It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Steve Jackson.
As many in the industry know, Steve has been a senior leader, mentor and driving force within the security industry for almost two decades. In addition to his most recent role, in which he served as the Chief Security Officer for the Qantas Group for over 13 years, Steve enjoyed a long and illustrious career spanning the Royal Navy in the UK through to the Australian Federal Police.
Prior to his role with Qantas, Steve served with the Australian Federal Police where he undertook a range of significant assignments including acting as the lead investigator for the Bali Bombing (for which he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia) and the operational commander for the Sydney Olympics, among many other things.
Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of Qantas commented “It often felt like Steve’s reputation and experience arrived in a room several minutes before he did. When he spoke, everyone listened because of the insight and authority he brought to bear. He had a lot of presence and a lot of gravitas. And for good reason.”
He went on to say “Despite all the years he spent in various armed forces, Steve was a true egalitarian. He offered automatic respect to everyone he met and received the same in return. He had many, many good friends at Qantas – including me. We will miss him terribly.”
To those who knew him, Steve Jackson was a true gentleman and always calm in a crisis, which set the tone for his response to his cancer diagnosis almost two years ago. Steve was determined to ‘keep calm and carry on’. To keep living his life and maintain a clear sense of purpose. He loved his job, believed deeply in helping to keep people safe, had a deep and abiding passion for the security profession and worked as often as he could, even during the final stages of his illness.
He also used his time to help other cancer sufferers, speaking publicly (and very candidly) about his experience with lung cancer. Late last year he gave a TEDx talk about his journey, which you can view here.
In addition to his role at Qantas, Steve was an active participant in many industry associations including roles as Chair of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Security Group; a member of the oneworld Security Committee; a member of the International Security Management Association; an adviser to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Security Committee; and a member of the Australian Institute of Police Management Governance and Risk Committee. He also played active roles in the Security Professionals Association and was also instrumental in establishing the Australian Security Medals Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which was dedicated to recognising and promoting the excellent work of people in the security industry through a yearly gala dinner and award ceremony. Steve served in a variety of capacities on the board of the Foundation for six years, including a number of years as its inaugural Chairman.
Steve is survived by his wife, Marlene; his children Aaron, Beth and Emma; and his grandchildren. We offer them our sincerest condolences, and sincere thanks for sharing Steve with us for so many years.
In loving memory of a kind man, a great leader, a consummate professional and an inspiration to us all. May he rest in peace.
A memorial was held today in Sydney.