The Hon. John Watkins AM was voted in as Deputy Chair of the Parkinson’s NSW Board at its March 2022 meeting.
John, who is living with Parkinson’s, had a 16-year career as a teacher until he was elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995. He was sworn in as Deputy Premier in August 2005 and was also the NSW Transport Minister and Minister for Finance when he resigned from politics in 2008.
He also held six other Ministerial appointments during his political career including State Development, Police, Education and Training, Corrective Services, Fair Trading and Sport and Recreation.
Upon leaving the political arena, John was appointed CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia. He served in that role for nine years, until the company moved from a state-based entity to a national organisation – Dementia Australia. John then served as Dementia Australia Ambassador.
John has held an extensive range of Non-executive Director roles including Chair of the Board of Calvary Healthcare, Chair of the Catholic Health Australia Board, and membership of the Council of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.
He has also Chaired Mary MacKillop Today, a company that provides overseas aid and assistance to communities in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Peru, in addition to supporting indigenous tertiary students throughout Australia.
John sits on the Governing Council of Neurological Research Australia (NueRA) and is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University.
He was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2015 Queens Birthday Honours List for his significant service to the community through leadership in health, education and to the Parliament of NSW.