04 February 2016

John Knight, Canberran of the Year 1981

Elected in 1976 as the ACT"s first Senator, John Knight served his party and the community on several Parliamentary Committees and Inquiries into the operation of the ACT.  He was particularly concerned for the coordinated development of Canberra and the provision of essential services for young families in new suburbs.  The name of John Knight Memorial Park commemorates his concern for preserving the lake foreshores for recreation.

John was well regarded by all political parties, and his early diplomatic training served him well in the troubled political scene immediately following the turmoil of the 1975 double dissolution.

On the day of his funeral, 6 March 1981, John Knight was named Canberra Citizen of the year with the citation: “Canberra's citizens have been well served by its first senator. He was well known, loved and respected in all circles of our community. He shared all our aspirations for the development of the ACT as a place where people lived, not just the national capital”.

Further biographical detail about John Knight is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.

The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.

Image source: ACT Heritage Library image 008107, Canberra Times Collection