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Photographs supplied by Susan Davenport

The park commemorates John Knight (1943 - 1981), diplomat and a Liberal Party Senator for the Australian Capital Territory in the Federal Parliament. The plaque is located on the sundial in the park. 

John William Knight was born 20 November 1943 at Armidale, New South Wales, sand was educated at Armidale Demonstration and High schools.   He proceeded on a teacher’s scholarship to the University of New England where he majored in modern history and shared the Shell prize for arts.

In 1965 he was one of fifteen selected from more than four hundred applicants to join the Department of External Affairs. After training he spent two years in New Delhi as third secretary at the Australian High Commission.

In 1973, he was appointed senior private secretary to the leader of the Opposition (Sir) Billy Snedden, who stirred his interest in politics. After six months as a visiting fellow in the department of international relations at the Australian National University, he rejoined the Department of Foreign Affairs in May 1975 and in August was posted as counsellor to the Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Canberra in November and next month stood for the Senate, becoming the first Liberal senator for the Australian Capital Territory.

Re-elected in 1977 and again in 1980, Knight was appointed the Senate’s government deputy-whip in 1978 and government whip in 1980. He was chairman (from 1976) of the joint parliamentary committee on the Australian Capital Territory, and a member of the Senate standing committees on foreign affairs and defence (from 1976), library (from 1978) and standing orders (from 1980), and the Senate select committee on parliamentary appropriations and staffing (from 1980). He also served on government committees on health and welfare, foreign affairs and defence, the arts and government tactics.

Knight was heavily involved in the International Year of Disabled Persons and had just finished the manuscript for a book on the role of a back-bencher in foreign policy when he suffered a heart attack on 28 February 1981 after water-skiing on Lake Jindabyne, New South Wales.

He was posthumously named Canberran of the Year in 1981.


Address:Aikman Drive & Townsend Place, John Knight Memorial Park, Belconnen, 2617
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.236307
Long: 149.074218
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal


Front Inscription

John Knight Memorial Park

This park was named in honour of Senator John William Knight
( 1943 - 1981)

John Knight was elected to the Senate in 1975 when Parliament created two Senators for the Australian Capital Territory. In addition to his activities in representing the interests and issues relevant to the residents of the Territory, he derved eith distinction on several Parliamentary and Government Committees.

In his capacity as Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory, Senator Knight played a major role in ensuring the preservation of much of these lands on the shores of Lake Ginninderra for public recreation. 

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au