Sue Yarrow introduces Ian Brusasco.
Ian Brusasco discusses his early life and the difficulties that confronted his Italian migrant family after settling outside Ingham. He reflects on his early education and his love of football and cricket.
Ian Brusasco outlines that he was admitted to the University of Queensland to study medicine but after a severe illness he transferred to pharmacy which at that time involved an apprenticeship. He explains that once he was a qualified pharmacist, he wanted his own business.
|pharmaceutical industry, University of Queensland|
Ian Brusasco discusses the pharmacies he and his wife established around Brisbane.
Ian Brusasco states that at that time, migrants were quite badly treated, but their one joy in life was their football. He recalls that is was through his father's taking over the Presidency of the Azzurri Soccer Club, that he commenced his lifelong association with soccer in Queensland and Australia.
Ian Brusasco discusses that Westfield was coming to Brisbane and the establishment of his pharmacy at Toombul Shoppingtown in about 1972.
Ian Brusasco discusses first joining the ALP in about 1960. He recounts that he headed a delegation of Australia's football team to the World Cup qualifiers held in Cambodia. Brusasco explains that he knew Mayor Clem Jones through their mutual interests in sport. He recalled that once Jones knew Brusasco was an ALP member, the next day Tom Burns, the ALP Secretary, phoned Brusasco looking for a candidate for the Kurilpa seat in the 1968-69 state election.
|Brisbane Lord Mayor, Clem Jones, Kurilpa, soccer, Tom Burns|
Ian Brusasco recalls his involvement with the Socceroos accompanying them around the world in preparation for the 1974 World Cup, and upon his return, he was approached by Clem Jones seeking someone to stand in the Toombul Ward by-election. Brusasco says he stood and won, becoming a Brisbane City Council (BCC) Alderman.
|Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Clem Jones, soccer|
Ian Brusasco outlines his maiden speech in the council, soon after he returned from visiting sporting facilities around the world including Greece, where he addressed the need for better sporting facilities in Brisbane and proposed Brisbane should nominate to hold the Commonwealth Games.
|Brisbane City Council, Commonwealth Games 1982|
Ian Brusasco states that during the Whitlam era the Toombul ward turned to the Liberal Party so he stood for the Lutwyche ward and won and took over chairing the BCC Health Committee and also, for a time, the Planning Committee.
|Brisbane City Council, Clem Jones|
Ian Brusasco discusses the influences on him by Clem Jones and Bryan Walsh.
|Brisbane City Council, Bryan Walsh, Clem Jones|
Ian Brusasco discusses the conflict in the ALP relating to the communists and industrial groups during the 1957 Split with the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). He relates this to his own father having been a political prisoner under Mussolini in Italy before coming to Australia in 1923.
|Communism, DLP, Italy|
Ian Brusasco discusses Jack Egerton and Tom Burns. He contrasts Clem Jones and Jack Egerton's different views about accepting knighthoods.
|Clem Jones, Jack Egerton, Tom Burns, Trades and Labor Council|
Ian Brusasco discusses the perception that he didn't fit with the Trades Hall Group's profile. He states that his views on opportunities for women were exemplified by his wife, Patsy Brusasco, who combined a very successful professional life as a pharmacist with her public voluntary work and family responsibilities.
|Trades Hall Group, unions, women|
Ian Brusasco discusses losing the 1976 election for Lutwyche ward and the offer from Clem Jones to assist the ALP's financial management and in particular the ALP owned radio station, 4KQ. He questions Jack Egerton's role with 4KQ management.
|4KQ, Clem Jones, Jack Egerton|
Ian Brusasco lists the members of the ALP Inner Executive with whom he met and his recommendations for 4KQ radio station's management.
|4KQ, Bill Ludwig, Clem Jones, ETU, Gerry Jones, Harry Hauenschild, Neal Kane|
Ian Brusasco discusses running 4KQ and the changes he made.
|4KQ, Clem Jones, Clive Thompson, Ian Skippen, John Laws, unions|
Ian Brusasco discusses 4KQ's new format and ratings improvement.
