Research & Information
Announcement - Death of the Honourable William Kenneth Fisher AO, QC

10 March 2010

It is with sadness that the Commission advises that the former President of the Commission, the Honourable William Kenneth (Bill) Fisher AO, QC, has passed away.

Bill Fisher was appointed President of the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW on 18 November 1981 and was the second longest serving President, retiring after 16 and a half years.

As John Shields noted in his introduction to the chapter on Bill Fisher's term as President in the publication, Laying the Foundations of Industrial Justice:

      Fisher steered the commission through some of the most dramatic changes in its history: the wages explosion of 1981-82, the economic slump of 1981-83, the wage freeze of 1982, the advent of the Accord system, the advent of productivity bargaining and award restructuring in 1987-88, the return of the recession in 1990-92, and the controversial move to enterprise bargaining in the first half of the 1990s. That the NSW Commission survived these immense challenges at all was a remarkable achievement, that it emerged a stronger and more effective judicial body was Bill Fisher's singular triumph.

A ceremonial sitting to mark the life and work of the Honourable Bill Fisher will be held at a later date.

The condolences of all at the Commission are extended to his widow, Margaret and his family.


Industrial Registrar
10 March 2010.