Remembering Leonie Jackson
Statement by Tony Abrahams, Ai-Media Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
“The entire Ai-Media family is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic death of Leonie Jackson, a co-founder and former executive who launched the company’s flagship live captioning product, Ai-Live, into schools, universities and workplaces in 2010.
“Leonie oversaw our first pilots of live captioning in NSW and Victorian schools, benefiting students with deafness, autism, learning difficulties and English language learners. As an experienced teacher and administrator, she was critical to the successful launch of Ai-Media’s suite of education products globally, and she mentored and supported countless emerging leaders.
“After 20 years in education and policy, Leonie spent five years at Ai-Media, before leaving in 2015 to become the first deaf CEO of the Deaf Society of NSW and orchestrating its merger last year with Deaf Services Queensland.
“During her time at Ai-Media, Leonie was a key driver of the Company’s purpose and our subsequent success. Underestimated by many growing up due to her deafness, Leonie’s passion was to make the world accessible for all – a mission we continue every day.
“Leonie was also one of my very closest friends. Her heroic sacrifice – diving into a rip to save her son just one day after celebrating her 50th birthday – is a tragedy beyond words and speaks to the character of a woman and a leader whose life was lived in service to others.
“I am heartbroken, and I know Leonie will be terribly missed by the many thousands of lives she touched, who remember her energy, passion, talent and amazing sense of humour.
“Our deepest sympathies are with her boys, Tobian and Byron, and the rest of her family.”