Ian Brusasco discusses his opposition to the Vietnam War and protesting with Jim Cairns. He clarifies that he was not part of the Inner Executive of the ALP and outlines his views on the reform years but explains he was mainly concentrating on radio station 4KQ.
|4KQ, Clem Jones, Jim Cairns, Vietnam War|
Ian Brusasco discusses Manfred Cross and Peter Beattie. He reflects on the people opposing the Bjelke-Petersen government and the reformers in the ALP.
|Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Manfred Cross, Peter Beattie|
Ian Brusasco discusses the Reformers in the ALP and the role of plebiscites. He discusses his own contribution to the ALP's financial management.
Ian Brusasco discusses the role of Neal Kane, Harry Hauenschild and Clem Jones within the ALP.
|Clem Jones, Harry Hauenschild, Neal Kane|
Ian Brusasco discusses the role of factions in the ALP.
|Clem Jones, factions|
Ian Brusasco discusses his involvement with Labor Companies and 4KQ, and the sale of 4KQ enabling him to diversify the ALP asset portfolio.
|4KQ, Harry Hauenschild, Peter Beattie|
Ian Brusasco discusses that by 1991-92 he decided to resign having placed the ALP on a sound financial base, but in his view, they started to squander money to win elections.
|Denis Murphy, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss|
Ian Brusasco discusses the decision by Anna Bligh to sell assets and criticises those unions that fought publicly against Bligh over the asset sales.
|Anna Bligh, unions|
Ian Brusasco discusses the causes of the ALP intervention and the legacy of factions and placing good candidates in safe seats.
|Annastacia Palaszczuk, Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, Bligh Government 2007-12, factions, Peter Beattie, unions|
Ian Brusasco reviews the record of his life's work across pharmacy, sport, BCC and believes his father's migration from Northern Italy to Australia provided a remarkable opportunity.
Ian Brusasco nominates Foodbank as his greatest achievement.
|Clem Jones, foodbank|
Ian Brusasco AO is a noted pharmaceutical chemist, company executive, sportsman and philanthropist who has been a member of, and elected representative of, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) since the 1960s. He is credited with establishing the sound financial management of the various Labor companies.
Ian Brusasco was born outside Ingham, North Queensland, on 4 October 1928. He attended state and catholic primary schools in Ingham then St Joseph’s College at Nudgee where he played in the Rugby First XV, going on to represent Queensland in that sport. After commencing a medical degree at the University of Queensland he changed to undertake pharmacy, qualifying in 1955 and shortly afterwards establishing the first of a number of pharmacies in Brisbane.
He joined the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in about 1960 as a member of the Ashgrove Branch. Ian served for 14 years as an Alderman on the Brisbane City Council, first representing the Toombul Ward and later winning the Lutwyche Ward for the ALP. In the early 1980s, at the request of Clem Jones, Ian took an interest in the financial management of the various Labor companies and in particular, the radio station, 4KQ. He established strong financial management which delivered a secure and continuing source of income for the ALP. He is a Life Member of the ALP.
Ian is an inaugural member of the Queensland Academy of Sport, the former Chairman of Australian Soccer Federation, former Chairman of the Olympic Football Taskforce, and was President of Soccer Australia and the Vice President of the Oceania Football Confederation. His services to soccer were recognised on 26 January 1988 when he became a Member of the Order of Australia and he received further recognition in January 2001 when he was presented with a Centenary Medal for his distinguished service to business and commerce in Queensland. In June 2012, Ian was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to the community of Queensland where he held leadership roles in a range of public administration, sporting and charitable organisations in particular Foodbank, which Ian helped establish along with former Brisbane Lord Mayor Clem Jones.
He has been Director or Chairman of many different organisations, just a few of which include: Foodbank (Qld) Ltd, Workcover Queensland, Port of Brisbane, Keep Australia Beautiful Council, Queensland Investment Corporation, Gladstone Port Corporation Ltd, Brisbane Strikers, TAB, and 4KQ.
Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, the University of Queensland, 2014.
The copyright holder of this material grants users permission to access the material on this website for the following purposes only: research and study, education, other non-commercial and non-public uses.