Pioneering IT figure mourned

A tribute to Liz Dengate Thrush

Long-time industry identity Liz Dengate Thrush was killed recently in a Lower Hutt car crash.

Dengate Thrush joined the computer industry in 1980, selling engineering technical solutions for Control Data. She became New Zealand manager of Applied Learning, selling computer-based training, and was national consulting manger and sales training manager for Telecom. She also worked for Netway, in customer support and as HR manager.

In 1997, she joined TelstraClear as carrier relations manager. Two years later she moved to the Ministry of Economic Development, as a senior policy analyst in e-commerce. She also served time on the council for the Internet Society of New Zealand, later InternetNZ, as well as helping to represent New Zealand at International Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meetings. Most recently, Dengate Thrush was a partner in e-learning company BrainFuel.

She was the wife of well-known IT lawyer and ICANN board member Peter Dengate Thrush, whose father and brother, along with a family friend, were also killed in the two-car collision.

InternetNZ president Colin Jackson was travelling with Peter Dengate Thrush when the news arrived and says, “I cannot find words to express how I feel about this horrible tragedy. My thoughts are with Peter and his children.”

Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung also paid tribute, at the recent Tele.Con conference in Auckland. ICANN chairman Vint Cerf sent his condolences as well.

“This is a terrible tragedy and I have extended heartfelt sympathy to Peter on behalf of myself, the board, staff and the ICANN community. Peter is a highly respected and valued member of the ICANN community and we extend to him our friendship, prayers and support at this tragic time.” ICANN has set up a notice board and dozens of colleagues from around the world have paid their respects. Members of one working group called for a minute’s silence in memory of Dengate Thrush.

Dengate Thrush is survived by her husband and three children. Her funeral will be held today (Monday) in Wellington.

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