Distinguished Australians appointed to Old Parliament House Advisory Council

29 March 2015

Today I announce four new appointments to the Old Parliament House Advisory Council. Mr Bernard Wright has been appointed Deputy Chair of the Advisory Council, and the Hon Simon Crean, Mrs Kerry Jones and Dr John Hirst will join the Council as members.

Each of the distinguished appointees is intimately connected with Australian politics, political history and democracy. Their skills, experience and backgrounds will be of great value to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Mr Bernard Wright has a notable and longstanding involvement with Australian democracy. He served as Clerk of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament between 2009 and 2013 and was an employee of the House for 41 years, including at Old Parliament House. His extensive experience and thorough understanding of the workings of government will be a great asset for the Council.

The Hon Simon Crean served as the Federal Member for Hotham for 23 years and held a number of ministerial portfolios during this time. His long and distinguished career in federal politics includes periods as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition and, most recently, as Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and the Arts. Mr Crean currently holds a number of board appointments. His knowledge of the cultural sector and his extensive political experience will be highly valuable to the Council and the Museum of Australian Democracy.

Mrs Kerry Jones is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Constitution Education Fund Australia. From 1994 to 2007 she served as Executive Director of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. Mrs Jones has published and edited a number of works on Australian history and culture and brings to the Council considerable expertise in education, political literature and the Australian Constitution.

Dr John Hirst is a distinguished academic specialising in Australian social, cultural and political history. He is currently an Emeritus Scholar of History at La Trobe University. Dr Hirst has held a number of appointments during his career including as Chair of the Commonwealth Civics Education Group, Deputy Chair of the Council of the National Museum of Australia, and member of the Republic Advisory Committee and the Film Australia Board.

The appointments are each for a duration of three years.

I would like to thank the appointees for generously agreeing to serve on the Council. I have no doubt that each of them will serve with distinction and make a great contribution to one of Australia’s most significant and best-loved historical buildings.