Press and Information
Date of Passing:
Ken Groves provided this tribute for our former colleague.
I first met Des when I returned to Australia after living in the UK for 20 years ( I joined in London in 1970)
Des at that time was working in Public Affairs with Jim Eames, Ken Boys, Bev Weeks, Wayne Tregaskis etc etc.
He was also given roles in media liaison and press relations and associated activities under the overall Head of Public Affairs, who if I recall correctly was " Long John Ward" after his return from Europe. ( not sure????)
As a "new boy on the block " he was an an unstinting mentor to me and fundamental to my introduction into the Australian publicity and PR world..... I will be forever grateful for his guidance.
He was a wonderful athlete and one of Sydney's best known " Front Runners" indeed he read the Athletes " pledge " at the opening of the Gay Games in Sydney in 2002....he had worked hard for many years on the successful bid for those ground breaking games.
And yes when he " retired" he set up and managed the Qantas Historical museum in the upstairs circular area of Qf domestic terminal in Sydney.....he was a dedicated keeper of our extraordinary history!
He retired to Queensland, living quietly and unfortunately did not enjoy good health in his later years.
He will, I hope, be rembered as a true blue, honest, hard working, extremely diligent employee and friend.
AND a second tribute from Ken Groves.
Dear All... Des Sullivan's passing has triggered my memory on another bit of QF history.....and one that involved Des way back.
Qantas was approached to be the Official Airline for the upcoming Elton John Tour of Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra...THE TOUR DE FORCE...this was all new at the time as QF had never "sponsored " something oFthat nature.
I recall putting the proposition to Peter Stainlay, at that time Head of Marketing, who approved the then massive amount of " Contra" required to secure the deal !
That was in 1986!
Many of you may recall mthe concerts with Elton's extraordinarily extravagant costumes and outlandish performance!
Anyhow it started the QF involvement with the Arts and Entertainment market and led to massive revenue returns for " Showbiz" travel through the then subsidiary "Qantas Holidays"....Les Miz, Phantom, Miss Saigon, Buddy, Boy from Oz etc etc.
I mention this as Des was instrumental in obtaining the massive press coverage and publicity for QF at that time.
It's particularly significant as the now Sir Elton John played his very last Sydney gig two nights ago.
He has very fond memories of our association through the years...even forgiving me for getting him to open the then new Travel Centre in Pitt Street....he thought he was presiding over the opening of a massive new QF Headquarters...."not a bleeding shop!!!!"
Those were the days!!!!!
Many shared times and memories with my dear departed friend Des.