John Allin, long-time member of the Melbourne Press Club, journalist and public relations practitioner, died on 19 August after an eight-week illness. He was 67.
John worked at The Age for 25 years after beginning a cadetship in 1969. He worked in the Sydney bureau, on the subs’ desk, as chief police reporter and as founding editor of the lifestyle section Melbourne Living. He was editor of the Warrnambool Standard for two years from 1988 when the paper was in the Syme stable. He worked for a year in Rhodesia on leave of absence from The Age.
In 1994, he was appointed head of the Victoria Police Media Unit. Later he worked in public affairs for Deakin University and the Royal District Nursing Service. John also made several video biographies.
John was a great supporter of the Press Club and was a Quills judge for many years. He helped bring sponsors to the club, including Kilvington Grammar, whose students have brought a youth perspective to question time at club lunches.
Melbourne Press Club CEO Mark Baker said the Club was deeply saddened by John's death.
"Jack was a fine journalist and a great friend of the Press Club. He made a huge contribution to the Club over many years and was a generous mentor to many younger journalists and students."
Broadcaster Neil Mitchell described Allin as "a dignified , gentle and caring man".
"He showed compassion to fellow journalists in a way not typified by the nature of the business," Mitchell said.
"He particularly cared about young people starting out and loved working with them and watching them grow . I knew him nearly 50 years and don't recall one serious or unpleasant argument."
John was known to friends and colleagues as a cheerful, optimistic and selfless family man who downplayed his own successes while enjoying and celebrating those of everyone around him.
He is survived by his wife Dallas, daughters Jess and Jacqui and grand-daughters Layla and Maya, who gave him so much joy since they were born last year.