Neil Pope

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The Honourable
Neil Pope
Member of the Victorian Parliament
for Monbulk
In office
April 1982 – 3 October 1992
Preceded by Bill Borthwick
Succeeded by Steve McArthur
Administrator of Norfolk Island
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 April 2012
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Owen Walsh
Personal details
Born (1949-03-03) 3 March 1949 (age 65)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Jennifer Mary Gebbie
Children Jacinta and Sam
Residence Camberwell
Alma mater Swinburne Technical College
RMIT University
Occupation Managing Director Neil Pope & Associates

Neil Albert Pope (born 3 March 1949) is a former Australian politician. He was the Labor member for Monbulk in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1982 to 1992.[1] and served as a Minister in the Labor Governments of John Cain II and Joan Kirner.

He was the Victorian Minister for Labour from 1988 to 1992, Minister for Youth Affairs from 1988 to 1991 and Minister for School Education from January to October in 1992. Pope lost his seat in October 1992, when the Kennett Liberal Government was elected.

He is currently Managing Director of Neil Pope and Associates, a Human Resources and Employment Relations consultancy practice that has consulted to many of the top 200 companies in Australia and to all three tiers of government across most States of Australia. He has worked extensively in higher education with a major client being Monash University, a major international university based in Melbourne, Australia.

On 13 February 2012 the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Hon. Simon Crean announced that Neil Pope has been appointed as the 36th Administrator of Norfolk Island. His appointment took effect from 1 April 2012 and is for a two-year term.

Early life[edit]

Neil Pope was born in Melbourne, the youngest son of Jack Harry Pope and Iris Lorretta Lee.

He was educated at Christ Church Grammar School, Caulfield Grammar School and studied for a Diploma of Business Studies (Accounting) at the Swinburne Institute of Technology (now Swinburne University) and a Diploma of Business Studies in Local Government at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (now RMIT University).

Pope also qualified for a Certificate of Competency issued under the Local Government Act 1958, at the time the professional qualification for a Municipal Clerk in Victoria.

Before politics[edit]

Between 1973 and 1976 Neil Pope was an Assistant Accountant and Assistant Town Clerk in Victorian local government.

In 1976 he became an Industrial Officer with the Municipal Officers Association, a position he held until his election to the Parliament of Victoria in 1982.

In 1979 he served as a councillor on the Shire of Lillydale, a municipality on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne. He resigned this office in 1982.

State politics[edit]

In April 1982 Pope was elected to the Parliament of Victoria in the electorate of Monbulk. He defeated Bill Borthwick who was Deputy Premier of Victoria at the time. Pope was re-elected in 1985 and 1988, but lost his seat in the Victorian election of October 1992.

Between 1982 and 1988 Neil was a member of the all-Party Parliamentary Public Bodies Review Committee that conducted a number of major inquiries into Victorian public agencies.

In 1985 Pope was appointed as a backbench member of the Victorian Government’s Industrial Relations Taskforce, the co-ordinating body for industrial relations in Victoria at the time.

Between 1987 and 1988 he was Chairman of the Working Party on State-Local Government Financial Relationships. Its final report, known throughout the sector as the Pope Report, made a series of fundamental recommendations about the future development of financial relations between State and Local Government in Victoria.

Following the Victorian election of 1988 Neil Pope was elected to the Victorian Cabinet. He was a Government Minister until the defeat of the Labor Government in 1992. He served as Minister for Labour (1988–1992), Minister for Youth Affairs (1988–1991) and Minister for School Education (1991–1992).

Minister for Labour (1988-1992)[edit]

In this portfolio Pope was responsible for industrial relations, occupational health and safety, the Victorian building and construction industry and employment. His major achievements during this time included:

  • the lowest level of industrial disputation (working days lost) over a four-year period on record in Victoria
  • a 32% reduction in lost time injuries
  • the re-write of the Industrial Relations Act (achieved with the consent of all parties unions, employers and political parties).
  • a substantial increase in the awareness of dangerous goods and major reform of the transportation of dangerous goods.
  • the first Minister to produce and publish strategic objectives with definable goals
  • oversight of a vibrant construction industry and the instigation of the extended deregistration of the BLF.

Minister for Youth Affairs (1988-1991)[edit]

His major achievements during this time included:

  • the development and publication of Victoria's first Youth Budget in 1989
  • Implementation of the Victorian Government's response to the Australian Human Rights Commission's 1990 report on Youth Homelessness (the "Burdekin Report)
  • Development and publication in 1990 of a strategic framework for government wide youth policy - the Youth Agenda

Minister for School Education (1991-1992)[edit]

His major achievements during this time included:

  • completion of the successful introduction of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
  • a continued increase in school retention rates.

After politics[edit]

In February 1993 he established Neil Pope and Associates, a human resource management consultancy, specialising in mediation and workplace reform.

Appointment as Administrator of Norfolk Island[edit]

On 13 February 2012 the Minister for Regional Australia announced that Neil Pope has been appointed as the 36th Administrator of Norfolk Island.[2]

In announcing the appointment made by the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce, the Minister for Regional Australia, Hon. Simon Crean said:

Mr Pope’s long and impressive career in State and local government, together with his recent management consultancy experience will greatly assist in overseeing the implementation of the reform process on Norfolk Island.
An important role for the new Administrator will be to continue to foster active community engagement in the reform agenda by providing opportunities for all residents and stakeholders.

Neil’s term commenced on 1 April 2012 and is for two years.

Personal[edit]

Neil Pope was awarded a Centenary Medal in January 2001 for service to the community through industrial relations, local government and parliament.[3]

Neil is a keen golfer and an active member of the Portsea Golf Club where he has served on the Committee since 2003. He is currently the President of the Club.

He is also a keen follower of Australian rules football, a supporter of the Carlton Football Club and a member of its Blues Coterie.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Bill Borthwick
Member for Monbulk
1982–1992
Succeeded by
Steve McArthur
Political offices
Preceded by
Barry Pullen
Minister for Education
1992
Succeeded by
Don Hayward
Government offices
Preceded by
Owen Walsh
Administrator of Norfolk Island
2012–present
Incumbent