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John David (Jack) Wright (1927–1998)

from Advertiser

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Jack Wright, n.d.

Jack Wright, n.d.

A former Labor deputy premier, Mr Jack Wright, died yesterday aged 71 just hours after his son, Michael, had been elected unopposed to the Shadow Ministry. Known as "Big Jack" during a colorful 14-year political career, Mr Wright suffered a heart attack two days ago.

He had been recovering from an operation after breaking a hip during a Bali holiday last month.

Former premier Mr Don Dunstan led the chorus of tributes to Mr Wright last night, saying: "We were companions in the field together."

"He gave a lifetime of service to the Labor movement he will be very much missed by members of the Labor Party and many constituents whom he helped in his day," he said. "He was always out there helping the worker and the battler."

Mr Wright was minister for labor and industry in the Dunstan and Corcoran governments from 1975 to 1979 and was deputy premier, minister for labor, public works and emergency services during the first term of the Bannon government from 1982 to 1985. He held the seat of Adelaide from 1971 to 1985 before retiring due to his heart condition.

Before entering Parliament he was a shearer and prominent member of the Australian Workers Union. Mr Wright's achievements included the introduction of Workcover and re-organisation of the State's emergency services after the Ash Wednesday bushfires.

Former premier Mr John Bannon also paid tribute to "the quintessential Labor man". "He was a terrific fellow it is a terrible loss," he said.

The Opposition Leader, Mr Rann, described Mr Wright as "Labor to the core".

"He believed passionately in the rights of working people and that the children of battlers should have every opportunity to make the most of their lives," he said.

"Like his best friend (former federal minister) Mick Young, Jack Wright represented the best traditions of the Labor movement ... he could be tough when he needed to but was always caring about people's needs."

The Premier, Mr Olsen, described Mr Wright as having "the best interests of South Australia and its people at heart".

Mr Wright was told some weeks ago that his son would be elected to the Shadow Ministry yesterday but The Advertiser understands he was unconscious yesterday and could not be told of the vote.

A State funeral will be held for Mr Wright on Tuesday. Mr Wright is survived by his widow, Norma, and his son, Michael.

Original Publication

Other Entries for John David (Jack) Wright

  • Australian, 10 September 1998, p 16, by Terry Plane

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Wright, John David (Jack) (1927–1998)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012