John Carrick (Australian politician)

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Sir John Carrick

Leader of the Government in the Senate
In office
7 August 1978 – 11 March 1983
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byReg Withers
Succeeded byJohn Button
Minister for National Development and Energy
In office
8 December 1979 – 11 March 1983
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byKevin Newman
Succeeded byPeter Walsh
Minister for Education
In office
22 December 1975 – 8 December 1979
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byMargaret Guilfoyle
Succeeded byWal Fife
Minister for Urban and Regional Development
In office
11 November 1975 – 22 December 1975
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byTom Uren
Succeeded byIvor Greenwood
Minister for Housing and Construction
In office
11 November 1975 – 22 December 1975
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Preceded byJoe Riordan
Succeeded byJohn McLeay as Minister for Works
Ivor Greenwood as Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development
Senator for New South Wales
In office
1 July 1971 – 5 June 1987
Personal details
Born(1918-09-04)4 September 1918
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died18 May 2018(2018-05-18) (aged 99)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Political partyLiberal
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
OccupationResearch officer

Sir John Leslie Carrick, AC, KCMG (4 September 1918 – 18 May 2018) was an Australian politician who served as a Senator for New South Wales from 1971 to 1987, representing the Liberal Party. He was a minister for the duration of the Fraser Government, holding several different portfolios.[1]

Early life[edit]

Carrick was born in Sydney in 1918, as the fourth of six children born to Emily (née Terry) and Arthur James Carrick. His father worked as a clerk in the Government Printing Office, but lost his job during the Great Depression. Carrick grew up in Woollahra, Randwick, and Bondi, and attended the local state schools. He eventually won a scholarship to the selective Sydney Technical High School. He worked for the Australian Gas Light Company after leaving school, while attending night classes in chemistry at Sydney Technical College. He eventually was admitted to the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Economics in 1941.[2]

After previously serving in the Sydney University Regiment, Carrick joined the Australian Imperial Force in December 1940. He was posted to the 18th Anti-Tank Battery, which in December 1941 was deployed to West Timor as part of the Sparrow Force. After landing he was captured by the Japanese. Carrick was initially imprisoned on Java and later in Singapore's Changi prison camp. In 1943, he was sent to work on the Burma Railway, including at Hellfire Pass. He learned enough Malay and Japanese to act as an interpreter.[2] After his liberation towards the end of the war, he was seconded to the Supreme Allied Commander, Lord Mountbatten.[3][4]

Political career[edit]

In January 1946, Carrick began working as a research officer for the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party. He was appointed general secretary of the Division in 1948, and would hold the position until 1971. The Bulletin dubbed him the "grey eminence of Ash Street", referring to the location of the party's headquarters. Along with the state president, Bill Spooner, Carrick toured New South Wales founding new branches and looking for prospective candidates. He published a book about liberalism in 1949 titled The Liberal Way of Progress. The Liberals were in power federally for virtually the duration of Carrick's tenure as general secretary, but did not win a state election until 1965, when Robert Askin was elected as premier.[2]

After the retirement of Alister McMullin, Carrick won Liberal preselection for the 1970 half-Senate election, and was elected to a term beginning on 1 July 1971. He used his maiden speech to promote a series of proposed reforms to the relationship between the federal government and the states. His second speech was given in support Senator Lionel Murphy's private member's bill for the abolition of capital punishment, which he described as "legal murder". The bill passed the Senate but was defeated in the House of Representatives; a similar bill eventually passed in 1973. Carrick was a strong defender of the powers of the Senate, which he viewed as "the only safeguard against unbridled power and arrogance". He was one of the leading advocates for the Senate's deferral of the Whitlam Government's appropriation bills, which led to the 1975 constitutional crisis and the eventual dismissal of the government.[2]

Carrick had been added to the shadow cabinet in 1974, under Billy Snedden, and retained his place under Malcolm Fraser. He was Minister for Housing and Construction and Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the caretaker government from November to December 1975, and then served as Minister for Education from 1975 to 1979 and Minister for National Development and Energy from 1979 to 1983. He was also Leader of the Government in the Senate from 1978 to 1983. He retired from politics at the double dissolution election of 1987.[2]

