Brian Johns, Australian company director, Died at 79


Brian Francis Johns was born on May 6, 1936, in Gordonvale, Queensland and died on January 1, 2016.

He was an Australian company director and journalist.

Brian who was managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from 1995 to 2000.

His parents were Frank Johns, a waterside worker and barber, and his Irish-born wife Lenora.

The family moved to Sydney in 1947, where Frank ran a barber shop in Kings Cross.

As a young man, he worked as a paper boy and factory hand, before entering St Columba’s Seminary at the age of 16. Three years later, he left the seminary and moved to Canberra.

He began his journalism career at The Queanbeyan Age and as a feature writer specialising in the arts at the Australian News and Information Bureau, a government promotion body.

Brain was the first chief political correspondent for The Australian newspaper, in 1964, and in the next year, a special writer for The Bulletin.

He joined The Sydney Morning Herald as a leader writer in 1966, becoming the paper’s chief of staff in 1969, and returning to Canberra as the Herald’s chief political correspondent in 1972.

He joined Penguin Books Australia as publishing director, in 1979.

From 1987 to 1992, Brain was also appointed as managing director of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

In 1992, Brain worked as a chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. From 1995 to 2000, he was managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In 1988, he was given the Australia Day Honours, he was an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to publishing and to the media.

Brain was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to the media and broadcasting industry, particularly public broadcasting.

Johns received honorary doctorates from RMIT University and the Queensland University of Technology, where he worked as an adjunct professor.

Brian Johns passed away at 79 yrs old due to cancer.