Con Sciacca

Concetto Antonio Sciacca AO (13 June 1947 – 21 June 2017) was an Australian politician of the Australian Labor Party and member of the Australian House of Representatives from July 1987 to March 1996 and again from October 1998 to October 2004, representing the Division of Bowman, Queensland.[1]


Con Sciacca

Sciacca in 1994
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bowman
In office
11 July 1987  2 March 1996
Preceded byLen Keogh
Succeeded byAndrea West
In office
3 October 1998  9 October 2004
Preceded byAndrea West
Succeeded byAndrew Laming
Personal details
Born
Concetto Antonio Sciacca

(1947-06-13)13 June 1947
Sicily, Italy
Died21 June 2017(2017-06-21) (aged 70)
Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
NationalityItalian Australian
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
ProfessionSolicitor

Early life

Sciacca was born in Sicily, Italy, on 13 June 1947. He migrated to Australia with his family in 1951 and settled in Queensland. His father worked as a canecutter. After completion of his law studies, he became a solicitor in 1970 starting his law practice straight out of law school.[2] He founded the group Sciaccas Lawyers which was taken over by the legal group of Shine Lawyers in 2014.[3][4]

Political career and recognition

Sciacca successfully contested the 1987 Australian federal election and won from the Division of Bowman. He consecutively won the next two elections of 1990 and 1993. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Security from 1990 to 1994,[5] Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Arts and Administrative Services 1993–94, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Administrative Services 1994, Minister for Veterans' Affairs 1994–96 and Minister Assisting the Treasurer for Superannuation 1995–96. He thus served in the Fourth Hawke Ministry, the First Keating Ministry, and the Second Keating Ministry.[5]

Sciacca was defeated by Liberal Party candidate Andrea West in the 1996 election. After his re-election in 1998, Sciacca was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry 1998–2001.[5] After a redistribution made Bowman notionally Liberal, Sciacca contested the new Division of Bonner at the 2004 election, but was narrowly defeated by Liberal candidate Ross Vasta.[6]

In 1992, Sciacca's son Sam died of Ewing's sarcoma at the age of 19. Thereafter he started the Sam Sciacca Travelling Fellowship through which health experts would visit Australia and present lectures on the latest developments in research and technology. In 2006, Sciacca was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for "service to ex-service personnel, cancer research institutions and service to the Australian parliament". He dedicated the award to his deceased son.[2]

Media Statements

The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk Thursday, June 22, 2017 The Honourable Con Sciacca AO On behalf of the Queensland Government, I wish to pay tribute to The Honourable Con Sciacca AO, who passed away in Brisbane yesterday, aged 70.

"Con was the former Federal Member for Bowman and served as Minister in both the Hawke and Keating Governments across various portfolios including Arts and Veterans’ Affairs. Con was a larger than life character who brought energy and vibrancy to any room he entered. He was a true gentleman who was genuine, generous to a fault, a mentor to many and a true believer. His passion for life was contagious. Con was one of those rare politicians who crossed the political divide, and was respected and admired by people of all political persuasions. The many tributes to Con that have poured out since people heard of his passing are a testament to the high esteem in which he was held right across the community. Many will remember Con for the small gestures and gifts that he gave of his time, knowledge, experience and perception, as much as for his greater contribution to our community. An iconic Queenslander who contributed much to the Queensland we live in today, particularly to our veterans in his role as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Con’s legacy will live on. Con will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Our love and thoughts go to his wife his daughter Zina and granddaughter Grace. We thank them for sharing Con with us with such generosity"

Health and death

Sciacca was suffering from cancer and in February 2015 was reported to have been cleared of it after an operation performed in 2014. In April 2015 he was operated on by ophthalmologist Bill Glasson for cataracts in both his eyes.[7]

Sciacca died on 21 June 2017, aged 70, after prolonged suffering from cancer at St Vincent's Private Hospital in Brisbane. He had frequently been admitted to the hospital in the last six months for his deteriorating health.

References

  1. "Legislative Election of 11 July 1987". Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  2. "Sciacca dedicates AO award to son". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. Matthew Connors (21 June 2017). "Tributes for Con Sciacca who died, aged 70, after battle with cancer". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. "Shine Adds to its Cabinet". businessnewsaus.com. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. "Hon. Con Sciacca". The Diversity Conference 2000. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  6. "Sciacca concedes in Bonner". ABC News. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  7. Anthony Marx (9 April 2015). "Former Labor MP Con Sciacca just beat cancer, now has cataracts". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Faulkner
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
1994–1996
Succeeded by
Bruce Scott
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Len Keogh
Member for Bowman
1987–1996
Succeeded by
Andrea West
Preceded by
Andrea West
Member for Bowman
1998–2004
Succeeded by
Andrew Laming
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