Malone's emotional journey revealed at 40under40 awards

ISP leader Michael Malone used the stage to dramatic effect in accepting his award as the WA Business News 40under40 1st Amongst Equals last night, further lashing Telstra before revealing a heartfelt story about his son's autism.
There was barely a dry eye in the house as almost 900 guests at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal hushed to hear Mr Malone, the founder and CEO of iiNet, "drift" from taking Telstra to task onto the confronting subject of dealing with his youngest child's disability.
In rare moment of insight into how hard the past two years have been behind the scenes for one of Perth's most successful businesspeople, he spoke of how autism had crept up his family unexpectedly and afflicted his youngest son.
Mr Malone thanked his wife Beata for bearing this enormous burden as he explained how the Malones were learning to cope with it.
In an emotional analogy, he said it was like you had always wanted to go Paris and, having headed there for a long-planned visit with friends, you find yourself, instead, in Amsterdam, separated from your mates as they party in France.
You can sit around or get angry, or you can just go out and "see Amsterdam", which is special in its own way he told the crowd.
The personal tale followed a spirited attacked on the uncertainty that had crept into the telecommunications business in the past year due to Telstra's role as both a competitor and supplier.
Mr Malone blamed this for wiping off around half the value of his listed company.
The other 39 40under40 award winners can be viewed at:


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