Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 19: 1991–1995 (A–Z)
HACKETT, CECIL JOHN (1905–1995), physician, medical scientist, and physical anthropologist, was born on 25 April 1905 at Norwood, Adelaide, only son and younger child of Richard William Hackett, nurseryman, and his wife Bertha Matilda, née Tohl, both South Australian born. Cecil was educated at St Peter’s College Preparatory School and the Queen’s School. He completed his Leaving certificate in 1921 and then studied medicine at the University of Adelaide (MB, BS, 1927). There he became skilled in photography and rowing, and made lifelong friends.
During the 1925 summer vacation Hackett took the train to the Oodnadatta terminus and travelled on by truck to Alice Springs. There he observed an elderly Aboriginal woman with an advanced case of yaws that manifested as ‘boomerang leg’ (sabre tibia) severely distorting her shin bones. This stimulated his interest in the condition in Aboriginal populations. In 1927 he accompanied members of the university’s Board for Anthropological Research on its first Central Australian expedition. He recorded anthropometric measurements among Aboriginal people at Macumba and Alice Springs under the guidance of his friend and mentor, the dental anthropologist Thomas Draper Campbell [q.v.13].
After graduating, Hackett spent 1928 as resident medical officer at Adelaide Hospital. He then travelled to Britain and attended anthropological lectures before undertaking the diploma course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (DTM&H, 1930). Securing a six-month position as RMO at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, he also attended Professor (Sir) Francis Fraser’s influential clinics at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, which focused on the causes and mechanisms of disease. In 1931 he was admitted as a member of the Royal College of Physicians (fellow 1951). Early in the next year he successfully applied for a fellowship at the Henry Lester Institute of Medical Research at Shanghai, China. On 20 August 1932, shortly before departing from Britain, he married Edith Ochs, a German woman whom he had met several months before. Their relationship deteriorated en route and by October the marriage was over. In December Hackett resigned from his position, having been diagnosed with tuberculosis, and arrived home in January 1933.
Hackett reforged links with Adelaide’s anthropological community. During June and July that year he joined the anthropologist Norman Tindale [q.v.] and the bushman Allan Brumby on a journey by camel, accompanying about forty Pitjantjatjara people as they moved eastward through the Mann and Musgrave Ranges to a gathering at Ernabella. Hackett encountered more cases of boomerang leg and began to understand that the condition was spread through treponemal bacterial infection. As with earlier expeditions, he wrote and published reports on his anthropometric work, but this trip made a particular impression, as conveyed in his typescript ‘A letter about an unknown world’, a reflective account illustrated with his own accomplished photographs.
By 1933 Hackett had examined the South Australian Museum’s osteological collection for evidence of yaws. He was confident of tracing the disease’s pathology but needed more data to produce a convincing thesis. In March 1934 he set out again for Alice Springs with a radiographer and mobile X-ray equipment, working with Arrernte people and related groups. The party then drove north to Darwin, visiting Aboriginal communities on the way. His findings from these expeditions and museum analyses were outlined in his thesis (later published as Boomerang Leg and Yaws in Australian Aborigines), for which the University of Adelaide would confer (1935) a doctorate in medicine. Two more expeditions followed: to Ooldea with Tindale (November 1934), and to Western Australia’s Warburton Range (July–August 1935).
During 1935 Hackett had been appointed as a part-time lecturer in physiology and pharmacology at the university, but he returned to Britain to study osteological anatomy at Cambridge. In November 1936 he was awarded a three-year research fellowship in tropical medicine by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain, enabling him to undertake two six-month visits to Lango in northern Uganda commencing radiographical research on bone lesions associated with yaws. The onset of World War II interrupted his work. On 10 September 1940 he was commissioned as a flight lieutenant in the medical branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was posted to West Africa (1941–42) and charged with minimising the effects of malaria. Returning to Britain, he taught tropical medicine to medical officers and rose to wing commander. During 1945 he served in Burma (Myanmar) before being demobilised in November. On 17 June 1939 at the register office, Paddington, London, he had married Bessie Beattie Shaw, a nurse.
In September 1945 Hackett was offered the directorship of London’s Wellcome Museum of Medical Science. He transformed it into an advanced postgraduate teaching museum of tropical medicine, updating its displays and research materials. At the same time he resumed his research, the resulting thesis being awarded a doctorate of philosophy by the University of London in 1948 and published as Bone Lesions of Yaws in Uganda in 1951. He continued to write on yaws, now realising that the disease could be controlled with penicillin. In mid-1954 he joined the World Health Organization and relocated to Geneva, Switzerland. There he led a program to eradicate the disease worldwide, through his own initiative of inoculating entire populations with low-dose, long-acting penicillin. By the time of his retirement in 1965, yaws and boomerang leg had been practically eliminated.
While Hackett acknowledged that he had a ‘tendency to fall out with’ his superiors (NLA MS 9580), others recalled his ‘sincerity and good humour’, and ‘boyish enthusiasm’ (Duggan 1994–1997, 181). During 1966 and 1967 he undertook examinations of museum osteological collections around the world. His interest had shifted to the relationship between syphilis and yaws, and to the historical origins of syphilis in different populations. It was not until he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s disease during his late eighties that his research career drew to a close. He died in London on 8 April 1995, survived by Beattie and their two sons.
Cekalovic, Helen, Kate Domett, and Judith Littleton. ‘The History of Paleopathology in Australia.’ In The Global History of Paleopathology: Pioneers and Prospects, edited by Jane E. Buikstra and Charlotte A. Roberts, 583–93. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012; Duggan, A. ‘Cecil John Hackett.’ Munk’s Roll (Royal College of Physicians, London) Vol. X (1994–1997): 181. munksroll.rcplondon.ac.uk/Biography/Details/1952. Copy held on ADB file; Jones, Philip. Images of the Interior: Seven Central Australian Photographers. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2011; National Library of Australia. MS 9580, Papers of Cecil Hackett, 1850–1997; South Australian Museum Archives. AA 122, Cecil John Hackett.
HAINES, GEORGE ALEXANDER (1931–1994), businessman, was born on 3 November 1931 in Surry Hills, Sydney, son of New South Wales–born George Alexander Haines, barman, and his Scottish-born wife Janet Hayes Mitchell, née McIntosh. George junior was educated at Fort Street Boys’ High School, Petersham. Having gained his Leaving certificate (1947), he worked as a clerk and studied accountancy by correspondence. In 1955 he joined the chartered accountancy firm of M. W. Fishwick & Co. based in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. Three years later, on 27 February, at the Methodist Church, Rabaul, he married Elizabeth Gloyienne Kenward, a clerk, whose father worked for Burns [q.v.7], Philp [q.v.11] & Co. Ltd.
Back in Sydney by 1960, Haines gained his first senior appointment, as chief accountant with Miller’s Brewery Pty Ltd, under the direction of Harry Alce. During the mid-1960s Haines moved into the hotel and leisure industries, rising to become general manager of Travelodge Australia Ltd. In 1977 Alce, then managing director of Tooth [qq.v.6] & Co. Ltd, employed Haines as its finance manager. Tooth faced serious problems with industrial unrest and outdated breweries. However, it was the Trade Practices Act 1974 that undermined its business model by outlawing ‘exclusive dealing’. The company had relied heavily upon its ownership of more than 700 ‘tied’ hotels, which were leased to individual operators on the condition of purchasing their beer solely from Tooth. In 1980 Haines succeeded Alce as managing director. He was determined to reinvigorate the struggling company through reforming labour practices and rationalising its plants. Waverley brewery at Moore Park was closed and the Broadway brewery modernised with new equipment. He also pursued diversification as a strategy, including an abortive attempt to acquire the estate agent L. J. Hooker [q.v.14] Ltd to gain access to its property management expertise. In 1986 he was appointed AM.
Haines was soon embroiled in the corporate excesses of the 1980s. The businessman John Spalvins exploited Tooth’s faltering share price to acquire the company as part of the Adsteam Group in 1981. Tooth’s brewing assets were sold in 1983 to John Elliott’s Carlton and United Breweries Ltd, but Haines was retained to become managing director of Tooth’s remaining business. Adsteam, originally established as the shipping enterprise, Adelaide Steamship Company, had become a conglomerate by the 1980s distinguished by complex cross-ownership and high levels of debt. Driven by the hubris of the period that Spalvins typified, poor investment decisions (particularly in Bell Resources Pty Ltd and Industrial Equity Ltd) led to an unprecedented loss of $1.35 billion in the 1990–91 financial year and the collapse of the group. In July 1991 Spalvins’s role in the company was terminated.
At the height of that boom and bust era, Haines rose to national prominence as the person tasked with restructuring Adsteam. In May 1991 the banks, more than 100 of which were creditors, had appointed him as group managing director to oversee the sell-off and reorganisation of the failed conglomerate. The careful and experienced Haines—tall, quietly spoken, and slightly stooped in appearance—cut a very different figure from the new entrepreneurs, such as Spalvins, Elliott, Alan Bond, and Robert Holmes à Court [q.v.17], with their corporate-raider mentality. Haines is generally judged as making the best of a bad situation in reshaping Adsteam. Selling companies from the group to pay off the banks was highly problematic in light of the diminished share values in the recession of the early 1990s. His ability to persuade the banks to postpone the sale of the food retailer Woolworths Ltd until July 1993 secured $2.45 billion from the largest public float at the time, which raised $650 million more than had been expected in the previous year. Overall, he reduced Adsteam’s debt from approximately $7 billion to less than $2 billion.
Described as a person of ‘determination and … personal courage’ (McIlwraith 1994, 23), Haines drew on these qualities when negotiating corporate sales and handling angry investors. His business and personal skills were also put to good effect in sports administration as a director (1985–94) of New South Wales Rugby League Ltd and chair of its finance and salary payments committees. He supported the Balmain rugby league club and earlier in life had been an enthusiastic sportsman, playing soccer and captaining (1969–70) the Collaroy Plateau Cricket Club. In July 1993, having helped to resurrect the big end of town, he retired from Adsteam. He continued as a director of several of the remaining subsidiary companies. After a three-year illness he died on 24 March 1994 in the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, and was cremated. His wife, and their son and two daughters, survived him.
Clarke, Frank, Graeme Dean, and Kyle Oliver. Corporate Collapse: Accounting, Regulatory and Ethical Failure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; Fleming, Grant, David Merrett, and Simon Ville. The Big End of Town: Big Business and Corporate Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004; McIlwraith, Ian. ‘Haines Kept Fleet from Foundering.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March 1994, 23; Sykes, Trevor. The Bold Riders: Behind Australia’s Corporate Collapses. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1994; Westfield, Mark. ‘The Man Who Saved the Banks over Adsteam.’ Australian, 30 March 1994, 15.
HALKERSTON, KEITH WILLIAM (1935–1991), financier and corporate adviser, was born on 19 February 1935 in Melbourne, youngest of three children of Victorian-born parents William Paul Halkerston, grocer, and his wife Alma Minnie, née Syms. Halkerston grew up in the working-class suburb of Northcote. He was educated at Northcote Primary and High schools before winning a scholarship to Wesley College (1948–51). Awarded a Commonwealth scholarship in 1952, he excelled at the University of Melbourne (BCom, 1956), graduating with an honours degree.
In 1956 Halkerston joined the firm of Ian Potter & Co., Australia’s leading stockbrokers and underwriters in the 1950s and 1960s. (Sir) Ian Potter [q.v.] chose many of his recruits from the ranks of Melbourne’s top commerce graduates and Halkerston was among the most brilliant of a group that included Charles Goode, Laurie Cox, Bill Conn, and other future leaders of Australian business. With financial assistance from the firm, and from Fulbright and Earhart Foundation scholarships, Halkerston travelled to the United States of America in August 1956 for postgraduate study at the University of Michigan (MBA, 1957). He then worked for the Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley before returning to Melbourne in 1958. Goode later recalled that he always remained ‘slightly Americanised in some of his expressions and attitudes’ (Goode 2012).
Halkerston was elected a member of the Melbourne Stock Exchange in 1961. The next year he became a partner in Ian Potter & Co., the youngest in the firm’s history. Regarded by colleagues as one of ‘the really clever men’ (Weate 2012) of the firm, he had an uncanny ability to read the market. He specialised in the growing field of corporate finance. Following Potter’s retirement from the firm in 1967, Halkerston transferred to the Sydney office—a move symbolic of the shift of financial power from Melbourne to Sydney in the 1960s. Unhappy with the management of the firm, and disappointed that his own claims to leadership had been ignored, he resigned from the partnership on 30 June 1972.
In September that year Halkerston became an executive director of Development Finance Corporation Ltd, one of Australia’s first merchant banks. He soon formed an independent corporate advisory business, which later in the decade he aligned with the stockbrokers Ord [q.v.15] Minnett. Among numerous major deals, he was the key adviser in 1978 on the takeover of Reed Consolidated Industries Ltd by James Hardie [q.v. Supp Vol] Asbestos Ltd (the biggest takeover in Australia to that time) and News Ltd’s first attempt to take over the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd in 1979.
