Murray Tyrrell

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This article is about the Australian public servant (1913–1994). For the Hunter Valley winemaker (1921–2000), see Murray Tyrrell (winemaker).
Sir Murray Louis Tyrrell
KCVOCBE
Murray-tyrrell-and-Ellen-Greig-wedding-1939.JPG
Murray and Ellen Tyrell on their wedding day, 6 May 1939
Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia
In office
1947–1973
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Governor General Sir William McKell (1947–53)
Sir William Slim (1953–60)
The Viscount Dunrossil (1960–61)
The Viscount De L'Isle (1961–65)
The Lord Casey (1965–69)
Sir Paul Hasluck (1969–73)
Preceded by Sir Leighton Bracegirdle
Succeeded by Sir David Smith
Personal details
Born (1913-12-01)1 December 1913
Melbourne, Victoria
Died 13 July 1994(1994-07-13) (aged 80)
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Spouse(s) Ellen St Clair Tyrell (née Greig)

Sir Murray Louis Tyrrell KCVOCBE (1 December 1913 – 13 July 1994) was an Australian public servant, noted as the Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia for a record term of 26 years, 1947–73, in which time he served six governors-general.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kilmore, Victoria, Murray Tyrrell was educated at Orbost and Melbourne High Schools.

He married Ellen (Nell) Greig on 6 May 1939. They had three children, two daughters born first, Leonie Ellen and Margot Evelyn, and then a son, Michael St Clair.

Career[edit]

He served for over 45 years in the Australian Public Service. For most of this time he was assistant secretary or personal secretary to a succession of Ministers including the Prime Minister, Ben Chifley.[1]

Tyrrell succeeded Rear Admiral Sir Leighton Bracegirdle as Official Secretary to the Governor-General, William McKell (later Sir William), in March 1947.[2]

He also served Sir William McKell's successors Sir William Slim, Lord Dunrossil, Lord De L'Isle, Lord Casey and Sir Paul Hasluck. The Queen named him a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), for his service rendered during the Royal Visit in 1954. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1959. Both of these honours occurred during Sir William Slim's term.

Murray Tyrrell had a small but pivotal role to play in the establishment of the Australian Conservation Foundation. The ACF began in the second half of 1964, after a suggestion was made to Tyrrell by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh while visiting Australia in 1963. He voiced an idea that Australia could become involved in conservation by establishing a branch of the World Wildlife Fund. Tyrrell convened a meeting that came to the conclusion that, if a conservation body was to exist, its efforts should be directed at conserving Australia's own heritage. From this the ACF emerged.[3]

Murray Tyrrell was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1968, during Lord Casey's term. This was awarded for personal service to the Queen, and was not on recommendation from the Prime Minister. He had been attached to the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace from May to August 1962.[4] After his retirement in 1973, which occurred during Sir Paul Hasluck's term, he was succeeded by David Smith.

Sir Murray lived at 11 Blundell Street, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, in an old heritage cottage still called "Sir Murray Tyrrell's Cottage". He was an Alderman of the Queanbeyan City Council 1976–1980.

In 1977 he was named the Australian of the Year,[5] jointly with Dame Raigh Roe.

Honours[edit]

  • 1968 Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Library of Australia". Nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  2. ^ Christopher Cunneen: William John McKell[dead link]
  3. ^ "Records of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Head Office Melbourne – MS 9429". Nla.gov.au. 2003-11-13. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Governor's Secretary is Honoured by the Queen", The Age, 10 June 1968
  5. ^ Lewis, Wendy (2010). Australians of the Year. Pier 9 Press. ISBN 978-1-74196-809-5. 
  6. ^ "It's an Honour: CVO". Itsanhonour.gov.au. 1954-04-27. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  7. ^ "It's an Honour: CBE". Itsanhonour.gov.au. 1959-06-13. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  8. ^ "It's an Honour: KCVO". Itsanhonour.gov.au. 1968-06-08. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Sir Edward Dunlop
Australian of the Year Award
1977
Served alongside: Raigh Roe
Succeeded by
Alan Bond
Galarrwuy Yunupingu
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Leighton Bracegirdle
Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia
1947–1973
Succeeded by
Sir David Smith