Jack Mundey Wiki
Jack Mundey AO (October 17, 1929 – May 10, 2020) was an Australian union and environmental activist. He rose to fame during the 1970s for leading the Federation of New South Wales Construction Workers (BLF) in the famous green bans, so the BLF led a successful campaign to protect Sydney’s natural and built environment. of excessive and inappropriate development. Mundey was the Patron of the Association of Historic Houses of Australia.
He was 90 years old.
Mundey was born on October 17, 1929 in Malanda, 100 km west of Cairns, on the Atherton Plateau in the extreme north of Queensland, and was one of five children. His mother died when he was six years old. He was educated at Malanda Elementary School and in St. Augustine, Cairns, from where he escaped due to his “authoritarian methods” of discipline. , successively joining the Federated Federation of Iron Workers and the Federation of Construction Workers. He also played the rugby league for Parramatta with Vic Hey for three years. He joined the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) in 1957.  Also in 1957 Jack married Stephanie and had a son, Michael. When Michael was 15 months old, Stephanie died of a brain tumor. During the 1960s, Mundey was a cross-unionist and advocate for a wide range of issues, from security reforms at construction sites to broader issues like feminism, gay rights, and international politics. Mundey considered all of these issues appropriate objectives for union activism. His second wife, Judy, joined him in these campaigns and then rose to become APC National President.
In 1968 Mundey was elected secretary of the NSW Federation of Construction Workers (BLF). From this position, Mundey became the highly visible individual who, with his union and supportive community members, was responsible for the green bans that saved much of Sydney’s heritage and built environment. He insisted that development priorities be reversed in such a way that open community spaces and heritage buildings are maintained and that affordable public housing is more important than the accumulation of empty or underused commercial buildings. In 1975 Mundey and other NSW leaders from the BLF were expelled from the union by the federal leadership under Norma Gallagher, who was later convicted of corrupt deals with developers.
Mundey’s autobiography, Green Bans and Beyond, was published in 1981. In 1981 Jack Mundey joined the Quayhole Committee in its effort to save the First Fleet landing site, “The Gateway Site”, at Circular Quay, where Captain Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack on January 26, 1788, establishing “The Australia Foundation” and hence the commemoration date for Australia Day. The Quayhole Committee, Paul Johnson and Architect Tony Rodi made an important presentation to the Sydney City Council for The Gateway Site. His Gateway proposal relocated the development of a proposed 44-story tower off-site to form a monumental symbolic gate to Australia. The site itself could be restored to a naturalistic shoreline with the original Tank Stream entrance at Memorial Park. There he set out to enact a treaty between the Australian Indians and the Australian government. In a radio interview, Mundey referred to the Quayhole Committee as “Visionary Architects” for his proposal. He was later elevated to chairman of the Sydney City Planning Committee from May 1984 to September 1985. Mundey was a councilor on the Sydney council for a period from 1984 to 1987. In 1994 the Anti-Wall Committee was formed to protect the Sydney Opera House from nearby urban development. In 1997, the “Save East Circular Dock Committee” was convened by Tony Rodi and Paul Johnson, and chaired by Neville Gruzman, and later by Jack Mundey in the battle to stop the desecration of the Sydney Opera House. Mundey, Doug Sutherland, Lionel Todd (Stage 3 Sydney Opera House Architect), and Kell Hutchence, joined the battle, fueled by an unprecedented public outcry against an apartment development, which erased views of the Opera Sydney from the main pedestrian approach. In the final stages, the controversial development attracted international attention that included The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. The resulting development of Bennelong Apartments (coined as The Toaster) dominates the east coast of Circular Quay and is highly controversial for its positioning, invasion of previous public space, and mediocre design quality, and primarily for obscuring views of the Opera Sydney, from the main pedestrian approach. In 1988, the University of Western Sydney made Mundey an Honorary Doctor of Letters and an Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition of his service to the environment for the past 30 years.
Mundey became a life member of the Australian Conservation Foundation in the 1990s. In 1995, in accordance with his continued interest in Sydney and the state’s urban environment and heritage, he was appointed president of the New Wales Historic Houses Trust of the South, [citation required] and was also the Patron of the Association of Historic Houses of Australia. In 2003 Mundey joined the Australian Greens, citing their opposition to the Iraq War and their environmental stance. In February 2007, the New South Wales Board of Geographical Names renamed a part of Argyle Place at The Rocks “Jack Mundey Place” in recognition of its leadership “in the fight to preserve such significant sites in the historic Rocks area”. In 2014 he was named Patron of the Friends of Millers Point when he joined the fight to save the Sirius apartments that were built for the people of The Rocks when green bans saved them from eviction and The Rocks from demolition forty years ago. In 2012, he joined the action to preserve Windsor Bridge from further development.
Mundey was married twice, first to Stephanie Lennon, who died young. They had a son, Michael, who died in a 22-year car accident. He is survived by his second wife, Judy.
In April 1979 Mundey began an affair with Jennie George, which continued for a few months. Her husband Paddy George moved out of the marital home after the adventure came to light, but returned in November 1979 when she became ill with cancer. Jennie put her relationship with Mundey on hold to care for Paddy, until her death in June 1980. Mundey continued to support him, but when he finally decided not to leave his wife, she ended their relationship. In 1977, her only son Michael died in a car accident.
Mundey was the leading candidate for the Communist Party Legislative Council in the 1978 state elections in New South Wales. His party garnered nearly 80,000 votes, 2.9 percent of the state total, and outperformed the Australian Democrats. Mundey came close to winning a seat, and was the last candidate excluded from the count. Munday was elected to the Sydney City Council in 1984, ending his term in 1987.
Jack’s main source of income is Activist. Currently we do not have enough information about his family, relationships, childhood, etc. We will update soon. Estimated net worth in 2019: $ 100K- $ 1M (Approx.)
He died on May 10, 2020 after a long illness.