In the mid-1970s, Halkerston designed Australia’s first cash management trust, selling the idea to the merchant bank Hill Samuel Australia Ltd, the forerunner of Macquarie Bank Ltd. He was also increasingly in demand as a company director, joining the board of the diversified energy and building products enterprise Boral Ltd in 1974 and the major mining company Peko Wallsend Ltd in 1978. With Boral, he played an important part in the firm’s rapid expansion in the 1970s and early 1980s, and with Peko Wallsend, of which he became chairman in 1982, he gave strong support to the managing director, Charles Copeman, in an epic and ultimately successful confrontation with the trade unions at the company’s Robe River mine.
Halkerston’s growing reputation in the financial world was indicated by his appointment in 1979 to the committee set up by the Fraser government and headed by (Sir) Keith Campbell [q.v.17] to inquire into Australia’s financial system. Halkerston was an early adherent of neo-liberalism and quietly but effectively argued the case for freer markets. The final report of the committee in 1981 was a comprehensive and coherent plan for the deregulation of the financial system, which became a blueprint followed by the Hawke government in its radical economic reforms in the mid-1980s.
In 1983 Halkerston joined with a British merchant bank, Baring Brothers, and a financier, Mark Burrows, to form Baring Brothers Halkerston & Partners Ltd. While heavily involved in the frenetic corporate activity of the mid-1980s, unlike many of his contemporaries Halkerston never lost sight of financial fundamentals. Among other things he advised Warwick Fairfax [q.v.17] against his ill-fated attempt to privatise John Fairfax [q.v.4] Ltd, although he did agree to become chairman of the firm after the takeover proceeded.
Described by a colleague, Philip Weate, as having ‘a mind like a stainless steel trap’, Halkerston was able to work through a business deal with ‘unemotional precision’ (Weate 2012). To Burrows he was ‘a man of charm, wit and great intellect’ (Mychasuk 1991, 21), although he could be impatient with underlings and those who were not on his intellectual level. He lacked the presence of business leaders such as Potter, but as a behind-the-scenes corporate adviser, he had no peer from the mid-1960s until his health failed in the late 1980s. His wider influence as a proponent of free market ideas was considerable in business circles, if largely unknown to the wider public. He was appointed AM in January 1989.
Halkerston had few interests outside work, though he enjoyed tennis and theatre; he was elected chairman of the Sydney Theatre Company in 1980. He was married twice, first to Beverley Mae Jewell in 1959 in Melbourne. They had two daughters and later divorced. On 13 November 1976 at Double Bay Presbyterian Church, Sydney, he married English-born Patricia Ann Monteuuis, with whom he had three daughters. Although he was not a smoker, he developed lung cancer in the late 1980s. This led him to resign from many of his business commitments in Australia and move with his family to England. He died on 7 August 1991 at Nettlebed, Oxfordshire.
Australian Financial Review. ‘Death of Keith Halkerston.’ 9 August 1991, 8; Dunstan, Barrie. ‘Broker Moves into Banking.’ Herald (Melbourne), 9 September 1972, 25; Goode, Charles. Personal communication with author, 22 March 2012; Mychasuk, Emiliya. ‘A Warm, Just Man and a Gentleman.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 9 August 1991, 21; Weate, Philip. Personal communication with author, 15 October 2012; Yule, Peter. Ian Potter: A Biography. Carlton, Vic.: Miegunyah Press, 2006.
HALL, KENNETH GEORGE (KEN) (1901–1994), journalist, film-maker, and television executive, was born on 22 February 1901 at Paddington, Sydney, youngest of three children of Victorian-born Charles Thomas Hall, linotype operator, and his New South Wales–born wife Florence Edith, née Rix. Ken saw his first picture show at an outdoor screening at North Sydney Oval. At primary school he showed a ‘strong leaning towards writing’ (Hall 1977, 22) and won a school essay competition. After completing his education at North Sydney Boys’ High School, he joined the Evening News as a cadet reporter in 1916. The next year he became a film publicist for the linked companies Union Theatres Ltd and Australasian Films Ltd. He wrote press publicity paragraphs and devised campaigns to advertise the mostly American films screened in Australian cinemas. After six months as manager of Union Theatres’ Lyceum Theatre, he became national publicity officer in 1921.
Hall was appointed publicity director for the Australian branch of the American company First National Pictures Inc. in 1924. In this role he developed film-editing skills, when he revised and rewrote the intertitles for imported silent films to satisfy Australia’s stringent censorship laws. The next year he was described as ‘one of Sydney’s best-known and most popular young journalists’ (Sunday Times 1925, 6). He sailed for America in March, where First National had arranged for him to study films. In Hollywood and New York he observed production methods and learned the importance of subject choice. Back in Australia, he married Irene Myra Adison, a clerk, on 4 November 1925 at St Thomas’s Church of England, North Sydney. They had no children. Three years later, he had his first practical experience of film-making when he directed replacement sequences for an imported German film, Unsere Emden (1926). The original film’s re-creation of the 1914 battle between HMAS Sydney and the German cruiser SMS Emden was, according to Hall, a ‘pretty poor joke’ (1977, 43), so he filmed a more authentic version at Jervis Bay, using the Sydney and its crew. The revised film, released as The Exploits of the Emden (1928), was well received.
Returning in November 1928 to Union Theatres (from 1931 Greater Union Theatres Ltd), Hall became publicity director for the new State Theatre in Market Street, Sydney, and personal assistant to the managing director, Stuart F. Doyle [q.v.8]. In 1930 he supervised the development of the Cinesound sound-on-film recording process, invented by the technician Arthur Smith, which Hall then used to add sound to several silent short documentaries. He also directed a short film with sound synchronisation, That’s Cricket (1931). Hall’s first feature, commenced under the auspices of Union Theatres, was On Our Selection (1932), starring Bert Bailey [q.v.7]. Inspired by Steel Rudd’s short stories and adapted from Bailey’s long-running play, the film premiered in August and was a spectacular success, earning £46,000 by the end of 1933. While agreeing with some critics that its rural characters were ‘grotesque exaggerations’ (West Australian 1933, 2), Hall attributed the film’s success to the realism of its backgrounds.
In June 1932 Doyle had been sufficiently confident of the box office prospects of On Our Selection to form Cinesound Productions Ltd, with Hall as producer-director of feature films and supervisor of documentaries and the newsreel Cinesound Review. By 1940 Hall had produced seventeen features for Cinesound, directing all but one. None of them lost money. He had an unerring sense of what his audiences wanted, which derived from the ‘showmanship’ he had learned in film publicity. ‘Pride and a spirited nationalism’ (Buckley 1994) were key ingredients in his features and newsreels. Hall chose the subject of Cinesound’s fourth production, Strike Me Lucky (1934) starring the stage comedian Roy ‘Mo’ Rene [q.v.11], which barely covered its costs and frightened Hall ‘back to the treadmill’ (Hall 1979). He subsequently made three more Selection-influenced comedies featuring the same bucolic ‘Dad and Dave’ characters, but he tackled other genres in the children’s film Orphan of the Wilderness (1936), the adventure melodramas Tall Timbers (1937) and Lovers and Luggers (1937), the musical The Broken Melody (1937), and the comedy of Anglo-Australian differences, It Isn’t Done (1937).
All of Hall’s Cinesound features, with the exception of The Silence of Dean Maitland (1934), had Australian settings, even if they were filmed substantially at the Bondi Junction studio using back projection equipment that Hall purchased in Hollywood in 1935. From the racing drama Thoroughbred (1936) onward, his features were increasingly influenced by American cinema. He hired a new director of photography, George Heath, who replaced ‘the often “hard”, critically sharp look’ of Hall’s previous cameraman, Frank Hurley [q.v.9], with the ‘rounded, beautifully warm images’ of Hollywood cinematographers (Hall 1977, 101). Among the most entertaining of Hall’s films were Dad and Dave Come to Town (1938), Dad Rudd MP (1940), and Mr Chedworth Steps Out (1939), a comedy-drama satirising suburban aspirations.
Norman Rydge [q.v.16] had replaced Doyle as managing director and chairman of Greater Union in June 1937. His view of Cinesound’s financial prospects was initially bright, but it dimmed when the films started taking longer to return their investment. In June 1940 Rydge told Hall that Cinesound’s feature production would cease for the duration of World War II. Hall then focused on Cinesound Review and a series of information and propaganda short films for the Commonwealth Department of Information. The most significant of these was the newsreel special Kokoda Front Line! (1942), which captured the urgency of the Australian effort to halt the advancing Japanese in Papua and New Guinea, and shared the 1942 American Academy award for best documentary. At war’s end, and funded by the American Columbia Pictures Corporation, Hall used his Cinesound team to direct his final feature film, Smithy (1946), a soul-searching biography of the aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith [q.v.9].
After the war, Hall failed to convince the Greater Union board to revive Cinesound’s feature production, and he devoted another decade to Cinesound newsreels and corporate documentaries. In January 1957 (Sir) Frank Packer [q.v.15] recruited him as chief executive of the Sydney television station TCN-9. Reinvigorated by the challenge of the new medium, he created a distinctive identity for the station that lasted for decades. Using locally produced news, variety, comedy, music, and documentary programs, he attracted an audience that had been alienated by the station’s initial focus on imported American product. He bought and screened the work of Australian film directors, including Cecil Holmes [q.v.] and Bruce Beresford, and commissioned works from other film-makers for TCN-9’s Project documentary series.
Following his retirement in 1966, Hall watched with critical interest, and sometimes dismay, the slow rebirth of Australian feature film-making. He could be harsh about government funding of films he regarded as uncommercial and once summarised his philosophy of filmmaking: ‘if that’s what the audience wants, they have a right to get it’ (Pike and Cooper 1980, 211). He formed enduring friendships with a new generation of Australian film-makers whose work he admired, including Anthony Buckley, George Miller, Phillip Noyce, and Peter Weir. Most of his Cinesound features were revived for television by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1971. The next year he was appointed OBE and in 1976 the Australian Film Institute presented him with the Raymond Longford [q.v.10] award for lifetime achievement. He had become the elder statesman of Australian cinema, a persona reinforced by his forthrightness, as well as his tall, imposing stature. Predeceased by his wife (d. 1972), he died on 8 February 1994 at Mosman, Sydney, and was cremated. In 1995 the National Film and Sound Archive inaugurated the Ken G. Hall Film Preservation Award.
Buckley, Anthony. ‘Obituary: Ken G. Hall.’ Independent (London), 17 February 1994. Copy held on ADB file; Corrigan, Denise, and David Watson, eds. TV Times: 35 Years of Watching Television in Australia. Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1991; Hall, Ken G. Directed by Ken G. Hall. Melbourne: Lansdowne Press, 1977; Hall, Ken G. Interview by Graham Shirley, 28 August 1979; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Pike, Andrew, and Ross Cooper. Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, with Australian Film Institute, 1980; Shirley, Graham. ‘Ken G. Hall: Businessman, Showman, Raconteur.’ Filmnews (Sydney), 1 March 1994, 16; Shirley, Graham, and Brian Adams. Australian Cinema: The First 80 Years. Sydney: Angus and Robertson Publishers, Currency Press, 1983; Sunday Times (Sydney). ‘Clever Australians.’ 8 March 1925, 6; West Australian. ‘Australia’s Difficulties’, 26 January 1933, 2.
HALL, PETER BRIAN (1931–1995), architect, was born on 16 May 1931 at Merewether, Newcastle, only child of New South Wales–born parents William Laidley Hall, clerk, and his wife Eileen Mary, née Ritter. By 1933 the family had moved to Narrabri, and by 1940 to Boggabri. An outstanding student at Boggabri Public School, Peter won a scholarship to Cranbrook School, Bellevue Hill. Boarding there from 1943, he played for the school’s first XI cricket team, captained its debating team, and became a prefect.
Awarded a scholarship to the University of Sydney (BArch, 1957; BA, 1958), Hall resided at Wesley College. He initially enrolled for an arts degree, before transferring to architecture in 1952. The same year he was accepted as a trainee architect in the government architect’s branch of the New South Wales Department of Public Works, which paid for his educational and living expenses. He soon joined its design room, a select team of young men led by Harry Rembert [q.v.16]. President of the Architectural Students’ Society, he also played for the university’s first-grade cricket team.
Registering as an architect in July 1957, that year Hall was awarded a Board of Architects of New South Wales research bursary, and a Hezlet bequest travelling scholarship. He departed for England the following year, and worked for several months in the London office of Anderson Forster & Wilcox. In London he renewed acquaintance with Elizabeth Hardinge (Libby) Bryant, who had also studied architecture at the University of Sydney; they married on 2 June 1959 at the parish church of St Bartholomew the Great. Later that month the couple left England to travel in Europe. Visiting Denmark, he approached the architect Jørn Utzon, the winner of the competition to design the Sydney Opera House, seeking work, but none was available.
