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Official Secretary to give first-hand account of ‘the Dismissal’
September 11, 2006
Sir David Smith KCVO AO, who was Official Secretary to five Governors-General of Australia, will tell the real story of the dismissal of the Whitlam government in a talk at The University of New England this week.
Sir David’s UNE talk, titled “The Dismissal: the Real Truth of the Matter”, will be one of three he will give during a visit to Armidale on Wednesday and Thursday (September 13 and 14). He will give these talks on behalf of the Constitution Education Fund – Australia (CEF-A).
Sir David Smith (pictured here) joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1953. He was Private Secretary to the Minister for the Interior and the Minister for Works in two Menzies governments from 1958 to 1963; Secretary to the Federal Executive Council and head of the Government Branch, Parliamentary and Government Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1971 to 1973; Official Secretary to the Governors-General Sir Paul Hasluck, Sir John Kerr, Sir Zelman Cowen, Sir Ninian Stephen, and Bill Hayden from 1973 to 1990, and the first Secretary of the Order of Australia from 1975 to 1990.
He was appointed as a delegate to the 1998 Constitutional Convention, and as a member of the official No Case Committee for the 1999 constitutional referendum. Bill Hayden launched Sir David’s book, titled Head of State: the Governor-General, the Monarchy, the Republic and the Dismissal, after its publication in November 2005.
The UNE talk will be in the Dining Hall at Earle Page College at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 13 September. On Thursday 14 September he will speak on “The Constitution Education Fund: a Bipartisan National Project” at 12 noon at the Uniting Church, and on “The Governor-General and the Constitution” at 7.30 pm at Dorothy Knox Hall, PLC Armidale. Everyone is welcome to all the talks. Admission is free, but CEF-A encourages silver-coin donations. Copies of Head of State will be on sale at all three venues.
Sir David was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1977 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1986. Shortly before his retirement in 1990 he was knighted by the Queen as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in a private investiture at Balmoral Castle. He is a Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University.
For more information on Sir David's talk at Earle Page College, contact the College on (02) 6773 5300.
Posted by Jim Scanlan at September 11, 2006 10:35 AM