John Henry Starling

John Henry Starling, CMG, OBE (15 January 1883 – 5 April 1966) was the official secretary to the Governor General of Australia from 1919 to 1927, serving Munro Ferguson, Forster and Baird.[1]

John Henry Starling

Personal details
Born(1883-01-15)15 January 1883
Greensborough, Victoria, Australia
Died5 April 1966(1966-04-05) (aged 83)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
NationalityAustralia Australian
Spouse(s)Sarah Elizabeth May Price (m. 1911)
OccupationPublic servant


Having originally lived in Melbourne, Starling transferred to the Commonwealth Public Service in 1902 as a clerk in the Governor General's office.[2][3]

Starling transferred to the newly established Prime Minister's Department in February 1912 and was appointed chief clerk in September 1917. In June 1919 he succeeded (Sir) George Steward as official secretary to the governor-general and secretary to the Federal Executive Council. Starling was appointed OBE in 1920 and CMG in 1925. After the position of official secretary was abolished in 1927, he continued as secretary to the Federal Executive Council until 1933, and in July 1929 he was promoted to assistant secretary of the department's territories branch. In 1933 to 1935, he was secretary to the Prime Minister's Department and secretary to the Department of External Affairs.

Personal lifeEdit

Starling married Sarah Elizabeth May Price on 15 February 1911. Starling died in Canberra Community Hospital on 5 April 1966 and was cremated. He left behind two sons and a daughter.


  1. ^ Smith, David I. (1990). "Starling, John Henry (1883–1966)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. p. 54.
  2. ^ "Mr. J.H. Starling". The Argus. 4 November 1935.
  3. ^ "Order of the British Empire". The West Australian. 16 October 1920. p. 9.
Government offices
Preceded by
John McLaren
Secretary of the Department of External Affairs
1933 – 1935
Succeeded by
William Hodgson
Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department
1933 – 1935
Succeeded by
Frank Strahan