Bill Pritchett

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Bill Pritchett
AO
Secretary of the Department of Defence
In office
16 August 1979 – 6 February 1984
Personal details
Born William Beal Pritchett
(1921-01-31)31 January 1921
Sydney
Died 28 January 2014(2014-01-28) (aged 92)
Nationality Australia Australian
Spouse(s) Elvira "De" Voorstad
Children Isabel and Henry
Alma mater University of Sydney (BA)
Occupation Public servant

William Beal "Bill" Pritchett AO (31 January 1921 – 28 January 2014) was a senior Australian public servant. He was Secretary of the Department of Defence between 1979 and 1984.

Life and career[edit]

Bill Pritchett was born on 31 January 1921.[1] For schooling, he attended the Sydney Church of England Grammar School.[1] Pritchett studied for an Arts Degree at Sydney University, specializing in history and anthropology.[2]

Pritchett served in World War II and then, in 1945, joined the Commonwealth Public Service as a Cadet in the Department of External Affairs.[1] His first overseas post was to Indonesia, during the country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands.[1]

In 1965, Pritchett was appointed Australia High Commissioner to newly-independent Singapore.[3]

In 1973, Pritchett was recruited to the Defence Department by his former boss in External Affairs, Arthur Tange.[4] He was later appointed Secretary of the Defence Department when Tange retired in 1979.[1][5] During his time as departmental head, Pritchett worked to improve the departmental culture.[6][7]

Pritchett retired from the public service in 1984.[1][8]

Awards and honours[edit]

In January 1984 Pritchett was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his public service.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Furlonger, Bob (8 February 2014). "William Pritchett: From diplomat to head of Defence Department". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Barratt, Paul (28 January 2014), "Vale Bill Prichett 1921–2014", Australian Observer, archived from the original on 6 February 2014 
  3. ^ "Our man for new State.". The Canberra Times. ACT. 14 August 1965. p. 4. 
  4. ^ Furlonger, Bob (7 February 2014). "William Pritchett: From diplomacy to the Defence Department". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. 
  5. ^ CA 46: Department of Defence [III], Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 16 February 2014 
  6. ^ "Vale W.D. Pritchett, 1921-2014", Letter to the Canberra Times (not published), Australia Defence Association, 7 February 2014, archived from the original on 15 February 2014 
  7. ^ Dobell, Graeme (6 February 2014), "To think and to do in Defence", The Strategist: The Australian Strategic Policy Institute Blog, The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, archived from the original on 14 February 2014 
  8. ^ Waterford, Jack (2 February 2014). "A gentleman in an unforgiving world". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 6 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Search Australian Honours: PRITCHETT, William Beal, Australian Government 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Walter Crocker
as High Commissioner
Australian High Commissioner to India
(Acting)

1962–1963
Succeeded by
James Plimsoll
as High Commissioner
Preceded by
Tom Critchley
as High Commissioner to Malaysia
Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
1965–1967
Succeeded by
Alfred Parsons
Government offices
Preceded by
Arthur Tange
Secretary of the Department of Defence
1979–1984
Succeeded by
William Cole