John Hewson

Inside Biography

John Hewson is an Australian former politician who served as leader of the Liberal Party from 1990 to 1994. Despite a strong knowledge of economics, his Fightback! policy in the 1993 election contributed to the Coalition's defeat. 

Hewson's leadership ended in 1994. After retiring from politics, he became a prominent business and political commentator. To know more about John's early life, educational background,  career, etc, continue reading the article below.

Early Life And Educational Background

John Robert Hewson AM was born on October 28, 1946, in Carlton, Sydney, New South Wales. He was the first of four children born to Eileen Isabella and Donald Hewson. His father worked as a fitter and turner. Hewson spent his early years in Carlton.

A picture containing  an Australian former politician, John Hewson. A picture containing an Australian former politician, John Hewson.
SOURCE: Pinterest

John attended Carlton Primary School and Beverly Hills North Primary School before joining to Kogarah High School, graduating in 1963. He subsequently completed a Bachelor of Economics degree at the University of Sydney in 1967.

The former Australian politician completed a master's degree at the Regina, Canada campus of the University of Saskatchewan and a second master's and a doctorate in economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Multiple Marriages Of Hewson

Hewson married Margaret Deaves in 1967. Having divorced Deaves in 1985, he married Carolyn Somerville in 1988, who was described by the media as "a formidable figure in investment banking".

They were described as a glamorous and ambitious power couple. However, John divorced Carolyn in 2004. In 2007, John Hewson married publicist Jessica Wilson. As of 2010, they reside in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Hewson has five children.

Read more: Sean Duffy, Actor, Politician, And Former Sports Commentator Expecting Ninth Child.

Career Before And After Politics

Hewson worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank of Australia. From 1976 to 1983 he was employed as an economic advisor to two successive Liberal treasurers, Phillip Lynch and John Howard. During this period, John developed an interest in politics and became determined to enter politics himself.

After the defeat of the Fraser government in the 1983 election, Hewson went into business journalism and became a director of a private bank, the Macquarie Bank. Since he departed from politics, Hewson has written extensively for the business and general press and spent time on the lecture circuit.

In his writings, he demonstrated an increasing focus on corporate social and environmental responsibility. In 2003 and 2004, he chaired a community advisory committee for RepuTex, a company that provides analysis and forecasting for the energy sector, and issued an annual public listing of Australia's top 100 socially and environmentally conscious companies.

Career In Politics

Hewson was elected to the House of Representatives for the affluent Sydney electorate of Wentworth in the 1987 federal election. He entered Parliament at a time when there was a leadership vacuum amongst the conservatives. The Coalition, led by John Howard, lost the 1987 election, but a majority of Liberal MPs voted to keep him as leader over his predecessor Andrew Peacock.

A picture containing Hewson campaigning at the 2018 Wentworth by-election.
SOURCE: Wikipedia

Hewson was Howard's advisor when Howard was Treasurer and the two formed a friendship. However, their friendship hit a low point when Hewson won the Liberal preselection for Wentworth.  Hewson instead sat on the backbench until September 1988 when Howard appointed Hewson as shadow finance minister.

In May 1989, when Andrew Peacock replaced Howard as Leader after a challenge in which Hewson voted for Howard, Hewson became shadow treasurer. Even before Howard's removal, when Peacock was the shadow treasurer, Hewson had been seen as the real shadow treasurer.

In the lead-up to the 1990 election, Hewson, the trained economist, was seen to have performed well against the then-treasurer Paul Keating. In December 1989, Hewson claimed that Keating was unwilling to debate with him on the economy.

Reason For Retirement From Politics

John resigned from the Liberal Party in 2019 due to policy disagreements, notably on climate change. In a 2019 interview on Sky News in which he was speaking alongside Greens MP Adam Bandt, Hewson said that he had let his membership of the Liberal Party lapse.

Former Australian politician has criticised various Liberal Party members, including former Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison for their poor record on climate action. Hewson publicly campaigned for a carbon price, a policy introduced by the Gillard Labor government and opposed by the Liberal Party's then-leader Tony Abbott, who went on to scrap it as Prime Minister.

Charity works

Since leaving politics, Hewson has been involved in a range of non-profit organizations. He worked with the Arthritis Foundation of Australia and KidsXpress.

Arthritis Australia is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the millions of Australians living with arthritis through education, programs, and advocacy. They also fund world-class research to increase our knowledge of arthritis and find better ways to prevent, treat, and hopefully cure the condition in its many forms.

Kidxpress is a charity providing expressive therapy for children and supporting
children's mental health.

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by Joseph, 03 Jan, 2024

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