About John Menadue — archive with comments


John Laurence Menadue has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1985 for public service. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal ‘for service to Australian society through public service leadership’. In 1997, he received the Japanese Imperial Award, The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Kun-itto Zuiho-sho), the highest honour awarded to foreigners who are not head of state or head of government.

John Menadue was born in South Australia in 1935. He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1956 as a Bachelor of Economics.

From 1960 to 1967 he was Private Secretary to Gough Whitlam, Leader of the Opposition. He then moved into the private sector for seven years as General Manager, News Limited, Sydney, publisher of ‘The Australian’.

John Menadue was head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1974 to 1976. He was closely involved in the events of November 11, 1975, and worked for Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser.

He was Australian Ambassador to Japan from 1976 to 1980.

He returned to Australia in 1980 to take up the position of Head, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.. He was appointed Head of the Department of Trade in December 1983.

He was Chief Executive Officer of Qantas from June 1986 to July 1989.

He was a Director of Telstra from December 1994 to October 1996, and Chairman of the Australia Japan Foundation from 1991 to 1998.

He chaired the NSW Health Council which reported to the NSW Minister for Health in March 2000 on changes to health services in NSW. He also chaired the SA Generational Health Review which reported to the SA Minister for Human Services in May 2003.

He was the founding Chair of NewMatilda.com, an independent weekly online newsletter which was launched in August 2004. He is now a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, which continues the work of the Policy Portal in New Matilda.

In 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Adelaide in recognition of his significant and lifelong contribution to Australian society as a Public Servant, Diplomat, Critical Thinker, Board Director, Advisor and Public Commentator.

He is a Patron of the Asylum Seekers’ Centre in Sydney.

In 2013 he established a personal blog, Pearls & Irritations.  It now has over 6,000 subscribers and 4,000 daily readers.

John Menadue is married with four children, ten grand children and three great grand children.

In October 1999, John Menadue published his autobiography ‘Things you learn along the way’.



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Great blog – thank you

Housing Affordability Summit 2017 Venue: Parliament Theatrette, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW Date: Friday 30th June 2017 Overview: Housing Affordability is a real and growing concern for the millennial group of Australians (born between 1982-1999) and other groups looking to get onto the property ladder. The cost of a family home is now out of reach for the average family, and is having a social, economic and political impact. This conference seeks to bring together people from the Public and Private sector to address the historic lows in home ownership levels in the short, medium and long term. The Housing Affordability… Read more »

Thank you for the newsletter

Ian Brown

I tried to subscribe to the weekly newsletter but could not get past “please select a list”

Monica O'Brien

Francis, all of the above!!!! I am Catholic born and bred and I feel angry and betrayed. I can no longer sit in a church and feel at peace – to the point that I no longer attend Mass. I am in my 70s and all that I believed and trusted was a sham, a mirage and utter betrayal. I am ashamed to admit being Catholic. How many times, in my lifetime, did I hear from the pulpit that to even have sexual thoughts was cause for confession. I, and my family, were involved in two parishes in Sydney, Greystanes… Read more »

“I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!”

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

my classmate Nick Whitlam wrote me a couple of days ago that you might be interested in carrying a 1,000 word article in line with what I have been writing for Consortium in Washington, DC. Please confirm to my email address gdoctorow@yahoo.com




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I think this is a real great post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

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Sandra Tom

Dear John Menadue,
My name is Sandra Tom and I am currently a Year 12 student in Adelaide, South Australia. I am completing the SACE Research Project, which all students are expected to undertake. My chosen topic is “How did the Vietnam War affect migration policies and attitudes towards migration to Australia? I would highly appreciate if you can help me with research by conducting an interview.

Go To This Website

James Hogan

Hi John
Would you mind publishing or sending privately an email for submissions? Apologies if I’ve missed it. Thanks. jh

harold levien

kindly supply your email address for submitting articles

I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve
hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few
folks are speaking intelligently about.
Now i’m very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

Outstanding post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

Kevin Bain

John, thanks for this most stimulating website. I have a query about the link at the bottom of the side bar which says “Click here to receive an email alert when a new blog is posted.” It then goes to Follow That Page, then Next to what is sternly listed as an Untrusted Connection, with a number of repeated warnings even when this is ignored. Does this have the integrity you intended?

National Library of Australia

Dear Menadue,

The National Library of Australia is interested in contacting the author of this blog with regard to its possible inclusion within PANDORA: Australia’s Web Archive. We were unable to locate any contact details onsite and are requesting that if you are interested in your blog being archived that you contact us at: jkim@nla.gov.au and we will send you an official permission request form.

You can see more details on the Archive at the link below. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/about.html



Catherine Crittenden

How do I follow this blog and get advice when new entries appear?

Di Peterson

“Fashion your life as a garland of good deeds” Buddha
It’s is heartening John,to read that you continue to promote this ideal.
I am delighted to happen upon your blog.

very glad to have stumbled upon this blo

Dr Paul Massarotto

Dear Mr Menadue, what a pearl I have found in this forwarded message from a colleague! Your summary of Emeritus Bishop Geoffrey Robinson travails are a welcome affirmation for me, crystalising what I have long suspected of the church hierarchy’s false ethos and immoral behaviour, especially with respect to covering up for criminals and destroying the truth to preserve themselves and their false righteousness. My oldest brother, a priest in the Monfort order, had warned me about the corruption of power in the church ranks. The rejection and bastardisation of truth starts with the dogmatic insistence on unbelievable “beliefs” (does… Read more »