John Laurence Menadue has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service, and runs the blog Pearls and Irritations (www.johnmenadue.com). He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1985 for public service. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal ‘for service to Australian society through public service leadership’. In 1997, he received the Japanese Imperial Award, The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Kun-itto Zuiho-sho), the highest honour awarded to foreigners who are not head of state or head of government. He was head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1974 to 1976.