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Alan Henderson, commonwealth public servant, was awarded the Public Service Medal on 26 January 1998. On 26 January 2010, he was further recognized by receiving Membership of the Order of Australia 'for continued service to public administration, particularly in the area of policy formulation and advice, and to the management of taskforces of the 2002 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the 2007 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting' .

Alan Henderson (Ad Astra, 2010).

Alan Henderson (Ad Astra, 2010).

Alan was a boarder at the College from 1953 to 1963. He was a School Prefect in 1963 and a member of the 1st Football XVIII of 1963, the 1st Tennis Team from 1961 to 1963 and the Tennis Captain in 1962 and 1963. He was a House Prefect in 1962 and McArthur House Captain in 1963 as well as being a member of the Debating Committee from 1961 to 1963 and its chairman in 1963. He was the recipient of a Fen and Roy Pillow Bursary, and the Gus Kearney Memorial Prize in 1963. He also won the Stanley Calvert Memorial Prize for debating that year.

Alan studied economics at Monash University, meeting his wife Charlotte at Deakin Hall. He worked at the Commonwealth Bureau of Agricultural Economics in 1967-68 and then returned to Monash to complete a Master of Economics. He rejoined the Australian Public Service in 1971 and for most of his career worked as an economic policy advisor in the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C). His time in Treasury was mainly involved with tax and budget policy and Commonwealth-State relations, however he also spent three years in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and as an adviser in the office of John Kerin MP, while he was Treasurer.

During some of his time in PM&C his boss was another Old Geelong Collegian, Dr Michael Keating, AC. In 1998, Alan was appointed as a Deputy Secretary in PM&C, with his responsibilities including the Australian republic referendum in 1999 and staging the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2002. In 2002, Alan transferred to become the Deputy Secretary for Corporate Services in the Department of Defence. His early training as an Orderly Room Corporal in the College cadets was invaluable for this position which was responsible for over 5000 staff and about $15 billion of Defence assets around Australia, including Puckapunyal where he saw action with a Vickers machine gun at cadet camp in the early 1960s.

Alan's final full-time public service job involved a return to PM&C to head the taskforce managing the series of APEC Ministerial meetings held around Australia in 2007, culminating with the Leaders meeting in Sydney in September. Given the chaos caused in the Sydney CBD by the early arrival of President Bush to this meeting and the publicity generated by the antics of 'The Chasers', Alan was surprised that the Council of the Order of Australia saw fit to recognise the efforts of the APEC 2007 Taskforce. In 2010, Alan was appointed as part-time Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission. A position he held for three years. The Commission is responsible for advising the Treasurer on the appropriate distribution of the Goods and Services Tax revenue among the States and Territories.

Sources: Ad Astra June 2010 p38.
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