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Don Gray

Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.  

Don Gray served as Chairman of the Standards Australia Council and Board from 1994-2000
In the words of Winton Higgins, author of Engine of Change (Standards Australia since 1922) - “A man of outstanding perspicacity and prudence, his tenure had begun in late 1994, in the most turbulent moment in Standard Australia’s history, after which he became the still point in its turning world.  He skilfully ‘managed the damage’ during the Kean Inquiry (The Committee of Inquiry into Australia’s Standards and Conformance Infrastructure) and its aftermath, and thereafter presided over one of the organisation’s more striking periods of transformation in its strategy, structure and culture.”  

Don Gray was an Electrical Engineering graduate of the University of NSW and spent the majority of his working life at the Sydney County Council, the largest electricity distribution authority in NSW. After a number of engineering and management positions he became first Chief Engineer and then Chief Executive Officer. Following retirement, he devoted a considerable proportion of his time to Standards Australia and in later years to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Although he had some involvement in development of electrical standards in the 1960s and 1970s, Don commenced a major involvement with Standards Australia when he was appointed as a member of Council in 1984 and elected to the SA Executive Board in 1985.  He developed a strong interest in the governance of the organisation while continuing with his interest in electrical standardisation and the IEC.  At various times he was Chairman of the Electrical Standards Board and President of the Australian National Committee of the IEC, Chairman of the Executive Board’s Finance and Audit Committee and the Standards Development Board.  In 1988 he was elected as a Vice Chairman of the Executive Board.  Elected as Chairman of Standards Australia in 1994 he served in that role until 2000.

During his tenure Standards Australia became a more open and transparent organisation, transitioning from a body established under a Royal Charter to a limited liability company and becoming much more responsive to its large cohort of stakeholders.

Don was one of the original directors of Quality Assurance Services when it was formed as a separate company in 2001, a member of the NATA Council, Chairman of the Wider Quality Movement in Australia and a Commissioner of the National Standards Commission.

He had a strong interest in international standardisation, led Australian delegations to annual meetings of ISO, IEC and PASC and strongly encouraged the adoption of relevant international standards as Australian Standards.  In 2002 he was elected as a Vice President of the IEC, Member of the Council Board and Chairman of its Conformity Assessment Board, positions in which he made a major contribution to the development of the IEC at a time of increasing volatility.