John Bunting (diplomat)

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Sir
John Bunting
AC KBE
Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
In office
1 February 1975 (1975-02-01) – 31 March 1977 (1977-03-31)
Preceded by John Armstrong
Succeeded by Sir Gordon Freeth
Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department
In office
1959 – 10 March 1968 (1968-03-10)
Preceded by Allen Brown
Succeeded by Lenox Hewitt
Secretary of the Department of Education and Science
In office
13 December 1966 (1966-12-13) – 1 February 1967 (1967-02-01)
Secretary of the Department of the Cabinet Office
In office
11 March 1968 (1968-03-11) – 17 March 1971 (1971-03-17)
Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
In office
17 March 1971 (1971-03-17) – 31 January 1975 (1975-01-31)
Preceded by new office
Succeeded by John Menadue
Personal details
Born Edward John Bunting
(1918-03-03)3 March 1918
Ballarat, Victoria
Died 2 May 1995(1995-05-02) (aged 77)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australia Australian
Spouse(s) (Lady) Peggy Bunting
Children 3 sons
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Public servant; Diplomat
[1]

Sir (Edward) John Bunting AC KBE (3 March 1918 – 2 May 1995) was an Australian public servant and diplomat, whose senior career appointments included Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Biography[edit]

Bunting was born in Ballarat, Victoria, and was educated at the Trinity Grammar School and later at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts (honours). Bunting was one of four graduates accepted into the Commonwealth Public Service in 1940, accepting a posting in Canberra within the Department of Trade and Customs and later, the Department of Post-war Reconstruction.[1] After a short posting overseas, Bunting became a member of the Sydney-based Inter-Departmental Dollar Committee, which dealt with the allocation of dollars for imports.[2]

In 1950 he was appointed to the Prime Minister's Department as an assistant secretary and later returned to London as Official Secretary at Australia House. Back in Canberra, Bunting was appointed deputy secretary in the Prime Minister's Department and appointed as Secretary to that department in 1959, a position he continued to hold until 1968,[1] and served successive Prime Ministers Sir Robert Menzies, Harold Holt, and John McEwen. Within days of John Gorton becoming Prime Minister, Bunting was sidelined as Secretary to the newly formed Department of the Cabinet Office[3] and was replaced by Lenox Hewitt as Secretary to the Prime Minister's Department.[4][5][6][7] On taking office as Prime Minister in 1971, William McMahon reversed Gorton's changes and restored Bunting to the pre-eminent position as Secretary to the newly formed Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Hewitt accepted appointment to the lesser role of Secretary to the Department of the Vice-President of the Executive Council.[8][9][10] Bunting provided advice to incoming Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on the transition to government;[11] with Whitlam later opining of Bunting:[1]

(His) loyalty, integrity, diligence and dedication have made him a leader and example among all public servants.

Bunting was appointed to serve as High Commissioner in London, with effect from 1 February 1975.[12] Suffering a heart attack whilst in Dundee in February 1968,[13][14] Bunting returned to Australia in 1977, unable to complete his full term as High Commissioner.[15]

Upon his return to Australia, Bunting was appointed as a consultant to the Office of National Assessments.[16] A close confidant of Robert Menzies during and after his Prime Ministerial career,[1] in 1978 Bunting was appointed as the inaugural National Coordinator of the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation.[17] In 1988, Bunting authored a biography of Robert Menzies, entitled R. G. Menzies: a portrait.[1][18]

Bunting died in Sydney on 2 May 1995, aged 77, survived by Lady Bunting and their three sons.[1]

Honours[edit]

In 1953 Bunting was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire;[19] and upgraded to a Commander of the Order in 1961.[20] Knighted as a Knight Bachelor in 1964;[21] and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1977.[22] In 1982 Bunting was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition for public and community service.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "OBITUARY: Sir JOHN BUNTING Revered by his peers and his masters.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 3 May 1995. p. 13. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "JOURNALIST CHARGED ON SECRECY COUNT.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 22 March 1949. p. 5. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Gorton, John (11 March 1968). "For press: PM. No. 31/ 1968 Department of the Cabinet Office - Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr John Gorton". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Browne, Geoffrey; Millar, Ann; Evans, Harry (2010), "Gorton, Sir John Grey (1911-2002)", The biographical dictionary of the Australian Senate. Volume 3, 1962-1983, University of New South Wales Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-86840-996-2, retrieved 5 November 2013 
  5. ^ "PM plans to split his department". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 2 March 1968. p. 1. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Gaul, Jonathan (5 March 1968). "A think-tank and a Secretariat". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). p. 2. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Gaul, Jonathan (12 March 1968). "PM forms a Cabinet department". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). p. 1. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ McMahon, William (17 March 1971). "Permanent Head of Department of the Vice-President of the Executive Council - Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr William McMahon". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Solomon, David (13 March 1971). "PM sets up new departments.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). p. 1. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "System inefficient.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 13 March 1971. p. 1. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Hocking, Jennifer (2012), Gough Whitlam: His Time (ebook), Miegunyah Press, ISBN 9-780-5228-6215-7, retrieved 5 November 2013 
  12. ^ Whitlam, Gough (23 August 1974). "Appointments approved by the Executive Council". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "LATE NEWS.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 19 February 1976. p. 1. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Recovering.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 23 February 1976. p. 3. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Fraser, Malcolm (6 September 1976). "Senior Government Appointments". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "Bunting's new job.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 14 October 1977. p. 3. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Family Notices.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 9 May 1995. p. 24. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Bunting, John Sir (1988). R.G. Menzies, a portrait. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-0-04-320211-1. 
  19. ^ "BUNTING, Edward John: Officer of the Order of the British Empire". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 June 1953. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "BUNTING, Edward John: Commander of the Order of the British Empire". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 January 1961. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "BUNTING, Edward John: Knight bachelor". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 January 1964. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "BUNTING, Edward John: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 January 1977. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "BUNTING, Edward John: Companion of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 26 January 1982. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Nethercote, John (1995-06-08), "Sir John Bunting: Obituary", The Independent (Financial Times Ltd) (n2695): p18(1), ISSN 0951-9467 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Armstrong
Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
1975–1977
Succeeded by
Sir Gordon Freeth
Government offices
Preceded by
Allen Brown
Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department
1959–1968
Succeeded by
Lenox Hewitt
New title
Department created
Secretary of the Department of the Cabinet Office
1968–1971
Succeeded by
Himself
as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Preceded by
Himself
as Secretary of the Department of the Cabinet Office
Secretary of the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

1971–1975
Succeeded by
John Menadue
Preceded by
Lenox Hewitt
as Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department
New title
Department created
Secretary of the Department of Education and Science
1966–1967
Succeeded by
Hugh Ennor