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Jim was the ultimate professional in his work and the ultimate gentleman in his dealings with people from all walks of life and all cultures. He quietly went about his professional and personal activities without fanfare and without seeking acknowledgement.
This is not to underestimate the tremendous contribution he made to support people, organizations and projects within Australia and overseas. It was often well after an event that one discovered the extent of the work, the kindness and the insight of Jim Short’s guiding hand in bringing an issue to fruition and success.
Jim demonstrated great patience and wisdom in dealing with people, and with big organisations like Universities and government agencies. Some of us who became over-enthusiastic about some particular idea were often met with Jim’s encouraging response but one which went on to show there was a better way to get the same result.
Cooperative institutions in the Asia Pacific were great beneficiaries of Jim Short’s knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, acquired over many years through his missions in Austrade.
These included the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) but especially the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). He showed great commitment to their goals and enjoyed their successes.
Jim was cherished as a reliable and congenial focal point of the Australia PECC system by all his colleagues across the 23 Asia Pacific economies of PECC as well as those in Australia.
Jim worked as Executive Director of AUSPECC from 1998 through to the PECC General Meeting held in Sydney in 2007 – the first time PECC returned to Australia since its foundation in 1980. The extra challenge for Jim in organizing the Seventeenth PECC General Meeting was that it has the first meeting to be held after a major restructuring of how the Council delivers its work program. The way the event was organized became a model for future General Meetings.
Colleagues meeting in Washington last week for a PECC General Meeting recalled his great contributions to work of the Council and recalled especially its meeting in Sydney in 2007. One of the many things Jim leaves with us is an understanding of how to get things done in these sorts of organisations. He continues to be a reference point for us in that respect.
A particularly poignant event for Jim was a conference hosted by the China committee (CNCPEC) on “Mining Economy; Development and Environmental Protection held in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Jim’s wife Monika had spent some years there so Jim’s mission was to track down the house she had stayed in. To his delight, Jim not only found the house but people who had been taught by Monika’s parents.
Jim was immensely loyal to his friends and colleagues and never engaged in unconstructive commentary about frustrating people or issues. Jim Short was a great man. he will be well remembered for his integrity, his friendship and his many and varied contributions to life and to people.
Christopher Findlay, David Parsons, Eduardo Pedrosa and members of the PECC community
Jim Short at the house where his wife Monika lived as a child in Shanxi, with the new house occupants and two doctors who had been taught by Monika’s parents