Series 555 - John Baker Tongan Collection

Identity area

Reference code

AU ANUA 555

Title

John Baker Tongan Collection

Date(s)

  • 1955 - 1973 (Creation)

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Series

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12 type 1 boxes

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Name of creator

(c.1945 -)

Biographical history

Dr John Baker holds a BA degree with First Class Honours from Hull University, an MA from London University and a PhD from the Australian National University. His academic and business interests include public management and the economic development of countries in South East Asia and the South Pacific. In his early career (1964 - 1965) he worked in the Solomon Islands under the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) scheme.

John Baker was an economist to the Government of Tonga from August 1969 to May 1970, the first economist employed by the Tonga Government to work on development planning. He was engaged to undertake the preparation and drafting of the Tonga Development Plan 1970-75, Tonga's second development plan. Following his work in Tonga, Dr Baker studied at the ANU where he completed a PhD on shipping in Tonga and Fiji.

In 1975 he joined AIDAB, Australian Agency for International Development (the predecessor of AusAID) where he was Head of the South Pacific Section. He occupied a number of other senior government positions in Canberra including positions in the Corporate Services Division of the Department of Primary Industry, the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs. He was the Australian Ambassador to Madagascar and the Comoros from 1982 to 1984.

During the late 1980s he was First Assistant Commissioner of the newly-created Public Service Commission (PSC) and played a leading role in the development of various APS management reforms, which produced APS 2000, a major report on the future development of the Australian Public Service (APS). In his subsequent career, Dr Baker was Australian High Commissioner to Tanzania.

In 1991, John Baker established his own Canberra based consultancy company, the Centre for Public Management Pty Ltd (CPM) and the Executive Director. John Baker is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection was formed during 1969 and 1970 by John R Baker, Economist to the Government of Tonga and resident in the capital of Nukualofa from August 1969 to May 1970. Baker was employed by the British Ministry of Overseas Development and was seconded to the Government of Tonga as an Economist to undertake the preparation and drafting of the Tonga Development Plan 1970 - 1975, which was Tonga's second development plan. He was employed partly on the strength of his having worked in the Solomon Islands in 1964 and 1965 under the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Scheme. He was the first economist employed by the Tonga Government to work on development planning.

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Created by Christine Bryan on 5 May 2014 ; updated 20 July 2015

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