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Biographical entry McKell, William John (1891 - 1985)

GCMG

Born
26 September 1891
Pambula, New South Wales, Australia
Died
11 January 1985
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Governor-General and State Premier

Summary

William McKell was Governor General of Australia from 1947 to 1953 and (Labor) Premier of New South Wales from 1941 to 1947. He was also a keen conservationist who throughout his long political career fought for ways of improving soil and water conservation. His greatest legacy in the field was the founding of Kosciusko National Park. The McKell Medal for excellence and achievement in natural resource management was named in his honour. Before taking up politics, McKell worked as a boilermaker and later went on to become a successful livestock farmer of sheep and horses including thoroughbred racehorses and trotters.

Details

Events

1913 - 1914
Career position - Boilermaker at the Railways Department of New South Wales
1915 - 1917
Career position - Assistant Secretary to the Boilermakers' Union
1917 - 1947
Career position - Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
1920
Career position - Assistant Minister of Justice (eight months)
1920 - 1922
Career position - Minister of Justice
1925
Career position - Called to the Bar
1925 - 1927
Career position - Minister of Justice and Assistant Colonial Treasurer
1930 - 1931
Career position - Minister for Local Government (seven months)
1931 - 1932
Career position - Minister of Justice
1941 - 1947
Career position - Premier of New South Wales and Colonial Treasurer
1944
Career position - Established Kosciusko National Park and declared Macquarie Marshes a national fauna reserve
1949
Career position - Helped establish the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme
1951
Award - Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG)
1952
Education - Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) received from the University of Sydney
1984
Award - McKell Medal established by the New South Wales Minister for Agriculture and Forestry

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • William John McKell - Records, 1917 - 1985, ML MSS 4603; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • William John McKell - Records, ML MSS 2027/1; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Cunneen, Chris, William John Mckell: Boilermaker, Premier, Governor-General, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2000, 304 pp. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.