Later life[edit]

From 1988 to 1989, Carrick was chairman of the Committee of Review of NSW Schools. This committee conducted a comprehensive inquiry from birth to HSC including the drafting of 1990 Education Reform Act. He subsequently reviewed the implementation of the report up to 1995. From 1992 to 1995 he was a member of the New South Wales Ministerial Advisory Council for Teacher Education. As part of this process he travelled around New South Wales and met with students and teachers across both the public and private education systems in order to learn ways in which teacher education could be improved. From 1992 to 2001 he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Macquarie University Institute of Early Childhood. In 1998, he became the chairman of the Advisory Committee, Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales. In 2001, he was appointed chairman of the Macquarie University Institute of Early Childhood Foundation.[2]

In 2012, Connor Court Press published a biography of Carrick written by Graeme Starr, titled Carrick: Principles, Politics, and Policy. It was launched by John-Paul Langbroek, the Queensland Minister for Education.[5]

Honours and awards[edit]

In 1982, Carrick was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG), "for services to the Parliament of Australia".[6] He was awarded honorary Doctor of Letters degrees by the University of Sydney (1988) and Macquarie University (2000), and in 1994 he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educators.[citation needed] He received the Centenary Medal in 2001, "for outstanding leadership and service to the Australian community, especially through education",[7] and in 2008 was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), "for distinguished service in the area of educational reform in Australia, particularly through the advancement of early childhood education and to the development and support of new initiatives in the tertiary sector, and to the broader community".[8] The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education was named after him in 2004.[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

On 2 June 1951, Carrick married Diana Margaret Hunter (known as Angela). The couple had three daughters together.[2] One daughter, Jane, became a gastroenterologist and married Liberal politician Bob Woods.[9] Carrick was widowed in February 2018, a few months before his own death. His wife served as chief commissioner of Girl Guides Australia from 1983 to 1988, and was an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).[10]

Carrick died on 18 May 2018 at the age of 99 in Melbourne. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former prime ministers John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott all issued condolence statements. Turnbull's statement described Carrick as "a lion of the Liberal Party, a soldier and a statesman whose passion for education improved the lives of many Australians", while Howard cited Carrick as a "close friend and political mentor" who "taught me more about politics than anyone else".[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Members of the Senate since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h CARRICK, SIR JOHN LESLIE (1918–2018), Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  3. ^ "John L Carrick: The Liberal Party and The Future". 34 (2). Australian Quarterly. June 1967. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  4. ^ Harwin, Don (4 September 2003). "Tribute to the Hon Sir John Leslie Carrick". Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  5. ^ Langbroek to launch book on Sir John Carrick, Australian Catholic University, 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  6. ^ It's an Honour – KCMG
  7. ^ "Award Extract". Australian Government. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. ^ It's an Honour – AC
  9. ^ WOODS, ROBERT LESLIE (1947– ), Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  10. ^ Constituency statements: Carrick, Lady Diana Margaret 'Angela', AO, OpenAustralia, 26 March 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Prominent Liberal Party figure John Carrick dies". The Australian Financial Review. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Sir John Carrick dies, aged 99". The Australian. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Riordan
Minister for Housing and Construction
1975
Succeeded by
John McLeay
as Minister for Works
Succeeded by
Ivor Greenwood
as Minister for Environment, Housing
and Community Development
Preceded by
Tom Uren
Minister for Urban and Regional Development
1975
Preceded by
Margaret Guilfoyle
Minister for Education
1975–1979
Succeeded by
Wal Fife
Preceded by
Kevin Newman
Minister for National Development and Energy
1979–1983
Succeeded by
Peter Walsh
Preceded by
Reg Withers
Vice-President of the Executive Council
1978–1982
Succeeded by
James Killen
Party political offices
Preceded by
Reg Withers
Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate
1978–1983
Succeeded by
Fred Chaney