Ian Harris AO

Federal Public Servant
Inducted 25 November 2009

Ian Harris was born in Kurri Kurri in 1945. He was educated at Kurri Kurri High School before graduating from the University of Newcastle in 1969.

Ian’s early career involved periods as a university tutor and schoolteacher before he joined the Federal parliamentary staff in 1972.  Ian was appointed Deputy Clerk in 1991, and Clerk of the House of Representatives in 1997, a position he held until 2009, where he oversaw 250 staff providing administrative and security support to the House of Representatives, its committees and its international and domestic liaison services.

Some of the many achievements throughout Ian’s career include:

  • Executive Committee member, Vice-President and President of the International Association of Secretaries-General of (National) Parliaments (ASGP).
  • Member of the Society of Clerks-at-the-Table (UK).
  • Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) Expert Group in Parliamentary Training. 
  • Establishment of the Inter-Parliamentary Study Program (IPSP).
  • First Chair of the Steering Committee for the Forum of Secretaries-general of Asia Pacific Parliaments.
  • Attendance and presentations at conferences such as the World e-Parliament Conference in Washington DC in November 2009.

Ian’s initiative has led him to work on parliamentary development projects and training in many countries such as Kenya, East Timor, China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa.

Ian’s accolades include the University of Newcastle Convocation Medal for professional excellence (2000), the Australian Centenary Medal (2001) and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2007 for service to the Parliament of Australia.

Ian is the author of various articles in legal, historical and parliamentary journals, and has been editor of the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of House of Representatives Practice (Australia).

Away from work, Ian served as President of the ACT Public Service Rugby League, Secretary of the Tuggeranong Rugby Club and as Chair of Queanbeyan Skill Share, in the town he now calls home.

Plaque location

202 Vincent Street, Cessnock (Cessnock Performing Arts Centre)