Harry Evans, Former Clerk And Champion Of The Senate, Dies, 68

Harry Evans, the former Clerk of the Senate and one of that chamber’s most ardent proponents and defenders, has died. He was 68.

EvansEvans began his career in the Parliamentary Library. He became Usher of the Black Rod and then Assistant Clerk and Deputy Clerk.

He served as Clerk from February 17, 1988 until his retirement on December 4, 2009, a record 21 years. Clerks are now restricted to 10-year terms.

Evans established the Procedure Office to handle advice to minor parties and independents in the Senate. He was a fierce advocate for the rights and independence of the Senate, and a proponent of greater accountability of the executive government.

Statement by Senator Eric Abetz, Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Harry Evans 1946-2014

I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Harry Evans, who was Clerk of the Senate from February 1988 to December 2009, a record 21 years.

Harry Evans gave more than forty years to the Australian Senate. He was a fearless defender of its powers and practices and will be remembered as one of the significant parliamentary officers of his generation, not only of Australia but of all the parliamentary democracies.

He was one of the most succinct writers I knew, and an expert without peer on the procedures and precedents of the Senate. He always championed the rights of individual Senators and that will be his particular memorial.

It is so very sad that illness prevented him enjoying the long retirement he had undoubtedly earned.

I offer my most sincere condolences to Mrs Rhonda Evans and their family at this time.

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