John Button was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments from 1983 until his retirement in 1993. As industry and commerce minister, he was regarded as the principal architect of modernised Australian industry. Before his death in 2008, Button wrote numerous articles and books, including Flying the Kite, On the Loose and As It Happened. In 2002, his Quarterly Essay, Beyond Belief – What Future for Labor? won the 2003 Alfred Deakin prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards. The John Button Prize for non-fiction writing about politics and public policy was created in his memory.