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Biographical entry Wickens, Charles Henry (1872 - 1939)

16 October 1872
Kangaroo Flat, Victoria, Australia
30 July 1939
Balwyn, Victoria, Australia
Statistician and Actuary


Charles Wickens was Commonwealth Statistician and later Commonwealth Statistician and Actuary (1922-1932), succeeding Sir George Knibbs (qv). His Australian life tables for the decennia 1881-1890, 1891-1900 and 1901-1910 enabled comparisons between the States, found that life expectancy had increased since 1890 and that female rates of mortality were generally lower than those of males. Wickens also investigated social insurance schemes in preparation for the development of national insurance proposals by Sir Earle Page. He received the Messenger prize from the Institute of Actuaries (London, 1906) for an essay on the collection and analysis of mortality and population data; was a Foundation member of the Economic Society of Australia and New Zealand and a President of the Actuarial Society of Australasia (1924).



c. 1896
Education - Qualified through private study as an associate of the Institute of Actuaries
1897 - 1899
Career position - Assistant Clerk in the Western Australian Public Service
1899 - 1906
Career position - Clerk in the Statistical Bureau
June 1901 - 1905
Career position - Assistant Compiler and Departmental Actuary
Award - Messenger Prize received from the Institute of Actuaries, London
1906 - 1913
Career position - Compiler with the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics
1913 - 1922
Career position - Supervisor of census
1922 - 1924
Career position - Commonwealth Statistician
Career position - Formulated the Commonwealth superannuation scheme
Career position - President of the Actuarial Society of Australasia
1924 - 1932
Career position - Commonwealth Statistician and Actuary
Career position - Chair of the Economic Society of Australia and New Zealand

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituary: Mr. C. H. Wickens', Australian Journal of Science, 2 (1) (1939), 17. Details
  • Lancaster, H. O., 'Charles Henry Wickens, 1872-1939 [includes list of publications]', Australian Journal of Statistics, 16 (2) (1974), 71-82. Details
  • Lancaster, H. O., 'Statistical Society of New South Wales', Australian Journal of Statistics, 30 (B) (1988), 99-109. Details
  • Wickens, C. H., 'Sir George Knibbs', Economic Record, 5 (1929), 334-5. Details


Rosanne Walker