The Halls returned to Sydney in 1960, and he went back to the government architect’s branch, while she began working for the interior designer Marion Hall Best [qv.17]. Initially employed on small items, from 1961 he was engaged on the design of several significant projects. Two additions to public buildings—an extension to the Registrar-General’s Department in Macquarie Street and an addition to Darlinghurst Courthouse at Taylor Square—demonstrated his sensitive response to historic context. He also designed buildings for the universities of New England, New South Wales, and Sydney, and for Macquarie University. These structures demonstrated a direct and unassuming use of materials, reflecting the aesthetics of the Sydney School of architecture, and several were notable for an assured use of off-form reinforced concrete. One such was Goldstein Hall at the University of New South Wales, which in 1964 jointly won the Sulman [q.v.12] medal, awarded by the New South Wales chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA). He also undertook some private commissions, including the refurbishment of Best’s shop in Paddington.
Leaving the government architect’s office in 1966, Hall set up his own practice. On 28 February that year Utzon resigned from the Sydney Opera House project, provoking outrage among members of the architectural fraternity and the public who sided with Utzon in his dispute with the State government. The government architect, Edward Herbert (Ted) Farmer, initially sought to replace Utzon by engaging a partner from each of two prominent architectural firms, but those who were asked declined. Hall, whom Farmer respected as a designer, was then approached. He was reluctant to accept, and would have stepped down if Utzon had returned. His decision to take up the commission met with recriminations from many of his fellow architects that were to endure for many years.
On 19 April an ‘architectural panel’ to complete the opera house was announced. It consisted of Hall, Lionel Todd, and David Littlemore. Hall was responsible for design, Todd for contract documentation, and Littlemore for supervision, while Farmer was chairman. Hall first inspected Utzon’s drawings, which had been handed over to the Department of Public Works, but not all of the Utzon documents were found, notably two relating to the seating layout of the major hall.
One important issue that required resolution related to the great difficulties arising from the requirement that the main hall of the opera house fulfil dual roles as an opera and concert venue. In May the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) advised that it would not be likely to use the main hall in the form that it had taken prior to Utzon’s departure. Through the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the ABC was to be the main hall’s major user, and Hall had been instructed to ensure the venue was suitable for it. He embarked on a three-month tour to inspect performing arts centres in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan, and to meet with various experts. Drawing on these experiences, he based his proposal for completion of the project on three factors: ‘a partially completed building’; the ABC as ‘the main user of the major hall’; and the conflicting requirements of opera and concerts that could not be met in the main hall ‘without loss of quality for both’ (Hall 1967, 114). The revised scheme entailed a concert hall to seat 2,800 and an opera theatre seating 1,500, as well as various smaller spaces, and cabinet accepted it in March 1967.
In 1966 and 1967 Hall and Utzon communicated several times, and Utzon let it be known he was willing to return to the project, but the minister for public works, (Sir) Davis Hughes, refused to reinstate him. Work was finally completed and the opera house opened in 1973. Its acoustics were highly praised by early performers, including the soprano (Dame) Joan Sutherland and the violinist (Sir) Yehudi (Baron) Menuhin. During a trial performance in December 1972, Sir Bernard Heinze [q.v.17], the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s conductor, found the major hall ‘delightful in its resonance’ (Sydney Morning Herald 1972, 1). According to Peter Murray, ‘the quality of [Hall’s] interiors for the Concert Hall and Opera Theatre bear comparison with other, similar halls around the world’ (2004, 132).
As a result of his involvement with the Sydney Opera House, Hall’s personal life suffered. In 1969 he was divorced. On 13 August 1970 at the chapel of Wesley College, University of Sydney, he married Penelope Anne McDonnell, a student; they later divorced. He had formed a professional partnership with Jim Anderson in 1969, and in 1971 David Bowe also became a partner. Following Anderson’s departure from Hall Anderson Bowe Pty Ltd in 1973, the practice became Hall & Bowe Architects Pty Ltd. From November 1977 to the end of 1980 Hall was chief architect in the Commonwealth Department of Construction, while also continuing in private practice. That year a former government architect, Peter Webber, joined Hall & Bowe, which became Hall Bowe & Webber Pty Ltd. Webber left the firm in 1990; Bowe had departed in 1988.
During this period Hall and his colleagues worked on a range of projects. Among these was the design of new forecourts for the Sydney Opera House. Hall Bowe & Webber shared the New South Wales chapter of the RAIA’s 1988 Lloyd Rees [q.v.18] award for this work, which formed part of the upgrade of Circular Quay and Macquarie Street. The firm also won the institute’s 1988 national civic design award for the same project.
Hall thought seriously about the practice of architecture, although not often articulating his thoughts. He was concerned that the buildings he designed gave their users what he termed a ‘good experience’ (Webber 2012, 106), and he strove to achieve functional solutions that fulfilled the needs of users. Olive-skinned, dark-haired, and slightly built, he was charming, courteous, and forthright, with a fine sense of humour. His former design room colleague Ken Woolley described him as ‘articulate, highly intelligent’, and generous (Woolley 1995, 7). A stylish and at times flamboyant dresser, he keenly appreciated classical music, literature, and the fine arts; admired unusual cars; and was a keen player of cricket, squash, and golf.
Early in 1992 Hall’s practice went into liquidation, a victim of the economic recession of 1990 and 1991. He accepted a position with the management consultants McLachlan Consultants, but left at the beginning of 1995. His health was failing. He died of a stroke on 19 May 1995 at St Leonards, and was cremated. The daughter and son from his first marriage, and the two daughters and one of the two sons from his second marriage, survived him.
Some years after Hall’s death, the contribution of Hall, Todd and Littlemore to the Sydney Opera House was praised and acknowledged. More than a quarter of a century after it was completed, Utzon wrote that he was pleased with its success, and that the work of Hall, Todd and Littlemore and Ove Arup had enabled it to operate effectively. In 2006 the architectural quality of the concert hall and the opera theatre were recognised by the New South Wales chapter of the RAIA’s 25 year award. Utzon and the Sydney Opera House had earlier won the 1992 commemorative Sulman [q.v.12] award and the 2003 25 year award. Acknowledging Hall’s design, the RAIA assessed his interiors ‘among the major achievements of Australian architects of the 1960s and 1970s’ and considered that they combined with Utzon’s ‘great vision and magnificent exterior’ to form ‘one of the world’s great working buildings’ (Architecture Bulletin 2006, 48).
Architecture Bulletin. ‘25 Year Award.’ July/August 2006, 48; Hall, Peter. ‘Function is not a “Dirty” Word.’ In The Sydney Opera House Affair, by Michael Baume, 109–117. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson (Australia), 1967; Murray, Peter. The Saga of Sydney Opera House: The Dramatic Story of the Design and Construction of the Icon of Modern Australia. London and New York: Spon Press, 2004; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Opera House Hall Passes Test for Sound.’ 18 December 1972, 1; Watson, Anne, ed. Building a Masterpiece: The Sydney Opera House. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 2013; Webber, Peter. Peter Hall Architect: The Phantom of the Opera House. Boorowa, NSW: Watermark Press, 2012; Webber, Peter. Interview with the author, 16 July 2015; Woolley, Ken. ‘Peter Hall.’ Architecture Bulletin, June 1995, 7; Yeomans, John. The Other Taj Mahal: What Happened to the Sydney Opera House. Camberwell, Vic.: Longman Australia, 1973.
HAM, HAROLD JOHN (1902–1995), radiotherapist and professor of radiotherapeutics, was born on 19 October 1902 at Kew, Melbourne, youngest of three surviving children of Victorian-born parents Walter James Ham, public servant, and his wife Annie, née Anderson. Following his early education at State schools at Kew, Harold won scholarships to Scotch College and later to the University of Melbourne (MB, BS, 1926). He then worked as a resident medical officer in Melbourne hospitals until 1930, when he left for studies in England.
From the beginning Ham’s dominant personality trait was to throw himself wholly into whatever he was engaged in at the time, a characteristic he retained throughout his life. His interest in X-rays began when he was house physician at the City of London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green. While working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and as a general practitioner, he commenced training for the University of Cambridge’s diploma in medical radiology and electrology (1932). On 4 August 1932 at the Register Office, Kensington, he married Mona Campbell Mackenzie; they had met while he was working at the (Royal) Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where she was a nursing sister. Following a period as a radiologist at Ashton-under-Lyne, in 1934 he joined the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute in Manchester as an assistant radiologist, working with the renowned director Ralston Paterson and the physicist H. M. Parker. In later life he saw this early training as crucial to his development as a ‘good radiotherapist’ (Ryan, Sutton, and Baigent 1996, 229). He became a member in 1934 of the British Association of Radiologists and the next year of the Society of Radiotherapists of Great Britain and Ireland. When these organisations merged to form the Faculty of Radiologists in 1939 he became a foundation fellow.
Invited by Tom Nisbet [q.v.Supp] to join his practice in Macquarie Street, Sydney, Ham returned to Australia in 1936. He joined the honorary medical staff of both the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Royal North Shore Hospital, positions he would hold until he retired in 1962. An honorary captain (later major), (Royal) Australian Army Medical Corps Reserve (1941–54), in World War II he worked two days per week at the 113th Australian General Hospital, Concord, and trained military medical officers in radiology.
In 1943 Ham was honorary secretary of the committee that invited Paterson to New South Wales to provide advice on radiotherapy services. Assisted by (Sir) Harold Dew [q.v.13], he founded the University of Sydney’s diploma of therapeutic radiology—later to be replaced by the College of Radiologists (Australia and New Zealand) examination—while also lecturing and examining part time for the university. He was elected to the council of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Radiology in 1947. When the association became a college in 1949 he held various positions within it, becoming president from 1960 to 1961.
From 1956 Ham was involved in the new cobalt beam therapy and from 1960 to 1966 was a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council. Vice-chairman of the Australian delegation to Copenhagen in 1953 for the International Congress of Radiology, in 1962 he became a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. The World Health Organization’s offer of a three-month consultancy in South-East Asia proved to be the forerunner of many overseas consultancies he undertook, including in India, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Iran. Finally, in 1966 he became professor in radiotherapeutics at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He retired once more in 1972.
These activities entailed a great deal of travelling, during which Ham and his wife would often take their three children. Harold always gave Mona full recognition for her part in making his career a success. At the same time she was active in her own sphere, and in 1955 formed the New South Wales Cancer Patients’ Assistance Fund (later Society) to support country patients; this initiative led to the foundation of the Jean Colvin Hospital, Darling Point, and to the provision of accommodation at Ecclesbourne, Double Bay. In 1971 she was appointed MBE.
After Ham retired, he and Mona turned their energies to travel and art. In Sydney in the 1960s they had attended Roland Wakelin’s [q.v.12] art classes. They bought a flat in Spain to use as a European base for travel, and for sketching and painting. Elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, in 1977, Harold was still painting in 1992, when he held an exhibition of his work, based on his travel sketchbooks, at the Moore Park Gallery, Redfern. He also enjoyed golf and tennis.
Following Mona’s death in 1983, from 1986 Harold joined a fellow retired radiologist, Ted Booth, in working as an honorary librarian at the Royal Australasian College of Radiologists. In 1989 he was awarded the college’s gold medal in recognition of his place as ‘one of that small band who could be regarded as a founding father of both the clinical practice of Radiation Oncology in Australasia and also the RACR’ (Tate 1999, 105). He completed writing his memoirs in 1991. In his final years he lived quietly in his Sydney flat. He died on 14 June 1995 at Paddington, survived by his two sons and one daughter, and was cremated after a memorial service at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point. In an obituary the radiation oncologist Graeme Morgan described him as a ‘remarkable man’ who had led a ‘full and wonderful life’, and as ‘one of our most esteemed and respected colleagues in Radiation Oncology and one of the founding fathers of [the] College’ (1996, 467–68).
Ham, Harold J. ‘Memoirs of a Senior Radiologist. Including Some Account of the Development of Radiotherapy in Australia.’ Unpublished manuscript, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists archives; Morgan, Graeme. ‘Harold John Ham (1902–1995).’ Australasian Radiology 40, no. 4 (November 1996): 467–68; Ryan, James, Keith Sutton, and Malcolm Baigent. Australasian Radiology: A History. Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 1996; Tate, Audrey. Shadows and Substance: The History of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists 1949–1999. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1999.
HAMMOND, RUBY FLORENCE (1936–1993), Aboriginal activist and public servant, was born on 10 March 1936 at Kingston SE, South Australia, second of eight children of South Australian–born parents Arthur Ahang, of Tanganekald and Chinese heritage, labourer, and Ethel Hilda Wachman, née Ellis, of Western Arrente heritage, formerly a domestic servant. The Ahangs were part of the Aboriginal community at Blackford (Murrabinna), near Kingston SE, and believed that their children’s future lay in adopting European customs, and especially acquiring a European education. Ruby grew up being comfortable in both black and white society, a valuable foundation for her subsequent career.
