2004 Vic Award

3 September 2004 Melbourne

Luke Howard, Victorian State Award winner and Victorian Minister for ICT, Marsha ThomsonLuke Howard, Victorian State Award winner and Victorian Minister for ICT, Marsha Thomson

Marsha Thomson, Victorian Minister for Information & Communication Technology, presented the 2004 Victorian Pearcey Award to Luke Howard, CEO of PADL Software, before an audience of 200 IT luminaries and guests in the Great Hall of the National Gallery Victoria on Friday evening.

The award is given annually to a person early in his or her IT career who has demonstrated innovative and pioneering achievement and contribution to research and development.

Luke Howard

Luke founded PADL Software in January of 1999, and has worked in the directory service space for the past eight years, including a stint at Apple Computer in the Core OS group.

PADL provides enterprise identity management software based around the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). PADL software is used by universities, government agencies, and financial institutions worldwide. Its software is also included with products from Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft.

As the author of RFC 2307, our winner drove the adoption of LDAP as a replacement for the Network Information Service (NIS). Our winner's s open source nss_ldap and pam_ldap modules are included with every modern Linux distribution.

Luke has also contributed to many open source projects, including Darwin, Heimdal, and SAMBA, and is a member of the OpenLDAP development team.

The chair of the Victorian awards committee Peter Thorne said:

"Luke is an inspiration to young people making a career in ICT. He has contributed to both the industry and broader community and has shown that Australian companies can be up there with the world's best. The Pearcey Foundation is pleased to give this award to Luke and we feel sure he will continue to be a role model to young entrepreneurs."

Dr. Trevor Pearcey led the project team in Australia between 1947 and 1949 that built the fourth operational computer ever constructed, CSIRAC. Dr Pearcey died on January 27th 1998 and the Foundation was established in his memory to honour Australia's significant contribution to the world's IT industry.

The Pearcey Foundation initiated an awards program to promote and recognise IT excellence by Australians.

The 2004 Victorian Pearcey Award and National Media Award presentation was hosted by the Victorian branch of the Australian Computer Society during the Australian Computer Society National Conference Dinner at NGV, and supported by Multimedia Victoria, Telstra Countrywide, SMS, and Macquarie Corporate.

Luke Howard's acceptance speech

The Honourable Marsha Thompson MP; Ian Dennis, President of the Pearcey Foundation, Distinguished Ladies and Gentleman.

It is a great privilege to be presented with this award. As someone without a formal background in computer science, such an acknowledgment by one' peers means a great deal.

I would like to thank my parents for their support and encouragement, and all with whom I have had the opportunity to study and work. In particular I am very grateful to Brett Adam of Versata and Daniel Ingvarson of MyInternet, who gave me my first real job in the computer industry. I am also very much indebted to PADL's customers and partners.

Australians punch above their weight in many disciplines, and IT is no exception. This event is a particularly appropriate occasion to pay homage to the many role models, past and present, in the Australian IT industry.

I would be the last to claim that any of my work is rocket science, but I do think that PADL's success demonstrates the influence a small vendor can have by defining open standards.

Once again, thank you very much.


2004 Victorian Pearcey Award