, of which OSA is a co-sponsor. Senator Conroy was chosen as OSA’s 2011 Advocate of Optics for his "extraordinary work and dedication in championing a National Broadband Network (NBN) for Australia that will establish fiber optic communications directly to 93 percent of Australian homes, schools and businesses."

"The NBN is a transformational undertaking for Australia, which will positively affect education, healthcare, economic opportunity, and people’s everyday lives," said OSA President-Elect Tony Heinz, who presented the honor to Senator Conroy in Sydney. "Senator Conroy’s dedication to optics is exemplified in his strong advocacy for the NBN, not only during the proposal phase but during its implementation as well. On behalf of OSA and our members in Australia and across the globe, it is our pleasure to honor Senator Conroy with this distinction."

Senator Conroy is the chief proponent of the NBN, an Australian government initiative that will deliver much faster broadband to nearly all Australians by several orders of magnitude.  The NBN will achieve 100 megabits per second speeds through an infrastructure program involving the laying of fiber optic cabling to 93 percent of Australian households, schools and businesses. The remaining premises will be connected via a combination of next generation high-speed wireless and satellite technologies delivering broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second or more. It is the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the Australian government—an investment up to A$43 billion (US$43 billion) over eight years.  This project will provide a stimulus to the Australian optical communications industry, which has recently been revitalized.

"We are honored to have Senator Conroy attend and be recognized at IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim," said Ken Baldwin of Australian National University and general chair of the conference. "His work on the NBN and passion for driving innovation and economic growth in Australia complements perfectly the groundbreaking optics research being presented at the conference this week."

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A high-resolution image of Senator Stephen Conroy being recognized at IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim is available upon request. Please contact Lyndsay Meyer at lmeyer@osa.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

About IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim
IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim 2011 combines four major meetings in the field of lasers and their scientific and technological applications: the International Quantum Electronics Conference (IQEC), the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) Pacific Rim, the Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers and Spectroscopy (ACOLS), and the Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology (ACOFT). This meeting will bring together international research leaders who span the spectrum of laser development, optical devices, and photonics, with applications to such fields as optical communications, laser spectroscopy, ultrafast optics, nonlinear optics, high field physics, and quantum/atom optics.