Beginning her education at Blackford School, Ruby went on to complete the Intermediate Certificate at Kingston Area School in 1952. Her first jobs in Kingston SE, in a hotel and then in a shop, where she was required to work out of sight of the customers, brought her face to face with racism. At sixteen she had a son, who was reared by her parents, and at eighteen she moved to Adelaide where she gained employment as a switchboard operator in the Postmaster-General’s Department. On 25 March 1961 Ahang married Bill (Les) Hammond at the Methodist Church, Port Adelaide; the marriage did not last. Four years later she married her former brother-in-law Frank Hammond, a motor mechanic.
In Adelaide, Hammond developed an understanding of the needs of urban Aboriginal people through her association with activists, notably Gladys Elphick [q.v.17], and she joined the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, which worked to counter discrimination in the community. She travelled in 1971 to Marree and the surrounding region in search of her mother’s heritage. By this time she was committed to working with and for Aboriginal people. At the council Hammond developed advocacy and public-speaking skills. Her talents were quickly recognised and she received many requests to participate in organisations and projects in Australia and internationally. These included membership of delegations to China (1972) and the Soviet Union (1976), the steering committee of the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (1973), the inaugural Aboriginal Arts Board (1973), and the national advisory committee for International Women’s Year (1974–76).
Aware of the need of many Aboriginal people for legal advice and support, in 1974 Hammond joined the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, starting as a field officer and soon becoming executive director. She asserted that the ALRM’s brief went beyond supporting those facing criminal charges and that it needed also to address the social problems underlying the high levels of Aboriginal crime and incarceration. Believing that land rights were human rights, indivisible from questions of equality and justice, she broadened the ALRM’s activities through her support of the Pitjantjatjara land rights cause—a move that led to her dismissal in 1979. Although she was subsequently reinstated, she felt that the situation was untenable and resigned.
Completing a degree in Aboriginal Affairs Administration at the South Australian Institute of Technology (BA, 1985), Hammond took up employment in the State public service, first with the Department of Health, and then with the Equal Opportunity Branch of the Department of Personnel and Industrial Relations. In 1988 she stood, unsuccessfully, in a by-election for the Federal seat of Port Adelaide as the candidate for the Independent Aboriginal Cultural Party; she was the first South Australian Aboriginal person to seek election to Federal parliament. The following year she was selected as head of the South Australian Aboriginal Issues Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and in 1990 she was appointed to the National Women’s Consultative Council. Her final public service appointment, as advisor to the State Department of the Arts and Cultural Heritage, built on her contributions to film and drama and her belief in the arts as a means of reconciliation. Roles in the 1975 film, Sister if You Only Knew, and the 1989 Black and White Theatre Group production of Is This Seat Taken? are examples of her earlier commitment.
Initially, Hammond viewed racism as a product of ignorance that could be dispelled by education. This perspective gradually transformed into an understanding of the deep-seated disadvantage and dispossession from which Aboriginal people suffered, the complex historical causes that underlay Aboriginal issues, and the institutionalised nature of racism. Never a separatist, she believed in Aboriginal people having the right to choose between integration into the Australian ‘mainstream’, or living according to their own cultures without foregoing opportunities for social and economic equality. Her determined optimism, warm personality, and constructive approach meant that she was valued as a speaker, facilitator, board member, and consultant. Her workload was prodigious.
Hammond was named South Australian Woman of the Year (1977), awarded an Australian Public Service medal (1993), and, posthumously, an equal opportunity achievement award (1993). In 1994 a South Australian electoral district was named in her honour. She is memorialised at the Port Adelaide Workers Memorial and at Reconciliation Place, Canberra. After battling cancer, she died in Le Fevre Community Hospital on 16 April 1993, survived by her husband, her sons John and Bruce, and daughter Sandra Southwell. Following a funeral at Port Adelaide Uniting Church she was buried in Cheltenham cemetery.
Forte, Margaret. Flight of an Eagle: The Dreaming of Ruby Hammond. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1996; Hammond, Bruce. Interview by the authors, 25 March 2014; Hammond, Frank. Interview by the authors, 1 April 2014; Hammond, John. Interview by the authors, 1 April 2014; Hammond, Ruby. ‘Institutional Racism: The Biggest Block.’ Unity (United Ethnic Communities of South Australia), no. 10 (April 1988): 12–14; Southwell, Sandra, and Irene Allan. Interview by Judith Raftery, 18 February 2014; State Library of South Australia. PRG 1040, Papers of Ruby Hammond; Wanganeen, Edmund, comp. Justice Without Prejudice: The Development of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in South Australia. Adelaide: South Australian College of Advanced Education Aboriginal Studies and Teacher Education Centre, 1986.
HAMPSHIRE, JOHN BROOK (1918–1992), air force officer, was born on 30 May 1918 at Lindfield, New South Wales, only son of New South Wales–born parents, Thomas Edward Hampshire, dentist, and his wife Ellen Charlotte, née Pearce. John was educated at The Armidale School where he completed his Intermediate certificate (1934) and won the Bloomfield memorial prize for history as well as earning colours for rugby and cricket. After leaving school he worked as an assistant sales manager for an electrical firm before joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on 19 July 1938 as an aircrew cadet at Point Cook, Victoria. Nicknamed ‘Long John’ because of his lanky appearance, Hampshire was 6 feet 4 inches (194 cm) tall with grey eyes and a dark complexion.
Commissioned as a pilot officer on 22 June 1939, Hampshire was posted to No. 12 Squadron, Darwin, where he flew twin-engined Ansons. On 5 September that year he married a trainee nurse, Patricia Phyllis Rimmington, adopted daughter of Lieutenant General Sir William Bridgeford [q.v.13], at St John’s Church of England, Toorak, Victoria. Patricia was given away by (Sir) John Northcott [q.v.15], later the governor of New South Wales. In February 1942 Hampshire was posted to No. 32 Squadron, Port Moresby, where, flying a Hudson bomber, he took part in the defence of Papua and New Guinea. During a reconnaissance of Arawe, New Britain, on 8 March he skilfully outmanoeuvred four attacking Japanese Zero fighters and saved his aircraft and crew. He was promoted to acting squadron leader in July 1942 and temporary wing commander in December 1943.
Early in 1944 Hampshire gained vital four-engine flying experience with the United States Army Air Force’s 380 Bombardment Group based in the Darwin area. From June 1944 to March 1945 he commanded No. 24 Squadron, the RAAF’s first heavy bomber squadron, flying B-24 Liberators from bases in the Northern Territory. He led the unit in raids against the Japanese and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (1945) for ‘energy, keenness and resourcefulness [and] leadership, courage and coolness of the highest order’ (NAA A12372)His time on Liberators was put to good effect when, in August 1946, he was posted to command No. 12 Squadron at Amberley, Queensland, and flew the Lincoln bomber, a derivative of the famous Lancaster. While at No. 12 Squadron, he flew through the radioactive clouds of the British atomic tests at Maralinga, and in 1985 gave evidence at the subsequent royal commission. He commanded No. 10 Squadron, based at Townsville, Queensland, from 1950 to 1953.
Hampshire had gained a permanent commission in 1948. Although he achieved substantive promotion to wing commander on 1 July 1951, he never rose to more senior rank. His remaining time in the RAAF was spent in staff and administrative appointments. He retired on 29 February 1968 at his own request, with the honorary rank of group captain, and was placed on the Retired List. Divorced from his first wife, on 4 December 1959 he had married Joan MacKendrick (née MacConochie), a widow, at Toorak.
Hampshire was to have varied post-RAAF employment. He invested in guesthouses, dabbled in a liquor shop at Pymble, was a security guard for 3M Australia and, as a member and briefly acting secretary of the Avondale Golf Club, enjoyed golf. In later life, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, attributed to radiation exposure from the Maralinga atomic tests that he had witnessed. Survived by the son and daughter of his first marriage, he died on 10 February 1992 in Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, and was cremated.
Jillett, Leslie, and Harold Freedman. Moresby’s Few: Being an Account of the Activities of No 32 Squadron in New Guinea in 1942. Narrabri: The North Western Courier, 1945; National Archives of Australia. A12372, R/380/H, R/380/P; Stanbury, Meredith. Personal communication.
HANCOCK, LANGLEY FREDERICK (LANG) (1909–1992), pastoralist and mining magnate, was born on 10 June 1909 in Perth, eldest of four children of Western Australian–born George Hancock, pastoralist, and his South Australian–born wife Lilian Yielding (spelt variously) Mabel, née Prior. Emma Withnell [q.v.6] was his great-aunt and (Sir) Valston Hancock was his cousin. Following private schooling at home, Lang boarded, from age eight, at the Convent of Mercy School, Toodyay. Between 1924 and 1927 he attended the High (later Hale) School, Perth, where he proved an able if not outstanding student. He opened the batting for the school’s cricket first XI, played football with its first Australian rules team, and enjoyed swimming; later in life he was a keen competitor on the tennis court.
After gaining his Leaving certificate Hancock assisted his father on his Pilbara sheep property, Mulga Downs, along the Fortescue River, and his cattle station, Hamersley, near the range of that name. He quickly absorbed the necessary practical skills and took over as manager of Mulga Downs at the age of twenty-six. A hard taskmaster, he did not shirk from dirtying his hands and in the process acquired bushman’s skills and a feel for the land that stood him in good stead during his pastoral and prospecting careers.
On 16 October 1935 at St Mary’s Church of England, West Perth, Hancock married Susette Maley; she did not enjoy life in the bush and they were amicably divorced in 1944. In World War II he served part time (1943–44) as a sergeant in the 11th (North-West) Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps. At the district registrar’s office, Perth, on 4 August 1947 he married Hope Margaret Clark, née Nicholas, a divorcee; good-natured and likeable, she was a calming influence on him.
Hancock’s first mining venture, in the mid-1930s, involved crocidolite (blue) asbestos he had discovered at Wittenoom Gorge, near Mulga Downs. In 1938 he went into partnership with a school friend, Ernest (Peter) Wright [q.v.18]. Their business alliance was sealed with a handshake, and their companies, Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd, worked co-operatively under the label of Hanwright. Wright took the role of ‘negotiator and financial expert’, while Hancock became the ‘spokesman and propagandist’ (Phillipson 1974, 48). The partnership was to endure until shortly before Wright’s death in 1985, ending as a result of diverging business philosophies and Wright’s disagreement with Hancock’s plans to start a new mine.
Hancock improved the process for treating the Wittenoom asbestos by designing his own machinery and plant. In 1943 he and Wright combined with the Colonial Sugar Refining Co. Ltd (CSR) to form Australian Blue Asbestos Ltd, retaining a minority interest. The relationship soured and they sold their shareholding to CSR in 1948. They then extracted chrysotile (white) asbestos near Nunyerry Gap, and also began mining copper, tin, and lead.
The existence of iron ore in the north-west of Western Australia had been known since the nineteenth century, but its potential remained unrecognised. A competent pilot, Hancock claimed to have discovered the magnitude of the vast deposits in the Hamersley Range in November 1952, when he and Hope were forced by bad weather to fly low in their Auster aeroplane through ore-rich gorges. Neill Phillipson has cast doubt on the accuracy of this account, suggesting that Hancock promoted the legend to justify his claims of mining rights over much of the Pilbara (Phillipson 1974, 73). There is, however, no doubt about the importance of the part he was to play in the development of the ore-extraction industry in the region. He assumed the vital roles of publicising the value of the deposits to financiers and major companies throughout the world, and of campaigning against the Commonwealth government’s long-standing embargo on the export of iron ore.
In December 1960 the ban was lifted, but to protect the interests of the public, (Sir) David Brand’s [q.v.13] Western Australian Liberal and Country parties’ coalition government froze the exploitation of all known high-grade iron-ore deposits not covered by leases, and invited individuals and companies to apply for temporary reserves over other deposits, both known and unknown. Those to whom reserves were granted could gain conditional tenure over viable finds and full mining rights once the government was satisfied that their proposed projects complied with its policies for the controlled and orderly development of the total resource.
Hanwright mapped and pegged rich deposits and set out to find partners able to provide finance. In January 1961 the Rio Tinto Mining Co. of Australia Ltd despatched a Swiss geologist, Bruno Campana, to examine and survey leases that Hancock hoped to acquire. Despite his favourable report, progress was slow. Hancock forced the situation by personally approaching (Sir) Val Duncan, chairman of the parent Rio Tinto Co. Ltd in London, and urging him to take action over the heads of the Australian subsidiary’s board members. Duncan gained the support of Henry Kaiser, president of the Kaiser Steel Corporation in the United States of America, who sent Tom Price to investigate. Subsequently, Kaiser Steel took out a 40 per cent interest in the venture. When Consolidated Zinc Pty Ltd joined them, a new company, Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd (CRA), was established.
