23 March 2021
Business meeting

Last week on Tuesday 16 March 2021, .au Domain Administration (auDA) held a breakfast briefing in Melbourne CBD and online as an opportunity to bring the registrar community together to discuss progress being made in the .au namespace.

What’s happening in .au

To kick the morning off Rosemary Sinclair, CEO of auDA welcomed attendees, advising that it has been a busy start to 2021. Rosemary explained that the purpose of the briefing was to provide an update on recent activities and priorities for the .au namespace including the rollout of the new .au licensing rules, consideration of Critical Infrastructure matters and stakeholder activity within .au. Rosemary reflected on auDA’s focus on raising awareness of the value of .au domain names in terms of trust and confidence, and highlighted that a key priority for the organisation was to strengthen cybersecurity within Australia.

Next up, Bruce Tonkin, COO of auDA gave an update on operational activities, including the launch of second level .au domain names and how registrars may be impacted by the new rules. He advised the group of the improvements in validation that are required in advance of launching second level names.

Representing Afilias Australia was Patrick Donaldson, Country Manager, who shared the latest on .au registry activity and trends. He commented on possible reasons for positive .au domain name growth in the past year, including auDA’s .com.au campaign, various registrar promotions and the rush that came as businesses moved online in 2020. Patrick introduced attendees to Akram Atallah, CEO of Donuts (Afilias’ parent company) who shared an update on both local and global operations. 

Compliance and Critical Infrastructure

Steph Viljoen, Compliance Manager at auDA ran us through a presentation on auDA’s improvements to compliance and complaints handling following an independent review last year that she also presented at the recent ICANN70 prep week. Steph outlined auDA’s compliance posture and highlighted it as a key function in building trust and confidence in .au while maintaining transparency and awareness of opportunities for continuous improvement.

Next, the auDA policy team discussed their engagement with the government on the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020, with Caroline Fritsch leading a discussion on how Critical Infrastructure assets have been classified and why registrars should be aware of these changes. As leading organisations within the communications sector, both auDA and Afilias Australia have made formal responses to the changes, auDA’s recent submission can be accessed here and Afilias Australia’s initial response to the draft exposure bill can be found here

Supporting the industry

Throughout the session attendees were given the opportunity to reflect as active participants in the .au domain name industry and provide feedback on these core areas of focus. Rosemary concluded by acknowledging that a good start had been made on a range of significant issues, and reminded us again of the criticality of the .au domain name system in everything we, and over 3 million other Australian businesses and individuals do every day. 

Afilias Australia commends auDA on an informative, engaging event, and we look forward to continuing to play an important role as registry operator in supporting growth, security and stability within .au.

Have a question, comment or feedback? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au today.