Department of Communications (DOC) Early Days


The Bureau was set up in Transport under Gordon Nixon around 1969 and formerly transferred to the Postmaster General's Department (then Eric  Kierans) but on 1 April 1969 the new Department of Communications came into effect. A new ADM was appointed at DOC and the Bureau reported to him. I think Mr. Kierans always kept DOC separate from his Post Office responsibilities, and certainly at the departmental level Alan Gotlieb was the DM and reported only to the Minister.


Richard Gwyn was chief of staff in Mr. Kieran's office at the time and joined the "new" DOC probably in early 1970 as Director Social Programs under another new ADM - Doug Parkhill. A few months later I reported to Richard.


The transfer to the new DOC was extremely complicated. The Bureau transferred first, but the regions did not transfer right away as there was a competition for Regional Directors. Others, such as Bert Walker, came from the PCO Task force which had created the Department. The Shirley Bay people (DRTE) transferred over under John Chapman as ADM, but were under a totally different system of classification and it took a long time to sort out the levels/pay etc.


A couple of years later the first executive management program was given at Touraine and they asked Alan Gotlieb if they could use the creation of the DOC as a case study. Mr. Gotlieb agreed and asked me to write it up. It was a standard case study for several years, but I did not keep a copy of it.


There were some truly remarkable people in that early crew - most involved with the Telecommission. I particularly remember the late Henry Hindley and hope there is something in the records about him.


John Gilbert



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