The Hon. John Watkins
Since September 2008, John has been the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. This important role is involved in some of the major ageing and dementia challenges facing the New South Wales community over coming years. Alzheimer’s Australia NSW is based at North Ryde in Sydney and has branch offices in several regional locations.
In November 2010 John was appointed Chair of the Board of the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd which is responsible for over twenty public and private hospitals, aged care institutions and extensive community care provision throughout every State and Territory of Australia except Queensland and Western Australia.
Until 2011 John also served as the Chair of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Commemoration Committee which developed a series of events to commemorate Australia’s involvement in WW1.
John is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University and in 2009 was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Western Sydney.
In October 2011 John was appointed Chair of the McKell Institute, a progressive independent think tank based in New South Wales and designed to encourage community debate with practical, thought provoking ideas through commissioned research.
John has chaired the judging panels for the NSW Premier’s Community Awards since 2010 and was an Australia Day Ambassador in 2011.
Prior to his appointment at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, John was a member of the NSW Parliament between 1995 and 2008. He was sworn in as Deputy Premier in August 2005 and was NSW Transport Minister from January 2005 and Minister for Finance from April 2007 until his resignation from politics in September 2008.
Previously he had held six other Ministerial appointments including the portfolios of State Development, Police (twice), Education and Training, Corrective Services, Fair Trading and Sport and Recreation. He was also Minister responsible for World Youth Day 2008, the APEC Conference in 2007 and other major events. He also served as the Legislative Assembly representative on the Macquarie University Council for six years.
John graduated in Arts and Law from the University of NSW. He also holds a Master of Arts from Macquarie University and a Diploma of Education from Sydney Teachers College. He worked as a teacher for 16 years until his election to Parliament in 1995.
He is married to Deborah and they have five children – three girls and two boys.