House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Statements by Members

Hennessy, Mr John

1:35 pm

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

Today I rise to speak on the legacy of John Hennessy. John was the General Secretary of the NSW Teachers Federation from 1990 to 2002, one of the longest-serving general secretaries. He died late last week at home in Wolli Creek, in the Barton electorate, at the age of 78.

John began his teaching career in the Riverina area and then taught on the north coast. In '76 he became one of the first country based organisers of the federation, being based in Lismore. In '90 he was elected as general secretary, serving until 2002. John is remembered in the federation as a caring, compassionate and committed union organiser and for what he believed in strongly, and that's union rights and fundamental human rights.

In the words of the current general secretary, John Dixon: 'John was a passionate supporter of the struggle of Indigenous rights and Indigenous education. As general secretary he always ensured that the federation's resources were generously deployed and that the federation's Aboriginal education officer was strongly supported.' I really am very proud to be able to say that John was a proud constituent of mine. He was also an official visitor with the Department of Corrective Services for several years. Vale, John Hennessy. Your legacy will live on.


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