Being unable to afford to buy into the consortium, in June 1963 Hancock and Wright signed an agreement by which its operating entity, Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, would pay the partners royalties of 2.5 per cent of the value of all ore mined in perpetuity, not only the deposits that they had found, but others that would later be exploited by the company. Next month the Brand government gave approval for Hamersley Iron to begin developing the first two of its reserves. The royalties were to be the source of Hancock’s eventual enormous wealth; conversely, his dream of owning an iron-ore mine himself was never to be realised.
Following the closure of CSR’s uneconomic asbestos project at Wittenoom in December 1966, Hancock and Wright repurchased the mine and infrastructure, for which they were treated as local heroes who would save the town and the jobs of the mine’s employees. However, their grandiose plans to establish a vast industrial complex in the Pilbara, based on Wittenoom, were to be thwarted by an inability to obtain finance and, in their opinion, government obstruction. The mine remained closed and Wittenoom became a ghost town. For many workers and locals, asbestosis leading to mesothelioma was a tragic aftermath of the earlier production, but Hancock denied any responsibility, claiming there were other causes for the health problems, with proof of this being that he had not been affected.
Nor did Hancock see nuclear radiation as a health hazard, having accidentally but safely piloted his aeroplane through fallout from the 1952 atomic bomb test in the Montebello Islands. He was a committed supporter of nuclear power and the industrial application of nuclear explosions. Having consulted his friend Edward Teller, the American physicist, he advocated setting off nuclear devices underground to break ore deposits into fragments, foreseeing huge savings without harm to miners or the environment. He also sought to use controlled nuclear explosions to excavate harbours for large ore-carrying ships. Although (Sir) John Gorton’s Federal government gave cautious support to his plan to blast a harbour at Cape Keraudren in 1969, he ultimately did not gain approval for this and other nuclear schemes, and blamed his lack of success on ‘eco-nuts’ (Hancock 1979, 71).
Hancock’s relationships with Western Australian governments, especially those involving (Sir) Charles Court (Liberal Party minister for industrial development and the north-west (1959–71) and premier (1974–82) proved abrasive. Hancock adamantly believed that Court in particular, and successive governments and their advisers in general, had deliberately frustrated Hanwright’s—in his estimation—superior plans for the development of the Pilbara. When the Tonkin [q.v.] Labor government, with Opposition support, resumed a number of the partners’ temporary reserves in 1971, they complained of confiscation and injustice to themselves as the original finders. Hancock’s pamphlet, The Great Claim Robbery (1972?), denigrated Court’s character, ability, and fitness for office as a minister. Court contended that Hancock and Wright used Mafia-style tactics in their business dealings, rudely demanded concessions rather than negotiating, and were motivated by selfishness (Phillipson 1974, 32).
In 1987 Hancock and the Labor premier of Western Australia, Brian Burke, led a forty-strong trade mission to Romania to finalise a barter deal, estimated to be worth $1.5 billion. The Romanians would provide equipment Hancock needed to start a new mine at Marandoo and build a railway spur by which to transport ore to the coast. In exchange he would supply 53 million tonnes of ore and help expand Romanian port facilities to receive it. Hancock saw the venture as a first step in opening up markets in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He brushed aside widespread criticism for dealing with Nicolae Ceauşescu’s repressive communist regime, remaining ‘true to his code that business is business’ (Marshall 2012, 148). The venture was plagued with problems, and his daughter, Gina, was to withdraw from it, at considerable expense, after her father’s death.
Hope Hancock had died in 1983. On 6 July 1985 in a civil ceremony at Killara, Sydney, Hancock married Rosa-Maria (Rose) Lacson, his housemaid. Her flamboyance gave him new energy and he indulged her every whim, much to the chagrin of his daughter. Gina had been involved in her father’s business dealings from a young age, and had become his confidant and an active participant in his ventures. From the mid-1980s there was a falling out between them. He suspected that she and her second husband, Frank Rinehart, wanted control of the business. More immediately, Hancock resented her attacks on his relationship with Rose and her allegations that Rose was inducing him to spend ruinously. His uncharacteristic extravagance in building his wife an ostentatious mansion, Prix d’Amour, at Mosman Park, Perth, was one source of contention.
A minimalist, Hancock believed the role of government should be restricted to administering ‘the Police Force, the Titles Office and a nuclear-armed Air Force’ (Duffield 1979, 25). Attracted by their laissez-faire belief in small government, minimal taxation, and the promotion of individual freedom, he was a great admirer of Milton Friedman and Margaret (Baroness) Thatcher. He argued that retail and mining interests should gain control of the press and convert the public ‘to the path of free enterprise’ (Hancock 1979, 49). Subsequently, Hanwright floated two Western Australian newspapers, the (Sunday) Independent (1969–86) and the National Miner (1974–78). Hancock’s outlook was tempered by the view that, while ‘Australia north of the 26th parallel [should be made] an income tax-free zone [there should also be] a compulsory reinvestment clause of 40 per cent applicable to capital only’ (Lawrence and Bunk 1985, 48) to encourage further minerals exploration, and the development of value-adding processing plants.
Hancock’s disdain for central government and its bureaucracy saw him promote and finance the Westralian Secessionist Movement. He envisaged Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland seceding and joining under a constitution that limited the power of government. Meanwhile, he considered that the only hope for Australia would be a Federal government led by the Queensland premier, (Sir) Joh Bjelke-Petersen, one of the few politicians—with Thatcher and Lee Kwan Yew—whom he respected. In 1976 he and Bjelke-Petersen had recommended the construction of a railway line across northern Australia, linking the Queensland coal fields and the Western Australian iron-ore mines.
Consistent with his broader stance, Hancock had extreme views on relations between whites and Aboriginal people. He opposed any recognition of land rights and believed that sacred sites should not receive consideration if they stood in the way of development. During a television interview in Queensland in 1981, he caused outrage by advocating the sterilisation of people of mixed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry. After his death a number of claims were to be made that, as a young man, he had fathered children with Aboriginal women on his stations.
A non-drinker and non-smoker, the dark-haired, short, solidly built Hancock has been described as ‘a rebel, an iconoclast and a subversive’ (Duffield 1979, 9). He was forceful, pragmatic, dogmatic, astute, and down-to-earth. In addition, he had simple tastes, was a great conversationalist, was very well read, and was an atheist. While he deplored social welfare and was not renowned for philanthropy, Debi Marshall has asserted that he made generous anonymous donations to causes of which he approved (Marshall 2012, 97). In Hancock’s view, his most valuable contribution to society was creating employment and wealth that benefited the local and national economy.
Survived by his wife and daughter, Hancock died on 27 March 1992 in a guest house in the grounds of Prix d’Amour and was cremated. Rose (later Porteous) and Gina fought an acrimonious legal battle over his estate for the next eleven years. An inquest into his death was held in 2001 and 2002 to hear Rinehart’s allegations that Porteous had unlawfully killed her husband. The coroner rejected Rinehart’s accusations, finding that Hancock had died of natural causes, and that much evidence from witnesses supporting her claims was dubious or fabricated. The long fight over the estate ended in September 2003 with Porteous keeping some assets, including Prix d’Amour, while Rinehart retained control of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and its royalty stream. In 1999 the Hancock Range in the Pilbara had been named in Lang’s honour.
Duffield, Robert. Rogue Bull: The Story of Lang Hancock, King of the Pilbara. Sydney: Collins, 1979; Hancock, Lang. The Great Claim Robbery. Perth: Lang Hancock, 1972?; Hancock, Lang. Wake Up Australia. Sydney: E. J. Dwyer (Australia) Pty Ltd, 1979; Lawrence, Neil, and Steve Bunk. The Stump Jumpers: A New Breed of Australians. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1985; Lee, David. ‘The Establishment of Iron Ore Giants: Hamersley Iron and the Mount Newman Mining Company, 1961–1969.’ Journal of Australasian Mining History 11 (October 2013): 61–77; Marshall, Debi. The House of Hancock: The Rise and Rise of Gina Rinehart. North Sydney, NSW: Random House Australia Pty Ltd, 2012; Marshall, Debi. Lang Hancock. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2001; National Archives of Australia. B884, W74963; Phillipson, Neill. Man of Iron. Melbourne: Wren Publishing, 1974.
Melville J. Davies
HANKE, SONYA HELEN (1933–1993), pianist and music teacher, was born on 27 September 1933 at Hunters Hill, Sydney, younger of two children of Sydney-born parents Henry Aloysius Hanke, artist, and his wife Emily, née Mortimer. Her father was a well-known painter whose achievements included winning the 1934 Archibald [q.v.3] prize and, in 1936, the inaugural Sir John Sulman [q.v.12] prize. Educated at North Sydney Girls’ High School, Sonya displayed an early aptitude for piano. She studied at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 1951 with performance and teaching diplomas.
In 1952 Hanke won the open piano championship at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod and a Pedley [q.v.11], Woolley [q.v.6], McMenamin Trust scholarship. This enabled her to study at the Royal College of Music, London (1953–56), where she was awarded the Hopkinson gold medal for piano playing (1956). In April 1954 she gained the associate of the Royal College of Music diploma in piano performing. While in Europe, she received an Italian government scholarship for advanced study at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, where (1955–57, 1959) she was taught by Guido Agosti and Alfred Cortot. She also studied at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Siena would retain a central place in her life. There she met and married Aldo Lucchetti, an agricultural scientist, in 1959. The marriage was childless. Living at Siena, she performed in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Britain, later also touring Israel and the United States of America.
After her marriage ended, Hanke returned to Australia in 1974 to arrange concert performances. Subsequently, she accepted a position in the keyboard department of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, which she took up part time in 1976 (full time from 1979). She was highly regarded as a caring, inspirational teacher. Though formal in manner, she bequeathed a sophisticated and developed taste in music to students and they responded with loyalty. Musicians who took lessons with her included Kathryn Selby, David Howie, Lisa Moore, Corey McVicar, and Michael Harvey.
As a pianist, Hanke was much admired by leading music critics, who praised her interpretations and technical mastery. Her meticulous preparation and her strength in playing flamboyant Romantic piano music were also widely acknowledged, though some musicians described her approach as solid but lacking in method, a legacy attributed to her long exposure to Italian piano culture. The critic Fred Blanks praised her ‘virtuosic technical agility’ and ‘affinity’ with the music of Franz Liszt; her performances of the composer’s works could ‘assume the stature of musical revelation’ (1978, 21).
An energetic musician, Hanke maintained a network of professional connections and vigorously pursued her interests in Liszt and contemporary Italian composers. She was an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board and eisteddfods. In 1980 she became foundation president of the South Pacific Liszt Society; the Hungarian government honoured her in 1986 for her promotion of Liszt. She was also a music adviser to the European Liszt Society and a member of the international jury adjudicating Liszt competitions. In 1986 at Budapest she gave the world premiere of Hexameron 1986, a set of variations on a theme of Liszt written by six Australian composers. Her desire to promote contemporary Italian composers led to her premiere, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, of Respighi’s Concerto in the Mixolydian Mode.
Small, stocky, and meticulously groomed, Hanke was intensely private. She had a dry sense of humour and a fondness for playing piano rags at social gatherings. Resigning from the conservatorium in 1992, she fought a long battle with breast cancer that led her to visit the ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a controversial Indian guru. She died on 4 September 1993 at St Leonards and was cremated. All her books and music were left to the conservatorium which, in 1994, established the Sonya Hanke memorial scholarship for pianists.
Blanks, Fred. ‘Painting a Liszt Picture.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August 1978, 21; Howie, David. Interview by the author; Lucchetti, Aldo. Personal communication; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Liszt Advocate of Note.’ 8 September 1993, 28.
HANNAN, EDWARD JAMES (TED) (1921–1994), statistician and econometrician, was born on 29 January 1921 in Melbourne, twin child of James Thomas Hannan, commercial artist, and his wife Margaret Josephine, née McEwan. Educated at St Finton’s and Xavier colleges, Ted completed the Leaving certificate in 1937, before joining the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as a clerk. In November 1939, shortly after World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces. Called up for full-time duty on 31 July 1941, he served in Australia with the 6th Battalion. Having joined the Australian Imperial Force in October 1942, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in May 1943. From January to June 1945 he was a platoon commander with the 35th Battalion in New Guinea. He transferred to the Reserve of Officers on 15 February 1946 in Australia, and enrolled at the University of Melbourne (BCom, 1949). On 1 March 1949, at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Toorak, he married Irene Dorothy Eleanor Troth, a typist.
