Excerpt from a speech by Mr Hugh Morgan AC at a HR Nicholls Society dinner on 7 October 2010 to celebrate the career and achievements of Mr Ray Evans.
A review of the early HR Nicholls Society papers reads of an Australia that is almost unrecognizable from today. The Hancock Report of 1986 observed, almost with reverential acknowledgement, that the then power of the trade union movement was an instrument of the national comity and, to quote, ?there has to be recognition of this!'
This was a bridge too far and so, as Pamela Williams in her famous BRW article of August 1986 recounts ?a tough minded coterie is working systematically to break the power of the unions and the arbitration system'.
?Union Busters' screamed the front page. The industrial relations scene today is far from perfect as we will soon again observe to our national cost but it is light years better than it was in 1986 as the Robe River and Mudginberri disputes illustrated. Tonight we are to celebrate the contribution of Ray as the founding Chairman of the HR Nichols Society.
Ray is an engaging conversationalist. Brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and challenging in every aspect of life both to himself and of his expectations of others.
There is no one with whom I have worked so closely nor experienced such friendship, trust and encouragement. …