Janette Howard at APEC Australia 2007
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia|
11 March 1996–3 December 2007
|Preceded by||Annita Keating|
|Succeeded by||Thérèse Rein|
11 August 1944
Kingsford, New South Wales, Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Spouse(s)||John Howard (m. 1971–present)|
|Residence||Wollstonecraft, New South Wales|
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales
University of Sydney
Janette Howard (née Parker; born 11 August 1944) is the wife of John Howard, who was the Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007 and the second longest serving Australian Prime Minister.
Early life, education, and personal life
Janette Parker was born in the suburb of Kingsford, Sydney in 1944. Her father was an engineer with the New South Wales railways. The family later moved to Vaucluse. She was educated at Sydney Girls High School and trained as a teacher.
The Howards have three children, Melanie (born 1974, married Rowan McDonald in 2003), Tim (born 1977, married Sarah Mackintosh in 2010) and Richard (born 1980); as well as two grandsons, Angus (born 2007) and Alexander (born 2012).
Janette Howard adopted a relatively low profile during her husband's tenure as prime minister; however, in 1999, a journalist alleged that she had intervened with the Prime Minister concerning an appointment to the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Janette issued a rare public statement denying the allegation as "not only wrong but deeply offensive to me".
In 1996, Janette Howard was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent surgery; the type of cancer she had was not revealed to the public until 2006. John Howard said at the time that he would leave politics immediately if it seemed necessary in the interests of his wife's health. Since then Janette has been active in advocating early screening for breast cancer for Australian women.
Janette Howard's public duties included accompanying the Prime Minister on official tours and carrying out the duties of official host at the Prime Minister's official residences, The Lodge in Canberra and Kirribilli House in Sydney. She is also a patron of the National Portrait Gallery.
Janette Howard was always seen at the Prime Minister's side during election campaigns. According to John Howard's biographer Pru Goward, Janette "lives and breathes" politics. She also devoted time to "nursing" John Howard's electorate of Bennelong, which, although a Liberal seat since its creation in 1949, gradually became less Liberal and culminated in the defeat of John Howard at the 2007 election by the Labor Party's Maxine McKew (the seat returned to Liberal hands at the 2010 election when McKew was defeated by John Alexander).
- Prime Minister of Australia
- "Janette Howard reveals cancer details". News.com.au. AAP. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Mrs Janette Howard sends message to Australian Women – NBCC
- "Janette plays second fiddle, with gusto". The Age. 11 November 2007.
Annita van Iersel
|Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
11 March 1996 – 3 December 2007