Joining the economic department of the CBA, Sydney, Hannan worked principally as a statistician, reformulating the bank’s import price index and building a model of the Australian economy. H. C. Coombs, the bank’s governor, arranged for him to spend 1953 at The Australian National University, Canberra, under the guidance of Trevor Swan [q.v.18], the professor of economics. P. A. P. Moran, head of the department of statistics, encouraged Hannan to apply for a fellowship; in 1956 he received a PhD for his thesis, ‘The Theory and Application of Stochastic Processes’. He retained his fellowship until being appointed (1959) professor of statistics at Canberra University College, just before its amalgamation with the ANU. A Fulbright award (1959–60) took him to the University of North Carolina where he completed his first book, Time Series Analysis (1960).
As well as conducting research, Hannan was expected to teach and engage in the administration of his department and faculty. Although research was his forte, he was a good teacher even though—as Moran noted—he had a ‘tendency (of which he is well aware) to go too fast for his audience’ (ANUA 19/39/3977 (1)). In 1971 he was appointed to a second chair that was created in Moran’s department. By then he had an international reputation in the fields of time series analysis, probability theory, and econometrics, being regarded by Marc Nerlove, professor of economics at Yale, as ‘one of the most distinguished and eminent mathematical statisticians in the world’ (ANUA 19/39/3977 (1)).
Elected to fellowships of the Econometric Society (1967), the Australian Academy of Science (1979), and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (1980), Hannan was an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and a member of the International Statistical Institute (1967). He was awarded the Lyle medal (1979) of the Australian Academy of Science and the Pitman medal (1986) of the Statistical Society of Australia.
Hannan never recoiled from an argument. Moran observed that he had ‘a tendency to get very fiery at times’ but added that he was ‘entirely devoid of malice’ and ‘completely without any trace of selfishness or self-seeking’ (ANUA 19/39/3977 (1)) His retirement in 1986 was marked by the publication of a festschrift entitled Essays in Time Series and Allied Processes (1986) and by the publication of special volume 23A (1986) of the Journal of Applied Probability. As professor emeritus and visiting fellow, he accepted invitations to lecture at many of the world’s leading universities, and maintained his service on the editorial boards of numerous academic journals. By the end of his career he had written more than 130 papers and four influential books.
A devoted family man who loved literature and was widely read, Hannan had a special attachment to the poetry of W. B. Yeats. He was also an enthusiastic follower of Australian Rules football. An asthmatic throughout his life, he died suddenly at Woden, Australian Capital Territory, on 7 January 1994 and was cremated. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons. The Australian Academy of Science established the Hannan medal and lecture to commemorate his contribution to time series analysis.
Australian National University Archives. 19/39/220.127.116.11, 19/39/18.104.22.168, 19/39/3977(1), 19/39/3977(2), 19/39/3977(3), 19/39/3977, 19/39/3977(S); Gani, Joe. ‘Obituary: Edward James Hannan.’ Australian Journal of Statistics 36, no. 1 (1994): 1–8; Gani, Joe and M. B. Priestly, eds. ‘Essays in Time Series and Allied Processes.’ Special issue, Journal of Applied Probability, 23A (1986); Pagan, E. ‘ET Interview: Professor E J Hannan.’ Econometric Theory 1, no. 2 (1985): 263–89; Robinson, P. M. ‘Memorial Article: Edward James Hannan, 1921–1994.’ Journal of Time Series Analysis 15, no. 6 (1994): 563–76.
HANRAHAN, BARBARA JANICE (1939–1991), writer and artist, was born on 6 September 1939 in Adelaide, only child of South Australian–born William Maurice (Bob) Hanrahan (d. 1940), labourer, and his wife Rhonda (Ronda) Gwenlythian, née Goodridge, commercial artist. Barbara was raised by her mother, her grandmother Iris Goodridge, and her great-aunt Reece Nobes in the working-class suburb of Thebarton. She was educated at Thebarton Technical School, Adelaide Teachers’ College, and the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts (later the South Australian School of Art). In 1960 her prints attracted critical approval in an exhibition of student work and she won the Harry P. Gill [q.v.9] Memorial Medal for Applied Art. After graduation, she taught art at Strathmont and Elizabeth Girls’ Technical High schools then accepted an appointment as assistant lecturer in art at the Western Teachers College, commencing in 1962. She had won the Cornell Prize for painting the previous year.
Hanrahan enrolled in printmaking at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, in 1963. She taught at the Falmouth School of Art, Cornwall (1966–67), and the Portsmouth College of Art (1967–70). During this period she had an abortion, the memory of which tormented her for the rest of her life. She commenced a relationship with South Australian–born Jo Steele, subsequently a sculptor of note, in 1966. The couple commuted between London and Adelaide for the next twenty years; they never married and had no children.
In London Hanrahan turned seriously to writing. The death of her grandmother in 1968 prompted nostalgia for her Adelaide childhood, resulting in the memoir The Scent of Eucalyptus (1973). In her subsequent autobiographical fictions and memoirs—Sea Green (1974), Kewpie Doll (1984), Iris in Her Garden (1991), and Michael and Me and the Sun (1992)—she returned repeatedly to her early years. Only in her diaries, published posthumously, did she write of her later years. These reveal her sometimes fragile psychological state and her sense of being two people, one hungering for critical recognition and commercial success, the other desperate to live apart from the world.
Between 1973 and 1992 Hanrahan produced fifteen books. In addition to the autobiographical works already mentioned, she wrote a series of gothic novels—The Albatross Muff (1977), Where the Queens All Strayed (1978), The Peach Groves (1979), The Frangipani Gardens (1980), and Dove (1982)—and a series of biographical fictions based on the lives of people known to her—Annie Magdalene (1985), Dream People (1987), A Chelsea Girl (1988), Flawless Jade (1989), and Good Night, Mr Moon (1992). In her gothic novels she created a fantastic world where evil, carnality, and greed ran unchecked. Her biographical fictions, in contrast, were affectionate celebrations of the hidden spirituality of working-class people. Here she offered Australians, used to extolling the virtues of explorers, soldiers, and sportsmen, an alternative set of heroes, notable for their courage in enduring everyday life.
Originally dismissive of the idea that she could be an artist and a writer, Hanrahan came to view these forms of creativity as complementary—printmaking was instinctive and writing was intellectual. Happiest when making prints, she created more than 400 and her works are held in most major Australian galleries. She taught art part time until 1981. In 1977 she had been awarded a one-year fellowship from the literature board of the Australia Council. This was followed by a special purpose grant and a one-year fellowship from the literature board in 1980, a further one-year fellowship in 1982, a six-month general writing grant in 1983, and a prestigious two-year senior fellowship in 1984. That year Hanrahan was diagnosed with cancer: a malignant sarcoma was removed from the base of her spine and she went into remission for nearly four years but was never free of pain.
Although culturally Christian (and nominally Catholic), Hanrahan embraced an intense, idiosyncratic spirituality where art and writing were her religion. Her medical condition intensified a long-held belief that it would be a sin for her to fail to complete the ‘terrible creative task’ of revealing God’s goodness through her work (Hanrahan 1998, 182). She set aside other distractions and, with Steele’s support, completed seven books, published a book of linocuts, and held multiple art exhibitions in Australia following her diagnosis. During her final periods of hospitalisation, she was still researching and planning literary projects.
A feeling of relative equanimity permeates her diaries from 1984. Whereas her earlier diaries were highly critical of other people and full of self-doubt, Hanrahan came to look for the good that would come out of her sickness. Her diaries reveal a love of life and the natural world and record her perception of the simultaneous presence of a spirit world. She believed death would not be a sadness for she would be reunited with her grandmother and father.
Survived by Steele, Hanrahan died on 1 December 1991 in Adelaide. Her last words, as she slipped into a coma, were: ‘I’m happier than I have ever been and I don’t want anyone to pity me’ (quoted in Hanrahan 1998, xx–xxi). She is buried in the same grave as her grandmother at the West Terrace cemetery. The Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship for South Australian writers was established in her memory, and a building at the University of South Australia’s City West campus was named after her.
Baker, Candida. Yacker 2: Australian Writers Talk about Their Work. Sydney: Pan, 1987; Carroll, Alison. Barbara Hanrahan Printmaker. Netley, SA: Wakefield Press, 1986; Hanrahan, Barbara. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 13 October 1982. Transcript. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Hanrahan, Barbara. Papers. MS 7754. National Library of Australia; Hanrahan, Barbara. The Diaries of Barbara Hanrahan, edited by Elaine Lindsay. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1998; Lindsay, Elaine. Re-Writing God: Spirituality in Contemporary Australian Women’s Fiction. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000; Mott, Julie. ‘Interview with Barbara Hanrahan (1980).’ Australian Literary Studies 11, no. 1 (1983): 38–46; Stewart, Annette. Barbara Hanrahan: A Biography. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2010, Woman and Herself: A Critical Study of the Works of Barbara Hanrahan. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1998; The Barbara Hanrahan Memorial Exhibition. Compiled by Barbara Holbourn. Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1994. Exhibition Catalogue.
HANSFORD, GREGORY (GREGG) JOHN (1952–1995), motorcycle and touring-car racer, was born on 8 April 1952 in East Brisbane, third of four children and only son of Queensland-born parents Henry George Hansford (1910–1967), business proprietor, and his second wife Mona Edna, née Moles, a trained dressmaker and former shopkeeper. Harry had played rugby union for Queensland. He owned Players Sportswear, founded by his first wife Dorothy Lily ‘Dos’ Hansford, née Drouyn (1903–1942), a notable athlete who had represented the State in hockey and baseball. Greg attended Milton State (1958–60), Church of England Grammar (1961–67), and Brisbane State High (1967–69) schools. He later changed the spelling of his name to Gregg and was sometimes known as `Harry’, after his father. With financial help from his mother, he began competitive motorcycle-riding on dirt tracks and then motocross, before turning to road-racing in the early 1970s.
Hansford’s first major achievement was a close second to Warren Willing in the 1974 Unlimited Grand Prix at Bathurst, New South Wales. In 1975 he and his co-rider, Murray Sayle, won the Six Hour Production Bike Race at Amaroo Park, Annangrove, despite Hansford’s having announced earlier in the year that he was ‘finished with production racing’ (Hunt 1975, 24), because he had had his racing licence suspended (and restored on appeal) for inadvertently riding a non-standard machine. Phil Hall described him as the ‘master of Lakeside [International Raceway, north of Brisbane], his “home” track [and] a tight and unforgiving wrecker of bikes and riders’ (Hall n.d.). He was one of the first professional motorcycle road racers in Australia. Having accumulated six national titles and won the Canadian round of the 1977 World FIM F750 championship, from 1978 to 1981 he made annual visits to Europe to compete in the grand prix series. He was victorious in ten international GP events, finishing second in the world championships in the 250 cc class and third in the 350 cc class that year and in 1979. The American champion Kenny Rogers assessed him at the time as the best motorcycle racer in the world, but serious injuries from a crash during the 1981 Belgian GP forced his premature retirement from the sport.
On 28 June 1980 at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Brisbane, Hansford had married Julie Anne Crick, a receptionist; they were later divorced. In 1982 he turned to part-time touring-car racing, joining Allan Moffat’s team and helping achieve good results; in the 1980s and 1990s he would be a member of a number of other leading teams. He celebrated his first victory in 1984, sharing the driving with Moffat in the second round of the Australian Endurance championship at Oran Park, near Sydney. Following his success—as co-driver with Larry Perkins—in the Bathurst 1000 race in 1993, he was reported to be the first competitor to win both car and motorcycle events on the Mount Panorama circuit (Hall n.d.). With Neil Crompton, he also triumphed in the 1994 Bathurst 12 Hour race. These attainments resulted in his selection as lead driver in a new two-car team of Ford Mondeos that the businessman Ross Palmer established for the 1995 national two litre touring-car competition.
Hansford had owned motorcycle dealerships in Brisbane and a jet ski shop on the Gold Coast at various times in the 1970s and 1980s. Passionate about road safety, in 1990 he founded Gregg Hansford’s Defensive Motoring School, based at the Mount Cotton Driver Training Centre, Cornubia, south of Brisbane; he and his instructors conducted courses throughout Queensland and in the Northern Territory.
One of Hansford’s sisters described him as ‘tall, blonde and very good looking [and as] a genuinely nice guy who was friendly to everyone’ (Anderson, pers. comm.). He ‘always had time to stop and talk and give you the benefit of his valuable time’ (Hall n.d.). His attractive personality and appearance contributed to the great rapport he enjoyed with motor-racing fans. On 5 March 1995, while he was competing at Phillip Island, Victoria, his car left the racetrack and struck a barrier at high speed before rebounding back onto the circuit. Another car collided with his Ford and he died almost instantly. Following an Anglican funeral, he was buried in Pinnaroo lawn cemetery, Brisbane. His marriage to his partner, Carolyn Donovan, had been planned for April. She, their son, and the two sons of his first marriage, survived him. Described as ‘fantastic company, a true gentleman and a complete professional’ (Fowler 2008), he did much to pave the way for later Australian riders, notably the world champions Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner, and Wayne Gardner.
