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Biographical entry Proud, John Seymour (1907 - 1997)

Kt cr

9 August 1907
Burwood, New South Wales, Australia
7 October 1997
Engineer and Company director


John Seymour Proud was a distinguished mining engineer, Company Director and benefactor. He was a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Institute of Marketing Management and of the Institute of Engineers Australia. He was also a Life Member of the Royal Society of New South Wales. Proud was also Knighted in 1978, had the mineral Proudite named in his honour and received two honorary doctorate degrees.


After working in the family business for a short time, John Seymour Proud enrolled in the University of Sydney where he completed a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Mining and Metallurgy. After several years in research and practical engineering his career switched to the field of management. During his career Proud had numerous jobs including Director of CSIR, Manager of Peko Mines and later Chairman of Peko-Wallsend and was Founder and Chairman of Trustees of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation. Proud was also a very generous man with an passion for the Arts and environment. He was a major force behind the establishment of Earthwatch Australia and established the Sir John Proud Fund for the purchase of Rare Books.

Proud was extremely lucky to have achieved all this because his life was almost cut short at the age of 29. On a flight between Brisbane and Sydney in 1937 Proud was involved in an airplane crash. He and two of his fellow passengers survived but were badly injured. Not only did they survive the crash, but also the eleven days it took rescuers to find them.


Life event - Plane crash in McPherson Ranges during flight between Brisbane and Sydney
1960 - 1978
Career position - Chairman of Peko-Wallsend Ltd
1971 - 1977
Career position - Trustee of the Australian Museum
Award - AusIMM Award received from the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
1974 - 1979
Career position - Director of CSR Ltd
1974 - 1983
Career position - Fellow of the Senate at the University of Sydney
Award - Knight Bachelor (Kt cr)
1978 - 1982
Career position - Chairman of Electrical Equipment Ltd Group
1978 - 1982
Career position - Chairman of Oil Search Ltd.
1978 - 1987
Career position - Inaugural Chair of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
Education - Doctor of Engineering honoris causa (DEng) received from The University of Sydney
Education - Doctor of Letters honoris causa (DLitt) received from the Australian National University

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Biographical cuttings on John Seymour Proud, Sir, company director, BIOG; National Library of Australia. Details

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • JCG, 'Sir John Proud 1907-1997', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 130, no. 3&4, 1997, pp. 120-121. Details

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci