Go to top of page

Vale Senator John McCain

26 August 2018

Australia lost a close friend with Senator John McCain’s passing. A former Presidential candidate and six-term Senator, a decorated war hero, a fighter pilot and champion of free
trade, the military and veterans, the Senator was a titan. 

Labelled “ally-in-Chief” by our press, Australia valued immensely Senator McCain’s leadership. Time and again, he put on record his staunch support for the enduring and
critical importance of the Australia-United States alliance, last year unleashing a groundswell of goodwill towards Australia among America’s leaders.

Senator McCain knew first-hand what our alliance meant - in a deeply personal way. He grew up on stories of Australia - his grandfather sailing westwards in 1908 with the Great White Fleet, his father commanding a submarine in Perth in WWII - and both of them going on to the vitally important US Pacific Command post. As a fighter pilot, Senator McCain enjoyed R&R on our shores, and fought alongside Australians in Vietnam, as his sons Jack and Jimmy have since done in Afghanistan and Iraq. He embodied camaraderie, leadership and honour in enduring five and a half years as a POW in Vietnam.

Senator McCain was feted by the federal Parliament when he visited Australia last May. He steadfastly promoted the enduring basis of our alliance, stating: “the animating purpose … is that we are free societies, founded by immigrants and pioneers, who put our faith in the rule of law, and who believe that our destinies are inseparable from the character of the broader world order”.

An indomitable voice for engagement in the Indo-Pacific, Senator McCain advocated America remaining a principled, active leader. He argued for a greater military presence in the Indo-Pacific, the theatre of great power dynamics. 

Senator McCain’s impact and influence transcended borders, and so too will his legacy.

The Australian Government extends its heartfelt sympathy to Senator McCain’s wife Cindy and his children Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy and Bridget.

The Hon Joe Hockey
Australian Ambassador to the United States