Welcome to the online in-memoriam for Dr John Kaye MLC. We are incredibly saddened by his passing and wanted to showcase some of the incredible moments from John's life and work with the Greens.
We would like to thanks John's team for helping pull all of this together in such a short time.
Final message from John Kaye to Greens NSW
Dear Greens NSW,
I ought to be more angry than I am about what's happened to me but I'm not. I'm not in large measure because of the remarkable opportunities that I've had in my life to do the things that I think are important. Many of those opportunities – almost all of those opportunities – are because of you, the members of The Greens NSW; the way in which you honoured me with an office and an opportunity to represent you and our values, but more importantly the way we worked together on your campaigns, on my campaigns, on our campaigns; the way we saw the common end, the common good, the way we worked towards it.
The next fifteen years for The Greens are going to be incredibly challenging and it's one of my great regrets that I won't be there to watch, to be delighted, to help where I can, but mostly just to hope that we remain a force for profound social change, a force that understands how important it is to reconfigure our economy so that it is sustainable and just to secure our public services - our critical public services - built up over generations and that are now being smashed apart by a bankrupt philosophy of neoliberalism and marketism. But yes, I do go on!
The critical thing – I want to say this and this is me exploiting my current situation, so do forgive me – but the critical outcome for The Greens is to not be caught into parliamentarianism, to be not caught into the trappings of power, to not believe for one minute that just because you're in government that you actually have control over the destiny of the economy.
This isn't and never has been about changing government. That's what Labor and the Liberals and Nats do. This is about changing what people expect from government, what they expect from the possibilities of working together for the common good and the collective outcome. This is about rejecting the selfish, narrow solutions of neoliberalism. It's about explaining to people that surviving the climate challenge, surviving the massive challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building a sustainable economy that spreads wealth in a way that doesn't eat up the planet and doesn't rely on exploiting labour in third world countries, that that challenge can only be met by the demands of the people and those demands can only be grown by the work that we do, not as an aspiring opposition, but as an aspiring agent of social change.
The future is many things and many possibilities. I know that each and every one of you is committed to The Greens and committed to the idea that we can write a future that is profoundly fair and profoundly sustainable. I know that and that gives me great comfort as I face my last. Because I know that the work that has been done over the last thirty years of The Greens, longer, that work will not cease, that work will go on and on, and that work will always be there. There will always be a spark in any decent society. There will always be a spark that says it doesn't have to be this way: we can change it!
Thank you each and every one of you for the work you did with me, for the help you gave me, for the ideas and education you provided to me. There are people who will hear this who had profound impacts on my life; impacts not just on how I viewed politics and how I viewed the role of The Greens, but impacts on the skills and impacts on the understandings I brought to politics. I particularly thank those people and I thank their patience. I don't think I was a very good learner early on, but I think I got better as I went along.
Friends, colleagues, comrades, keep up the struggle.
A Message From John's longterm staff
We feel so privileged to have worked so closely with you. Your energy, intellect and compassion made you one of a kind. We faced some tough times together, yet you never waivered in your commitment in creating a more just and sustainable world. You set a wonderful example that continues to guide our work and politics. We will miss you. You have made an immeasurable impact on our lives.
Kelly, Lauren and Katherine