Ian Castles

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Ian Castles
Secretary of the Department of Finance
In office
2 January 1979 – 10 April 1986
Australian Statistician
In office
10 April 1986 – 1994
Personal details
Born 20 February 1935
Kyneton, Victoria
Died 2 August 2010(2010-08-02) (aged 75)
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Public servant

Ian Castles AO OBE (20 February 1935 – 2 August 2010) was Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Finance (1979–86), the Australian Statistician (1986–94), and a Visiting Fellow at the Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Life and career[edit]

Castles was born in Kyneton, Victoria and educated at state schools in Sale, Wesley College, Melbourne and Melbourne University. in 1954, he joined the Australian Public Service in the archives division of the National Library of Australia, then located in Melbourne, and moved to Canberra in 1957. He joined the Treasury in 1958.[1] He was appointed Secretary of the Department of Finance commencing from 2 January 1979.[2] In 1986 he was appointed Australian Statistician.[3]

Between 1995 and 2000, he was Executive Director and Vice President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and he was also President of the International Association of Official Statistics.

He was a contributor to Online Opinion, appeared at events hosted by the Institute of Public Affairs and Centre for Independent Studies, and published papers with The Lavoisier Group. Ian Castles was a skeptic known for his criticism of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, particularly its Special Report on Emissions Scenarios.[4]

His interests included research into the information requirements for public policy (especially at the international level) and the history of economic thought.

Ian Castles died on 2 August 2010, aged 75.[5][6] His death was in Canberra Hospital, from complications following a heart attack.[7]


Ian Castles was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in June 1978,[8] and an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 1987.[9]


His publications include:

  • Ian Castles and David Henderson (2003) The IPCC emission scenarios: An economic-statistical critique, Energy & Environment, vol. 14: nos.2–3.
  • Ian Castles and David Henderson (2003) Economics, emissions scenarios and the work of the IPCC, Energy & Environment, vol. 14, no. 4.
  • Castles, Ian (2000) 'Reporting on Human Development: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics', In Facts and Fancies of Human Development. Castles, Ian (eds.). Canberra: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.


  1. ^ Andrew, Podger (13 August 2010). "Adviser helped steer economic reforms". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. p. 13. 
  2. ^ Fraser, Malcolm (13 December 1978). "Appointment of Mr Ian Castles as Permanent Head Department of Finance" (Press release). Archived from the original on 28 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Hawke, Robert (10 April 1986). "Appointment of Mr Ian Castles as Australian Statistician" (Press release). Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 2010
  5. ^ Canberra Times, 3 August 2010[dead link]
  6. ^ Stephens, Tony (28 September 2010). "Economist helped Finance rival Treasury's advice". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Stephens, Tony (19 October 2010). "The enigmatic 'Mr Numbers' of federal policy". The Age. Fairfax Media. p. 19. 
  8. ^ It's an Honour: OBE
  9. ^ It's an Honour: AO

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Roy Cameron
Australian Statistician
Succeeded by
William McLennan
Preceded by
William Cole
Secretary of the
Department of Finance

Succeeded by
Michael Keating