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Peter Henderson (Australian public servant)

Peter Graham Faithfull Henderson, AC (1 October 1928 – 25 September 2016) was an Australian senior public servant. He was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs between 1979 and 1984. He was also well known for being the son-in-law of Robert Menzies.

Peter Henderson

Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
In office
4 September 1979 – 3 September 1984
Personal details
Born
Peter Graham Faithfull Henderson

(1928-10-01)1 October 1928
Died25 September 2016(2016-09-25) (aged 87)
Canberra
NationalityAustralia Australian
Spouse(s)Heather (née Menzies)
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
OccupationPublic servant

Early life and marriageEdit

Peter Henderson was born in October 1928.[1] In May 1955, Henderson married Heather Menzies, daughter of Robert Menzies, the Australian Prime Minister.[2][1][3] They had their first child, a daughter, in March 1956, in Jakarta.[4]

Career and later lifeEdit

Henderson began his career in the Australian Public Service in the Department of External Affairs in 1951.[1]

He was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1979.[5] During his time at the department he introduced rules to prevent couples being posted together, which was interpreted by those it affected as a "pincer movement" against career equality for female diplomats.[6]

At the end of his public service career in September 1984, Henderson was offered the choice of a demotion or retirement—he chose to retire, and denounced the Australian Government for using the diplomatic service as a "depository... for people they want to get rid of in Canberra".[7]

Henderson died in Canberra on 25 September 2016.[8][9]

AwardsEdit

In January 1985, Henderson was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of distinguished public service.[10]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c CP 948: Peter Graham Faithfull HENDERSON AC, KStJ, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 10 February 2014
  2. ^ "Keen Interest in Wedding of Miss Heather Menzies". The Canberra Times. 30 May 1955. p. 2. Archived from the original on 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Mr. Peter Henderson Home on Leave". 16 May 1955. Archived from the original on 10 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Daughter For Mrs. Peter Henderson". The Canberra Times. 7 March 1956. p. 4. Archived from the original on 10 February 2014.
  5. ^ CA 1382: Department of Foreign Affairs, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 28 December 2013
  6. ^ Broinowski, Alison (7 December 2013). "Sexist baggage revealed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Former FA head condemns 'dumping'". The Canberra Times. 31 January 1985. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Tributes & Celebrations". Canberra Times. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  9. ^ Towell, Noel (27 September 2016). "Canberra loses its scourge of public service 'yes men'". Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016.
  10. ^ Search Australian Honours: HENDERSON, Peter Graham Faithful, Australian Government

References and further readingEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James Ingram
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines
1973–1975
Succeeded by
Gerry Nutter
Government offices
Preceded by
Nick Parkinson
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
1979–1984
Succeeded by
Stuart Harris