As you may know, the Chair of the ABCB, the Hon John Fahey, AC GCSG, recently passed away after what had been a long struggle with a previous health condition.

John, who had been Chair of the Board for three and a half years, took to the role with gusto and commitment, getting across subject matter quickly and engaging with deep interest in the issues affecting the industry.

As Chair he provided insightful and measured guidance with some of the most challenging subjects that the ABCB has had to deal with in its 27 year history. One always knew that he really cared about making things better for the industry and the community, and that what the ABCB does matters.

In this respect John exceeded the expectations of the role of Chair as identified in the ABCB Intergovernmental Agreement, which is someone independent of sectional interests and with a capacity to advance the work of the Board. He understood the importance of the work the ABCB engages in and used all of his skills acquired through his many senior positions to navigate the diversity of interests represented in the work that the ABCB conducts.

In recent weeks his struggle had made it increasingly challenging for him to engage with the Board’s work. Even recently whilst he was in remission in ICU, he was still involving himself in the content of an up-coming Board meeting, contributing direction in approaches for implementing the Building Confidence Report and offering insightful support for some of the more sensitive projects, current and future, in the ABCB’s Business Plan.

John was one of the most genuine, down to earth and caring people we have had the honour to know and work with. Integrity and humility was a hallmark of his approach to everything.

He was a beautiful man with a generous heart, who without question achieved incredible things in his varied career, the likes of which many of us can count ourselves the beneficiaries of. He was not judgemental and always giving. He also had a wonderful sense of humour and was a great story teller.

It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to have known and worked with John as our Chair.

In memory.