Ray Kennedy, a former communications advisor to the AADA secretariat team, passed away on 9 March.
Early in his career Ray worked as a journalist at The Argus, The Age, The Herald, Australian United Press and the ABC. After compulsory National Service in the Australian Army and a period at Eric White and Associates, he joined Ford Motor Company as Publicity Officer at Ford’s Australian HO in Broadmeadows.
Ray rose rapidly through Ford Public Affairs with stints in Dearborn MI, UK and Europe. He was appointed the inaugural Public Relations Manager for the newly created Ford Asia Pacific region based in Melbourne. This was at a time when Ford was applying significant focus to the rapidly developing Asian markets. This meant that Ray worked closely with senior Ford executives including Henry Ford II, ‘Bunkie’ Knudsen, Lee Iacocca, Philip Caldwell and others.
Ray left Ford to establish his own PR consulting business, which he grew significantly over many years before selling out to his partners and retiring.
After AADA was formed as a separate organisation from the precedent entities, Ray was asked to provide media and communications advice and services to the small fledgling secretariat team. In those early days, Ray’s experience and knowledge provided critical support while the organisation was being built.
On behalf of AADA we extend our deep sympathies to Ray’s wife Jill, his daughters Jane and Carrie, and his entire family.