Mr Jack Pizzey (1911- 1968) was a former state school teacher, Education Minister and Queensland Premier with a strong commitment to public education.
He had remarkable foresight and championed accessible education. He was particularly passionate about secondary and further education.
Mr Pizzey was Education Minister from 1957 to 1968 and Premier for six months from January 1968 until passing away in July the same year.
During his time overseeing education he increased the number of state high schools from 30 to 96 and abolished the high school scholarship exam thereby making secondary education available to all.
Spending on education also increased significantly from £15 million in 1957-58 to £19 million in 1959-60 and the minimum school leaving age was raised to 15 in 1964.
He helped establish Queensland's second university, James Cook University, in Townsville in 1961 and put in place preparations for a second university in Brisbane. He was also the driving force behind the establishment of a second teachers college in Brisbane and the planning of two others.
Mr Pizzey was a gifted sportsman and was selected to represent Queensland in the Sheffield Shield against Victoria in 1931. He was a founding member of the Queensland Cricketers’ Club.
He married Mabel Audrey Kingston in 1937 and later had two children, John Pizzey and Judy Sale.
Mr Pizzey was in the Citizen Military Force militia reserve unit and then the Second Australian Imperial Force from 1940 to 1945.
He returned to work as a school teacher after this and by 1946 became involved in administration at the Queensland Board of Adult Education.
Later he became manager of the Childers Cane Farmers' Co-Operative and secretary to the Isis District Cane Growers' Executive.
While in office he was also deputy leader of the Country Party, and took on the portfolios such as migration (1960–68), Aboriginal and Island affairs (1962–68) and police (1962–68).
He held a Bachelor of Arts (1942) and a Diploma of Education (1954) from the University of Queensland and in 1962 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the university.
After Mr Pizzey’s death Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen became the leader of the State Country Party and the Premier of Queensland.