Vale John Kerin

Address to the House of Representatives, Statement by Members - Hon. John Charles Kerin AO

Wednesday 29 March 2023

I also rise to mark the passing of a great Australian and, more recently, a great Canberran. Born in Bowral in 1937, John Kerin began his career on the family farm before going on to work in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. As the member for first Macarthur and then Werriwa, he would hold a suite of ministries. He played a critical role in advancing the Hawke government's economic agenda. In post-parliamentary life, John served across a range of science bodies, including CSIRO and a clutch of CRCs, as well as UNICEF and the Crawford Fund, lending his expertise and wisdom. He is recognised in the ANU Alumni Hall of Fame. His approach to public policy in his own words was to:

Analyse, read, work, think creatively, always think beyond the immediate by standing back and taking on board the views of others

John dedicated his recent memoir to all the good people who enter the political fray and work to make things better, but particularly those of the Australian Labor Party. For the last decade I've been privileged to be a member of the same branch as John—the mighty Woden branch. He remained firm in his views on the importance of members being connected to their local areas. In May last year, John helmed the Garran booth, providing support to both myself and the member for Canberra. Our condolences to June and to all who love this extraordinarily decent man.