Vale: John Passant

Rochford Street Review notes with sadness the passing of John Passant. John was truly a Renaissance Man in every sense of the word. He was  a former tax lecturer and Assistant Commissioner of Taxation in charge of international tax reform in the ATO, a journalist for The Independent Australian based in the Canberra Press Gallery and accomplished poet. John was the author of two collections, Whose Broken is this? (2019) and Songs for the Band Unformed (2016), both from Ginninderra Press. John was committed to social justice and fairness and this belief lay at the centre of all his work including his poetry. Writing of his last collection, Whose Broken is this?, poet James Walton said:

Passant’s words are marching songs. They speak for the dispossessed, across Terra Nullius, out of the factories, through wars and generations, to the ruins of Aleppo. Their rhythm is that of resistance, against the state, against prejudice, but for our common humanity. While at times necessarily bleak in outlook – “we are not in hell, we are alive” – they contain an unrestrained joy and faith, and an irresistible confidence for the future: “We are many, they are alone.” A place where the hearts of the masses will always overcome the greed of the few: the wondrous dream from a mighty pen. – James Walton

Rochford Street Review expresses our condolences to John’s family, colleagues and many friends.

 – Mark Roberts


A Masterful, Energetic Way With Words: Raewyn Alexander reviews Who’s Broken is This? by John Passant: Rochford Street Review Issue 26