John Taylor (public servant)

John Casey Taylor AO (2 December 1930  14 May 2011) was a senior Australian public servant. He was Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs from 1981 to 1984.

John Taylor

Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs
In office
6 May 1981  29 March 1984
Commonwealth Auditor-General
In office
1988  13 January 1995
Personal details
John Casey Taylor

(1930-12-02)2 December 1930
Died14 May 2011(2011-05-14) (aged 80)
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s)Valerie Booth
(m. 1959–2011; his death)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Australian National University
OccupationPublic servant

Life and career

John Taylor was born on 2 December 1930 in Melbourne.[1] He graduated from University of Melbourne with a degree in commerce.[2]

Taylor joined the Australian Public Service in 1952 as a clerk in the Victorian branch of the Postmaster-General's Department.[3]

Between 1974 and 1981, Taylor was a Commissioner on the Public Service Board.[4]

In 1981 he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.[5] According to Charles Perkins, who succeeded him as Secretary in the department, his departure in 1984 was against his wishes.[6] He was made a special adviser to the Department until June 1984, when he was appointed Australia's Consul-General in New York.[7]

Between 1988 and 1995 he was Commonwealth Auditor-General.[8] As Auditor-General, Taylor said he saw his main achievements as providing a much more efficient and focused service to the Australian Parliament and people, and keeping up with (if not getting ahead of) contemporary professional standards.[9]

Taylor died on 14 May 2011.[10]


In 1990, Taylor was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his public service.[11]


  1. "PS worker rose to be auditor". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 16 June 2011. p. 12.
  2. Andrews, Ross (7 May 1981). "New heads to two departments named". The Canberra Times. p. 1.
  3. Hawke, Robert (22 April 1988). "Unknown" (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 May 2014.
  4. "Taylor is new head auditor". The Canberra Times. 23 April 1988. p. 7.
  5. CA 1476: Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 10 May 2014
  6. Perkins, Charles (7 May 1998), Charles Perkins: Full interview transcript
  7. "Diplomatic post". The Canberra Times. 16 June 1984. p. 3.
  8. History of the ANAO, Australian National Audit Office, 2014, archived from the original on 28 March 2014
  9. Henderson, Ian (7 January 1995). "Auditor quits with a blast". The Canberra Times. p. 1.
  10. Gray, Gary (23 August 2011), 110th Anniversary of the Australian National Audit Office, archived from the original on 10 May 2014
  11. "Search Australian Honours: TAYLOR, John Casey",, Australian Government, retrieved 10 May 2014

Further reading

Government offices
Preceded by
Tony Ayers
Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs
1981 – 1984
Succeeded by
Charles Perkins
Preceded by
John Monaghan
Commonwealth Auditor-General
1988 – 1995
Succeeded by
Pat Barrett
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Denis Cordner
Australian Consul General in New York
Succeeded by
Chris Hurford

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