We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tim Fischer AC, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and ChildFund Australia Special Envoy.
During his more than thirty-year association with ChildFund Australia, Tim has been a prominent voice for the world’s most marginalised children, highlighting the important role that Australia can play in improving living standards in developing communities.
CEO of ChildFund Australia Nigel Spence said: “Tim will be greatly missed by all at ChildFund. He was a man who firmly believed that the rights of all children, regardless of their birthplace, should be upheld.
“We will always be thankful for the role he has played in bringing greater attention and understanding to the challenges facing children and families living in some of the most marginalised communities around the globe.”
A former Australian Army Officer, Tim served in the Vietnam War, an experience which left him with a lifelong affinity to Asia.
Following the war’s end, Tim began his political career. During the next 15 years, Tim held senior roles in both the NSW State and Federal governments, including Leader of the National Party, Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister.
In 1997, while serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Tim had the opportunity to visit his sponsored child Pecharin in Thailand.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald at that time he remarked: “Whatever degree of suffering children have in Australia – and there certainly is some – they have a better situation than many of these children in north-east Thailand.
“But in helping we can also learn from the quiet dignity of these people and their way of life.”
He and wife Judy went on to sponsor Dendanai in Thailand, followed by Benjamin in Timor-Leste, who continues to benefit from their support to this day.
Mr Spence said: “Tim took the time to learn and develop an in-depth understanding of the many complex issues facing developing communities. This included visiting Ethiopia during the food shortage of 2015, and travels to other countries in our region, such as Timor-Leste.”
Writing about the high unexploded ordnance contamination in Laos as a result of the Vietnam War, Tim said: “We all have a responsibility to help reduce this burden left over from the war. I hope more Australians heed the call to do their bit so that families in Laos can enjoy the safety and freedoms we take for granted.”
Mr Spence added: “On behalf of all at ChildFund, we send our deepest condolences and sympathy to Judy, their sons Harrison and Dominic, and the family and friends of Tim. He has left an important and valuable legacy to children around the globe and will always be remembered with great affection.”