John Herron (Australian politician)

John Herron (Australian politician)

Dr John Joseph Herron (born 4 September 1932) [ [ Senators since 1901] , "Parliamentary Handbook", Parliament of Australia] , Australian politician, ambassador and medical doctor, was a Liberal member of the Australian Senate from 1 July 1990 to 5 September 2002, representing Queensland. From 2002 to 2006 he was the Australian Ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See.

Herron was educated at the University of Queensland where he graduated in medicine and surgery. He received registrar training at Royal Brisbane Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Medical Association. He worked as a volunteer doctor in Rwanda, where he saw the aftermath of some of the atrocities committed there, an experience that would lead him to push strongly for Australia's support for the creation of the International Criminal Court. [Michael Gordon, Louise Dodson: [ Australian support for court fades] , "The Age", 18 June 2002.] He was chief surgeon at Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Brisbane, before embarking on his political career.

Herron was president of the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party from 1980 to 1983. In 1990, he ran for the Senate, successfully gaining a Queensland seat. In 1994, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Health. When the Coalition government was elected in 1996, Herron was appointed as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, until he was replaced with Philip Ruddock in a January 2001 ministerial reshuffle.

In April 2000 a scandal occurred when the then Aboriginal Affairs Minister in the conservative Howard Government, John Herron, tabled a report in the Australian Parliament that questioned whether or not there ever actually had been a "Stolen Generation", on the semantic distinction that as "only 10% of Aboriginal children" has been removed, they did not constitute an entire "generation". After a week of scathing media commentary and the attempted invasion of parliament by scores of protestors, Mr Herron apologised for the "understandable offence taken by some people" as a result of his comments, although he refused to alter the report as it had been tabled, and in particular the (disputed) figure of 10%. [citation needed]

He became president of the Queensland Liberals again, although he threatened to resign from the Liberal Party in December 2001 over what he saw as Federal interference in Queensland Liberal affairs. [Alexandra Kirk: [ John Herron threatens to quit] , "AM" (Radio National), 17 December 2001.]

Herron successfully recontested his Senate seat in the 2001 election, but resigned just a year later to take up the diplomatic posting to Ireland. [ [ Herron appointed to overseas post] , Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 5 September 2002]

On his return to Australia, Herron was appointed chairman of the Australian National Council on Drugs.

He is married to Jan Herron and has ten children.

External links

* [ Dr John Herron] , Australian National Council on Drugs


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