Vale Bryan Noakes AO (1930 – 2020)

23 Jan 2020 |

The President, Board, members and staff of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have learned with great sadness of the passing of Bryan Noakes AO.

Bryan was a significant, respected and widely-liked figure across the political and industrial divide who worked tirelessly for many years to represent the Australian business community.

Following work on the nation-building Snowy Hydro project, Bryan led national advocacy, strategy and negotiations for Australian employers for 40 years, firstly with the Australian Council of Employer Federations (ACEF), through the formation of the Confederation of Australian Industry (CAI) in 1977, and then as part of the ACCI network from 1992.

This was a period of profound challenge in Australian industrial relations, as post war growth gave way to the economic and industrial tumult of the 1970s, which in turn led to major changes under the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments.

Bryan was at the centre of this critical period in our industrial relations history, developing close relationships with prime ministers and industrial relations ministers on both sides of politics. Speaking in Parliament in 1996, then minister Peter Reith paid tribute to the depth, consistency and strength of Bryan’s contribution and support.

Throughout his life Bryan remained a profound thinker and analyst on Australian and global politics and industrial relations. He remained an important source of counsel, mentorship, support and friendship to those who came after him at ACCI and across our network.

Internationally, Bryan was a leading member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body and led Australian employer delegations to annual International Labour Conferences in Geneva. He was recognised for his significant work protecting the fundamental rights of both employers and trade unionists throughout the world through the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA). Bryan was also instrumental in the creation of an employer voice for the Asia Pacific region, through the Confederation of Asia Pacific Employers (CAPE).

Bryan became an officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2003 Queens Birthday Honours in recognition of his service to industrial relations in Australia and overseas through policy development, fostering improved relations between employers and employees and as an expert in the area of international labour law.

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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