Anderson, Jayne. Personal communication; Brown, Jeff. ‘Gregg Hansford, Our “Quietly Spoken Tiger”, Is Poised to Win a World Motorbike Title.’ People (Sydney), 20 April 1978, 36–37; Fowler, Rich. ‘Gregg Hansford 1952–1995.’ 8 October 2008. Accessed 20 May 2019. www.motorsportretro.com/2008/10/gregg-hansford-1952-1995/. Copy held on ADB file; Garland, Leilani. Personal communication; Hall, Phil. ‘Gregg Hansford: The Greatest of His Era.’ Half of My Life—Phil Hall’s Motorcycling. Accessed 20 May 2019. www.halfofmylife.com/gregg-hansford-the-greatest-of-his-era/. Copy held on ADB file; Hammond, Phil. ‘Brisbane’s Gregg Is the “Unknown” Champion.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 25 January 1979, 5; Hunt, Phil. ‘Face to Face: Gregg Hansford, Australia’s Champion.’ Cycle Australia (Surry Hills, NSW), March 1975, 24–25, 52; Kable, Mike. ‘Motor Racer Driven by Quest for Perfection.’ Australian, 8 March 1995, 12; Truth (Brisbane). ‘Dead Sportsgirl’s Will Made Court Puzzle: “Players” to be Wound Up.’ 13 April 1947, 32; Williams, Ted. ‘A Roaring Success.’ Australasian Post (Melbourne), 18 September 1975, 14–16.
HARDING, HARRY DOUGLAS (1913–1995), engineer and dockyard director, was born on 9 October 1913 at Newcastle, New South Wales, eldest of five children of Tasmanian-born Henry William Harding, engineer, and his New South Wales–born wife Christenia Margaret, née Bell. Harry was educated at Cook’s Hill Intermediate High and Central Boys’ Junior Technical High schools, before being offered an apprenticeship in fitting and turning with the engineering firm Morison & Bearby Ltd at Carrington in 1930. He studied concurrently at Newcastle Technical College, where his father was head teacher in engineering and applied mechanics.
The Scottish immigrant shipbuilder David Lyon McLarty [q.v.15] was then an assistant manager at Morison & Bearby and became a mentor to Harding, who gained a position with the firm as a draughtsman. He quickly became head of the drawing office. On 1 January 1938 he married Olive Adeline Collins at St John the Baptist Church of England, Lambton. Their honeymoon was the long drive to Melbourne, where McLarty had offered Harding a position as chief draughtsman at his new firm, the engineering company Robison Bros & Co. Pty Ltd. After being appointed as chief engineer, Harding moved into the same role with the large engineering firm Kelly & Lewis [q.v.10] of Springvale. With this firm, he undertook work for the Royal Australian Navy in the first years of World War II, outfitting merchant vessels in the Port of Melbourne with guns and other defensive hardware.
In 1941 McLarty was appointed New South Wales director of shipbuilding and charged with establishing the State Dockyard, Newcastle, which was brought under State jurisdiction by the New South Wales Government Engineering and Shipbuilding Undertaking Act, 1943. He seconded Harding to help. Harding began work as a plant design and construction engineer in December 1941, and helped to manage the relocation of buildings and equipment from the earlier State dockyard on Walsh Island to the new site at the end of the Carrington Dyke. Once the dockyard was in operation, he remained as technical and business manager, responsible for the design and estimating departments. Throughout the war, orders for new vessels flooded in, as did demands for repairs to damaged ships. By 1945 the dockyard included three distinct areas of operation: heavy engineering shops, shipbuilding, and ship repairs.
Harding was promoted in 1950 to chief technical executive, looking after business and contractual negotiations. In this role, he travelled to Britain and the United States of America in 1952, touring shipyards and engineering works with a primary interest in power station machinery, which was later produced at the Newcastle dockyard. Assisted by a Commonwealth government subsidy for privately commissioned ships, and by government contracts for dredges, ferries, and ships for the Australian National Line, the State dockyard grew to be one of Australia’s leading shipbuilding, ship repair, and heavy engineering facilities. It adopted new technologies, involving welding together prefabricated sections rather than building from the hull inward.
In 1954 Harding was made chief executive – administration. After McLarty’s retirement in 1957 he was the dockyard’s director. He faced two constant challenges: securing ongoing investment from State governments, and managing the diverse and heavily unionised workforce. He was frustrated by frequent stoppages and what he saw as the unions’ use of demarcation disputes to block technological change. While he resisted the view that he was ‘some kind of capitalist’ (Jameson 1987, 11), he accepted that his management style could be seen as dictatorial.
As part of his efforts towards continuous modernisation, Harding spent three months in 1961 touring shipbuilding facilities in Europe, Britain, and the United States. His visits to Japan in 1967 and 1969, and return visits by Japanese shipbuilders, bore fruit in a technology-sharing agreement with Hitachi Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. He was less successful in requests for more government investment, with a lengthy campaign for a large graving dock ultimately unsuccessful. His long reign over the dockyard came to an end in 1968, when a board of management was appointed, with a new general manager, while he was made commercial manager. He retired in 1973, but remained as a director on the board until 1977.
Trim, bespectacled, and with a ready smile, Harding directed most of his energies to his professional life. An interest in education led him to serve on the councils of colleges of advanced education and technical and further education. A member of the Newcastle Business Men’s Club, he served as its president in 1956. He was a board member for the Hunter Valley Research Foundation (chairman, 1970). He enjoyed the camaraderie of clubs, belonging to the Rotary, Masonic, Newcastle, and Merewether Golf clubs, and, in retirement, becoming president of the Probus Club of Newcastle in 1986. A deputy sheriff of Newcastle, he was also a vestryman of Christ Church Cathedral and the patron of Newcastle Ship Lovers’ Society. After retiring he lived in an apartment in Newcastle’s east end from which he could watch the ships passing through the harbour. He died on 14 March 1995 at Waratah, survived by his wife and their two daughters and one son; twin daughters born prematurely had predeceased him in 1943.
Harding, Harry. Interview by Esther Galbraith, 8 July 1989. Margaret Henry Oral History Archive, University of Newcastle. Accessed 24 August 2018. soundcloud.com/uoncc/history-of-shipbuilding-harry-harding-8-july-1989; Jameson, Neil. ‘Dockyard That Harry Built.’ Newcastle Herald, 21 February 1987, 11; Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate. ‘Big Graving Dock Advocate Retires.’ 9 October 1973, 5; Newcastle Region Library. B008, Harding Collection.
HARDY, FRANCIS JOSEPH (FRANK) (1917–1994) writer, communist, and political activist, was born on 21 March 1917 at Southern Cross, Victoria, third of eight children of Thomas John Hardy, milk grader, and his wife Winifred Mary, née Bourke, both Victorian born. By coincidence, he was born in the same year as the Russian Revolution. His father moved around Western Victoria for work before the family settled at Bacchus Marsh, where Frank was educated at St Bernard’s Catholic primary school. While drawing cartoons for the local paper, he was employed in a series of unskilled jobs including at a chemist’s store, a grocery, a milk factory, and on farms. He was most influenced by the political opinions of his father who held radical views but was not an activist. Like his father, Frank would also develop a lifelong addiction to gambling and a capacity for storytelling. Tom was renowned for yarn-spinning and would blend fact and fiction to make up stories about real people. Frank would embrace this style of storytelling and adapt it to his own literary style.
In 1938 Hardy went to Melbourne and worked as a cartoonist for the Radio Times. At his next job, as an advertising manager and salesman with the Cavalcade Radio company, he met Rosslyn Phyllis Couper, a stenographer. They married on 27 May 1940 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Later that year he joined the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), after it had been declared illegal by the Menzies [q.v.15] government. Mobilised in the Citizen Military Forces on 22 April 1942 and employed as a clerk and draughtsman in Melbourne, he transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in May 1943. He made time to be campaign director for the communist candidate, Malcolm Good, in the Victorian State election in June. The next month he was posted to the 8th Advanced Ordnance Depot at Mataranka in the Northern Territory. Encouraged by Sergeant Frank Ryland, a journalist, he began to write seriously and in October became editor of the 8AOD’s newsletter, the Troppo Tribune. Returning to Melbourne, in October 1944 he was assigned as an artist to the Army Education Service journal, Salt. He was discharged from the AIF on 1 February 1946.
By 1945 Hardy had joined the communist party’s Realist Writers’ Groups and was mixing with other communist authors from whom he learnt much of his craft. He began writing under the pseudonym ‘Ross Franklyn’, a blend of his and his wife’s forenames. That year he won short story competitions for ‘A Stranger in the Camp’ (that had been entered on his behalf by Ryland) and for ‘The Man From Clinkapella’. At the suggestion of CPA leader Ralph Gibson [q.v.17], he began work on a book in the exposé style of the American writer Upton Sinclair. Centred on the prominent and controversial Melbourne Catholic businessman John Wren [q.v.12], Power Without Glory: A Novel in Three Parts (1950) would arguably become his most significant work. Informants for the book included journalists, political and racing identities, CPA and Australian Labor Party members, Wren’s disaffected daughter Angela, and Ian Aird, who had been close to the family. Hardy received help in researching the novel from his wife, and fellow communists Deidre Cable and Les Barnes. However, the writing was all his own.
To provide a defence against possible prosecution, Hardy used the thinly disguised pseudonym of ‘John West’ to portray Wren as a corrupt manipulator of the gambling industry and of governments. Much of the book was printed in secret and the first edition of 8,000 copies sold out within a month. In October 1950 Wren’s wife, Ellen, brought a charge of ‘private prosecution for libel’ (Wren v. Hardy 1951, 256) for Hardy’s depiction of ‘Nellie West’ having an affair with a bricklayer. The Victorian government intervened and took the extraordinary measure of upgrading the charge to one of criminal libel. While the former, if proven, could attract a fine, criminal libel carried the possibility of a prison sentence. A condition of Hardy’s subsequent bail was that he played no part in the further sale and distribution of the book. Responsibility for producing the work thus passed to a network of communists, trade unionists, and other volunteers in lounge rooms around Melbourne. The Frank Hardy Defence Committee was also established, comprising left-wing writers such as C. B. Christesen, Alan Marshall [q.v.18], Brian Fitzpatrick [q.v.14], Eric Lambert [q.v.15], and John Morrison [q.v.18]. On 18 June 1951 Hardy was found not guilty.
Despite Hardy’s celebrity following the Power Without Glory case, ‘after a period of relative prosperity’ (Hocking 2005, 133), he began to borrow heavily and had trouble earning an income. Bills piled up, and attempts to gamble his way out of his debts only aggravated his woes. Visits to the Soviet Union unlocked royalties for publications of his work which had been syndicated through Eastern bloc publishers, but this money could not be shifted to Australia. As Cold War hysteria against communism eased, Hardy began to find paid work as a writer again. In the 1960s, despite objections from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation—which believed there were secret messages in his writing—Hardy was employed by the Australian Broadcasting Commission to craft scripts for The Yarns of Billy Borker television series. During the 1970s he was a regular panel member on the ABC series Would You Believe, and an advisor for the thirteen-part adaptation of Power Without Glory. Throughout his career he also worked in various journalistic roles, including for extended periods with the Australasian Post and the Age. He was awarded a fellowship by the New South Wales government’s advisory committee on cultural grants in 1969, but received no support from the Commonwealth Literary Fund until 1972 because of ASIO’s continuing security concerns.
In 1968 Hardy had published The Unlucky Australians, a documentary-fiction account of the Aboriginal fight for equal wages and land rights in the Northern Territory. The book focused on the Gurindji walk-off from Wave Hill station in August 1966, a struggle that evolved into a ground-breaking land rights claim. Earlier that year Hardy had travelled to Darwin, short of money and suffering from writer’s block. After the walk-off he visited the Gurindji camp at Wattie Creek and spoke with elders. He drafted a letter from them to Federal parliament in October and in the years that followed played a key role—as chief publicist and president of the ‘Save the Gurindji’ committee—in mustering support. Among those he lobbied was the Federal Opposition leader, Gough Whitlam, who later acknowledged Hardy as a ‘staunch fighter for human rights’ (Hocking 2005, 177). He also met the ophthalmologist Fred Hollows [q.v.], whom he encouraged to visit Wave Hill and treat eye diseases amongst members of the community. They developed a lifelong friendship.
On several occasions Hardy had attempted to write the definitive book on the Australian communist movement. After his first visit to the Soviet Union in 1951 he wrote Journey into the Future (1952)—a largely uncritical tract that praised Stalinist Russia, the kind of work the party expected communist writers of his generation to compose following such visits. In 1962 he travelled to the Soviet Union again, this time after its leader, Khrushchev, had denounced Stalin in a secret speech to the party congress. Hardy then began to write ‘Return to the Future’ with the aim of observing changes and to correct the mistakes of the ‘Stalin personality cult’, but the book was never published.
