Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2023


Gyngell, Mr Allan, AO

3:55 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

I thank Senator Wong for the accommodation. I wish to associate myself and the coalition with the remarks of Senator Wong in her speech during the senators' statements today. That, of course, is complementary to the motion being moved. We offer our deep and sincere condolences at the passing of Allan Gyngell AO. Remembered as a giant and one of the finest minds in foreign and strategic policy, Allan devoted a lifetime of service to Australia. From his thoughtful, probing, and principled stances throughout his career, whether in postings across Rangoon, Singapore and Washington, his service in Canberra, his service in the office of Prime Minister Keating, or his work as Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, Allan Gyngell always put Australian interests first with a principled approach.

Before his appointment to the ONA, he was a founding executive director of the Lowy Institute for international policy, also serving as a found board member of China Matters and, later, an honorary professor at the Australian National University. Most recently, he was the immediate past president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. His roles as diplomat, senior policy advisor, director-general, founding executive, president, honorary professor and author put into perspective his extraordinary contribution, but that should not be abbreviated to titles. His knowledge and quiet wisdom influenced strategic and foreign relations of Australian governments for decades.

In public policy, many participate, some contribute, and a few are both skilled and fortunate enough to be able to make a difference. Allan Gyngell made a difference to Australia's engagement with the world. It is a testament to his skills, his principles and his approach. He has rightly been recognised by many. It is right that this chamber also recognise him and his contribution to our foreign and strategic policy. His vision has left a lasting legacy. We thank Allan Gyngell for his service and pay our respects to his wife, Catherine, his loved ones, his family, his friends and all who knew him.

Question agreed to.


No comments