Laurie Patton (Australian executive)

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Laurie Patton

Laurie Patton is an Australian public interest advocacy and communications practitioner, former journalist and media executive, and blogger at The Lucky General.[1] His opinion pieces frequently appear in a range of publications and he is often quoted in press articles.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Patton is currently Vice-President of TelSoc (Telecommunications Society of Australia)[12] and is a former executive-director of Internet Australia.[13]


After graduating from the University of NSW with a Master of Commerce degree Patton became an advisor and speech writer for Frank Walker,[14] the Attorney-General and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in the NSW Wran Government. Walker and Patton successfully campaigned to have logging banned in the Terania Creek rainforest in the far north coast of New South Wales.[15] This was one of the first pro-environment battles of the time [16] [17] and saw subsequent governments gazette millions of hectares of forest as national parks.[18]

Patton subsequently began a career as a journalist — producing and reporting for each of the three Australian commercial television networks. He later held a range of senior executive positions at the Seven Network,[19] running Seven Sydney, then the largest television station in the country, and regional network Seven Queensland.

Patton was a founding director of the subscription television industry association now called ASTRA, and the creator of pay TV channel World Movies — which he launched on the Foxtel platform. He was Deputy-Chair of the NSW Film and Television Office (now Screen NSW) where he led the first delegation of filmmakers and production companies to the Shanghai International Film Festival.[20]

Patton is currently active in the nonprofit sector, having been the founding CEO of community station Television Sydney,[21] executive director of Internet Australia[22][23] and CEO of the Australian Smart Communities Association.[24]

As the inaugural chief executive of free-to-air community station TVS (Television Sydney)[25][26] Patton co-founded the Australian Community Television Alliance.[27][28][29] He was subsequently appointed a member of a review of the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector for the Australian Government.[30][31]

While chief executive officer of Internet Australia, a chapter of the global nonprofit Internet Society, his views on Internet and media policy issues were widely quoted in Australian media.[32][33][34][35][36] During his tenure with Internet Australia — which represents Internet users in the business, education, governmental and private sectors — he advised government and industry on matters such as data retention,[37][38] internet security, and national broadband policy.[39] Patton told the Australian Government its draft Data Retention Act was "fundamentally flawed",[40][41][42] led Internet Australia's campaign for all Australians to have access to the internet and the skill to use it — both for economic and social development — and appeared before a range of parliamentary inquiries.[43][44] Patton continues to campaign publicly for #BetterBroadband,[45] decentralisation as a means of reducing capital city congestion,[46] and the fostering of 'cooperative politics'.[47]


  1. ^ "The Lucky General".
  2. ^ "Why we need #BetterBroadband".
  3. ^ "It's the vision, stupid".
  4. ^ "Profile on Laurie Patton".
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^,13238
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^,12915
  12. ^,-says-telsoc-chief.html
  13. ^,713
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Battle to save Terania Creek rainforest".
  16. ^ "Frank Walker Memorial Lecture" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Barbarians at the gate – don't let them destroy Murray Valley National Park | The Lucky General". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Forests of Australia", Wikipedia, 4 March 2019, retrieved 25 July 2019
  19. ^ "In brief: ISOC-AU appoints CEO". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  20. ^ "FTO Annual Report 2001/2002" (PDF). New South Wales Film and Television Office. p. 6.
  21. ^ "Turning pro - TV & Radio - Entertainment". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Roll of Honour - Directors and Staff - Internet Australia - A Chapter of the Internet Society". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Australian Smart Communities".
  25. ^ Browne, Rachel (20 November 2005). "Getting with the program". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  26. ^ Jinman, Richard (21 November 2005). "Turning pro". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  27. ^ Ari Sharp, 5 November 2009, The Age, Channel 31 to go digital, Retrieved 27 June 2015, "...The Melbourne station... granted new spectrum space ...Laurie Patton, secretary of the Australian Community Television Alliance..."
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ [1] Archived 7 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Staff (16 November 2006). "Seven-Ten look local". Herald Sun. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  34. ^ Hinds, Richard (8 December 2006). "Foxtel refuses to play ball in rights impasse". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  35. ^ Jackson, Sally (9 November 2009). "$2.6m boost may put end to NITV's experiment". The Australian. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  36. ^ Brandis, George (20 February 2015). "Coalition pledges $18m to combat extremist websites and social media". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  37. ^ Andrew Masterson, 25 February 2015, Sydney Morning Herald, Lawyers, laymen, experts stumped by metadata proposals, Retrieved 27 June 2015
  38. ^ Biggs, Tim (12 May 2015). "Internet prices likely to rise as government subsidy for metadata retention scheme revealed". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  39. ^ "Subscribe to The Australian - Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
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  43. ^
  44. ^ "The Data Retention Act was "fundamentally flawed"".
  45. ^ "Its-the-vision-stupid-why-we-need-betterbroadband".
  46. ^
  47. ^

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