Jim Carlton AO
Lucy and I were very sad to learn of the death of our friend the Honourable Jim Carlton AO.
On behalf of the Government and the Liberal Party, I offer our deepest sympathy to his wife Diana and their children Alex, Freia and Rob and their families.
Jim gave his whole life to public service.
When I first met him, he was the astute General Secretary of the NSW Division of the Liberal Party.
He was a good political mentor to many people, including me, and he remained a source of good advice and encouragement for all his life.
In 1977 he became the Member for Mackellar and held that seat until his retirement in 1994.
Jim was Minister for Health in the Fraser Government and after 1983 in opposition held several positions in the Shadow Ministry.
Jim was very influential at a turning point in our political history. He was one of the “Dries” leading the argument for free market economic reform during the Fraser Government.
While the Fraser Government lost the 1983 election, Jim had captured the temper of the times and the move to liberalise the Australian economy was taken up by the Hawke, Keating and Howard Governments which followed.
Upon retiring from Federal politics in 1994, Jim gave generously of his time and energy to the humanitarian aid effort in Australia and overseas. He served as Secretary-General of the Australian Red Cross from 1994 to 2000. One of his greatest achievements at the Red Cross was to combine the 8 separate blood banks, run by the states and territories, into a new national organisation called the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. For his achievements both domestically and abroad, he was awarded the Henry Dunant Medal, the highest honour of the International Red Cross.
In 2001 he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia, and in 2003 was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal.
Jim will be remembered for his valuable contribution to policy and public debate in Australia, in politics, in parliament and in academia.
Most importantly, he will be remembered by those right across the political spectrum as a thoroughly decent, warm-hearted and generous person.
Arrangements for a state memorial service are currently underway, further details will be provided at a later date.