December 2014

Tribute to a global champion

by David McKenna

I was privileged to be present at the international conference in Rome in late September-early October, together with several other Australians, when Michael Gill received the highest award that can be bestowed by the international organisation, the AIDA medal.

The medal was awarded to Michael for his long service to the international organisation and AILA. 

Michael was one of the original directors of AIDA’s Australian branch but more so was a driving force in the formation of the branch and has continued to be a valuable contributor to AILA’s board, although he will now stand down and take a well-deserved rest, while he devotes his attention to many other worthy causes in which he is involved.

I was privileged to be in Paris four years ago when Michael was appointed president of AIDA’s Presidential Council and in Rome when he completed his term in that role.

It is significant that Michael is the first president ever elected from the Asia-Pacific region and his contribution to the Presidential Council has been recognised as one of the most valuable.

He has been active over his term in seeking to develop new branches throughout the world, including in our own Asia-Pacific region. He has guided the council during a period of development for the international organisation and can be very proud of his contribution as we Australians are proud of that contribution. 

Awarding the AIDA medal fits well with Michael’s recognition as a leader of the insurance industry in Australia. 

It has been my pleasure to have served on the AILA board with Michael for 17 years and to have become involved in the international organisation and in particular its working parties. 

Michael will remain on the Presidential Council as immediate past president and will no doubt fulfil a valuable role in assisting the new president, Jerome Kullman. 

It is, however, appropriate as he stands down from the AILA board after so many years of valuable service that we recognise his contribution and wish him well for the other endeavours and community activities in which he will continue to be involved.

This year Michael was honoured by the Australian & New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance which awarded him a lifetime achievement award.