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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35 thoughts on “About John Menadue — archive with comments

  1. Housing Affordability Summit 2017

    Venue: Parliament Theatrette, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
    Date: Friday 30th June 2017

    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 Summit is for people prepared to drive the change needed to make housing affordable.

    Delighted to announce the following speakers are CONFIRMED:

    Senator The Hon. Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness
    The Hon John Alexander MP, Member for Bennelong
    Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader, Australian Greens
    Senator Nick Xenophon, Senator for South Australia, Leader, NXT
    Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney

    Website: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/housing-affordability-summit-2017-tickets-32284298205

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

  3. 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 and St. Marys. Before the terrible truth was revealed, we admired these priests for their homilies on social justice etc. We have, over the decades, come across other clergy abusers.
    The five Archbishops at the RCmm showed no empathy for the abuse victims and their families. The only shining lights in a very dark tunnel were you and Bishop Long of Parramatta.
    I believe the only way for the church to continue is to have no hierarchy but ordained women and men, married or single, in employment, living and working in the community and being part-time priests.
    One of the respondents mentioned Opus Dei – I agree. Opus Dei is a cult and has similar traits to the Church of Scientology. There should be no place for such an organization in the Catholic Church. It is on the rise as is other secretive, oppressive institutions in the secular world.
    When the present congregations die out, the majority of whom are elderly (many who won’t face the truth about their beloved priests) who will be left? If the Church does not begin to stand for truth and justice – in other words – become true followers of Christ, it will, and should, die. Then maybe, with a new heart and mind, like the
    phoenix, it may arise from the ashes and live again.

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  5. 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.

  6. 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 [email protected]




  7. Hey there! I understand this is sort of off-topic but I needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work? I am brand new to running a blog however I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou! Check out How To Check What Keywords Your Competitors Are Using?: http://bit.ly/2c0dxEX

  8. Hey! I understand this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask. Does operating a well-established blog such as yours require a lot of work? I’m completely new to blogging however I do write in my journal on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou! why not check my blog here: http://alturl.com/tkq55

  9. “We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.”

  10. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is actually annoying. A good blog with exciting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  11. I couldn’t have really asked for an even better blog. You’re ever present to supply excellent guidance, going right to the point for straightforward understanding of your subscribers. You’re really a terrific expert in this subject. Thanks a ton for remaining there for people like me.

  12. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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: [email protected] 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


    PANDORA team

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

    1. Catherine.You have provoked me to arrange this.See at the bottom of the side bar on my blog home page.Hope it works.I am a beginner in these matters!
      John M

  21. “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.

  22. 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 anyone really believe that our God “leads us into temptation” unless we ask him not to?) and non-sensical traditions and the great put-down to our critical thinking of the concept of “infallibility”. The Christian message is great and simple! Yet, the mostly egocentric, power-hungry senior churchmen , detached from real life, have made the message so complicated and incongruent (“condoms help spread AIDS”!!) to our daily needs that it is no wonder the young and middle-aged thinking people, like my daughter the Geriatrician and her husband the Emergentologist, have no time for organised religion.

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