News Corp Australia chief executive Julian Clarke has been made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours list, in recognition of more than half a century of service to media in Australia.
Known as a quiet achiever, Melbourne-born Mr Clarke began his career in 1960 as a 16-year-old cadet journalist at Standard Newspapers, before joining News Limited where he held a number of senior positions over a 30 year career, including managing director of the Herald and Weekly Times and later chairman.
Mr Clarke was lured out of retirement to take up the chief executive’s position at News, replacing Kim Williams who left the company last year.
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch described Mr Clarke as “an outstandingly successful leader in the publishing industry for a generation, as well as being a great contributor to the whole community.”
Peter Blunden, current Victorian managing director at News and a long-time colleague of Mr Clarke’s, said he possessed “leadership, energy, passion and professionalism” that inspired those fortunate enough to work with him.
“Most of all, he is a great reader of people,” Mr Blunden added, “A brilliant planner, with ideas and the ability to empower his team to deliver them.”
Mr Clarke also been lauded for his charity involvement, creating the iconic Run For The Kids event, which raises money for the HWT’s Good Friday Appeal, the proceeds of which support the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital. He is also a former board member of the Royal Children’s Hospital and trustee of Arts Centre Melbourne.
Former Fairfax chairman and Melbourne business identity Ron Walker said he had held Mr Clarke in high esteem since they first met – “not through the media, but through charity.”
“He struck me as very compassionate and hard-working. He has always been community-minded in everything he has done,” Mr Walker said.
“He has always been concerned about those less fortunate than him. That’s what’s always taken me aback – his generosity to others. The way he has worked for Rupert so diligently is evidence of that in his professional life.
“And he’s a great husband and family man to boot.”
Praise has also come from former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who said Mr Clarke “has always associated himself with, and used his offices to promote, the causes of those in the community with less or who are so often voiceless.
“He is very deserving of such recognition.”
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