Hardy returned to the Soviet Union and met with writers and party members in 1968. He disapproved of much that he saw, and of the way trade unions had become incorporated into the bureaucracy. He began a chapter by chapter refutation of Journey into the Future. Accepting an offer from the London Sunday Times, he wrote ‘The Heirs of Stalin’ (1968), a series of self-reflective articles critical of the Soviet Union as an unequal society, and which condemned the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in that year. The articles earned him the rebuke of the Soviet embassy in Canberra and his fellow communist writer Judah Waten [q.v.18], who tried to have him expelled from the CPA. Hardy’s novel But the Dead Are Many captured the political disputes between the pro-Soviet and the Aarons faction in the Australian party, and examined issues of bad faith and blind political compulsion. It received accolades from critics overseas but was disparaged locally for its highly experimental fugue form.
In the 1970s, following Hardy’s repeated infidelities, he and Rosslyn separated. They did not divorce and stayed in regular contact until her death in 1981. He remained a political rebel and, in 1986, after being arrested for refusing to pay 111 parking fines, opted to spend forty-eight hours in prison. His later work included the play Mary Lives! (1992), a biographical account of his youngest sister who had been a well-known media personality. He twice stood unsuccessfully for the Senate: as a communist candidate in 1953 and as an independent in 1993. Survived by his son and two daughters, Hardy died on 28 January 1994 at his North Carlton home with a racing form guide beside him. Before his cremation, a public funeral was held at the Collingwood Town Hall. A thousand-strong crowd listened to eulogists, including Gough Whitlam and two Gurindji elders, and watched his coffin—draped with the Aboriginal and Eureka flags—being borne out, while the Trades Hall choir sang the Internationale.
Adams, Paul. The Stranger From Melbourne: Frank Hardy—A Literary Biography, 1944–1975. Nedlands, WA: University of Western Australia Press, 1999; Armstrong, Pauline. Frank Hardy and the Making of ‘Power Without Glory’, Carlton South, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 2000; Hocking, Jenny. Frank Hardy: Politics, Literature, Life. South Melbourne: Lothian Books, 2005; National Archives of Australia. B883, VX126476; National Library of Australia. MS 4887, Papers of Frank Hardy, 1931–1988, MS 9878, Papers of Pauline Armstrong, 1990–2002; Wren v. Hardy. Victorian Law Reports 34 (1951): 256–67.
HARPER, ARTHUR FREDERICK ALAN (1913–1991), physicist, was born on 5 July 1913 at Summer Hill, Sydney, younger son of English-born Thomas James Harper, Congregational clergyman, and his Sydney-born wife Winifred Pearl, née Steward. Known as Alan, he spent his early years in a sprawling New South Wales central coast parish based in Copeland, where his father was minister. Following his mother’s death when he was three, the family moved to Sydney and then to Bathurst where he commenced school. From 1921 he attended a one-teacher school at Eccleston but at ten was sent to England to live with his paternal grandparents at Reading, Berkshire. There he attended Wilson Central School, becoming dux and completing the Oxford senior examination with honours in physics in 1928.
Too young to enter university, Harper returned to Australia and spent 1929 at Wolaroi College, Orange, where he won a teachers’ college studentship and a university exhibition in the Leaving certificate examinations. He entered the University of Sydney (BSc, 1934; MSc, 1935), graduating with first-class honours and the university medal in physics. While employed as a demonstrator in physics, he completed his master’s thesis on a determination of the absolute velocity of beta-particles emitted by radium. The research complemented precision measurements of the products of radioactive decay made by his supervisor and mentor, George Briggs, and was published in leading international journals.
In 1935 Harper moved to a newly created position with the university’s Cancer Research Committee, as State physicist to hospitals. His duties included calibrating X-ray equipment and advising on matters relating to radiation dosimetry, with regard to both radiation protection and the use of radon implants in treating cancers. On 2 January 1937 at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney, he married Valerie Winifred Hedger, a stenographer, whom he had met while she was a secretary with the committee.
When the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) established a National Standards Laboratory (NSL) in 1938, Harper was awarded a studentship in its physics section. He and two other junior officers joined the heads of their respective sections at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, to undertake training in aspects of operating a standards laboratory with its associated testing and certifying services, and to order equipment that would be needed to carry out similar work in Australia. Three additional junior officers later joined them. Returning home in late 1940, they launched a program of work to support the nation’s effort in World War II. As they unpacked all the new equipment, Harper recalled, ‘for a few weeks it was like a perpetual Christmas morning’ (Harper n.d., 62).
Harper had been assigned responsibility for establishing and maintaining Australia’s thermometric standards, and he remained in charge of NSL’s work on heat measurement throughout his career there. His most important contributions to the war effort were organising a pyrometry measurement service to assist the nation’s metallurgical industries, and pyrometric research into the wing characteristics of aircraft. He also played a central role in the formation (1943) of the CSIR Officers’ Association, serving as foundation vice-president and then president. After the war Harper’s work expanded to address temperature standards over a very wide range, as well as humidity, viscosity, thermal conductivity, and low-temperature physics. Promoted to principal research officer in 1950, he became senior principal research officer in 1957 and on several occasions acted as chief of what had become the Division of Physics. He was a member, and in some cases chairman of appropriate committees, of the Standards Association of Australia and the National Association of Testing Authorities. From 1951 he also served on relevant technical committees of the International Standardization Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Sèvres, France).
President (1959) of the Royal Society of New South Wales, he was awarded the society’s medal in 1967. He was influential as secretary of the Australian branch of the (British) Institute of Physics when in 1962 this became an independent organisation, the Australian Institute of Physics, of which he was later president (1969–71). As secretary from 1965 of the National Standards Commission, he promoted the advantages to Australia of converting to the metric system of measurement. Two years later he was appointed technical consultant to a Senate select committee inquiring into this issue. He drafted the committee’s unanimously adopted report recommending conversion as quickly as possible. Once decided upon, Australia’s smooth transition to the metric system owed much to Harper’s remarkable management skills as executive member of the Metric Conversion Board (1970–81). Determined, tenacious, and resilient, he was a skilful and effective negotiator, an expert in ‘letting people have it his way’ (Todd 2004, 181). Appointed AO in 1976, he became chairman (1978) of the National Standards Commission before retiring in 1981.
With red hair, of medium height and solid build, and with a personality that commanded respect, Harper was a sociable person. As a young man he had enjoyed bushwalking and caving, had taken part in university student affairs, and become a keen chess player. In his local community of Balgowlah Heights he was president of the Parents and Citizens Association and active in the establishment of the Congregational Church, the Progress Association, and the tennis club. He was also an enthusiastic lawn bowler. Predeceased by his wife and survived by two sons and a daughter, he died on 10 September 1991 in Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and was cremated.
Australian Institute of Physics archives, Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra; C.S.I.R.O.O.A. Bulletin. ‘Mr. A. F. A. Harper.’ No. 92 (June 1963): 8; Hamersley, H. ‘Cancer, Physics and Society: Interactions between the Wars. In Australian Science in the Making, edited by R. W. Home, 197–219. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988; Harper, Alan (Arthur Frederick Alan). Interview by Hazel de Berg, 17 June 1980. Transcript. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Harper, A. F. A. Autobiographical notes. Unpublished transcript in author’s possession; Home, R. W. Physics in Australia to 1945: Bibliography and Biographical Register. Melbourne: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne, ‘Science on Service.’ In Australian Science in the Making, edited by R. W. Home, 220–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988; Mellor, D. P. The Role of Science and Industry. Vol. V of Series 4 (Civil) of Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1958; National Archives of Australia. A8520/11, Box 104; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Guide of Our Metrics, Medical Pioneer.’ 13 September 1991, 8; Todd, Jan. For Good Measure: The Making of Australia’s Measurement System. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2004.
R. W. Home
HARRIS, CHARLES ENOCH (1931–1993), Aboriginal and Islander community leader and Uniting Church minister, was born on 8 July 1931 at Victoria Estate, near Ingham, North Queensland, fifth child of Murray Island–born Golgay Harris, labourer, and his Queensland-born wife Allie, née Wyle. Charles’s father was of Torres Strait Islander and Spanish descent and his mother, Aboriginal and Malay. Growing up in the Pentecostal tradition, he became a member of the Assemblies of God in Australia. After attending (1937–44) Victoria Plantation State School, he found labouring jobs in the sugarcane fields and on the railways.
Realising a commitment to ministry and evangelism, Harris studied at the Commonwealth Bible College in Brisbane (1957–59), then worked as a travelling evangelist in northern New South Wales. On 29 June 1963 at Pastor Frank Roberts’s [q.v.16] Cubawee Church, Lismore, he married Dorothy Jessie Ruth Roberts, a Bundjalung woman; she would actively support him in his ministry throughout their married life. The couple moved to Ingham, where Harris worked as a canecutter while continuing to spread the gospel in his spare time.
In the mid-1960s Harris came under the influence of Rev. Ed Smith at the Ingham Methodist Church. At Smith’s invitation, in 1967 he became part of the ministry team at the church, with responsibility for the Aboriginal and Islander community in the town and district. A year later, when Smith was transferred to the Hermit Park circuit at Townsville, Harris followed and was appointed as pastor to the newly established Mission to Aborigines and Islanders in Queensland.
Harris moved to Brisbane in 1973 as pastor to a predominately Aboriginal and Islander congregation at Paddington. Formed by Pastor Don Brady [q.v.17], it was part of the Central Methodist Mission under the leadership of Rev. George Nash. Harris’s ministry enjoyed Nash’s keen support and focused increasingly on the spiritual and physical care of the people who frequented Musgrave Park, South Brisbane. In the mid-1970s the congregation was renamed the Urban Aboriginal Mission. Although his work was extremely demanding, Harris managed to undertake further theological studies at Alcorn College in Brisbane and, externally, at Nungalinya College, Darwin, to fulfil the requirements for ordination in the Uniting Church in Australia. On 27 November 1980 he became the denomination’s first Indigenous minister in Queensland.
Returning to Townsville in 1981, Harris was appointed to the West End parish. In the same year he undertook a study tour to New Zealand to observe Māori congregations and investigate their distinctive theology and organisational structure within the mainstream Protestant denominations. Harris saw a need to generate a similar model for Aboriginal and Islander congregations. He organised meetings of leaders to discuss how a theology encompassing matters of concern to Australia’s first peoples could be formulated and how greater autonomy could be achieved for them in the Uniting Church. The most significant gathering was in 1983, at Galiwinku in the Northern Territory, where the participants decided to set up a national organisation.
The assembly of the Uniting Church accordingly endorsed the establishment of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) in 1985. Harris was appointed president, based in Sydney. In this capacity, he worked tirelessly to support and encourage Aboriginal and Islander congregations throughout Australia. He also spoke regularly to a wider audience on the role of governments and churches in the history of injustice towards the first Australians. An important campaign that he initiated was the Long March for Freedom, Justice, and Hope, which culminated on 26 January 1988 in Sydney. Harris laboured unflaggingly to organise the event, the most significant assembly of Aboriginal and Islander peoples and their supporters during Australia’s bicentennial year, with some 50,000 in attendance. The march attracted national and international attention and emphasised that, for Aboriginal people, the bicentenary represented no cause for celebration, but marked 200 years of oppression.
In 1989 Harris retired from active ministry owing to ill health. Acknowledging his contribution as head of the UAICC, the president of the Uniting Church, Sir Ronald Wilson, praised his ‘vision … determination and keen sense of justice’ (Emilsen). Harris was a short, slender man with a quiet, unassuming manner. He died of renal and heart diseases on 7 May 1993 in Townsville and was buried in Belgian Gardens cemetery. His wife and their three sons and three daughters survived him. More than 500 people attended his funeral. The Indigenous rights campaigner Charles Perkins, a long-time friend, described Harris as one who helped set ‘the moral and ethical standards for relationships between Aboriginal, Islander and white Australians. A man of principle, whose impact will never be forgotten’ (Foster 1993, 5).
Busch, David. ‘Pastor Harris Fights On: Church Wins Black Cleric.’ Telegraph (Brisbane), 21 November 1980, 10; Dingle, Adele, comp. ‘Rev Charles Harris, 1931–1993.’ Journey (Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod), June 1993, 14–15; Emilsen, William W. ‘Charles Harris: Faithful Servant.’ In A Calendar of Other Commemorations. Uniting Church in Australia. Accessed 12 June 2014. assembly.uca.org.au/cudw/worship-resources-and-publications/item/1354-a-calendar-of-other-commemorations. Copy held on ADB file; Foster, Michael. ‘High Praise for an Aboriginal Legend.’ Townsville Bulletin, 14 May 1993, 5; Gordon-Harris, Dorothy. Interview by the author, 10 June 2014; Woodley, John. Interview by the author, 16 June 2014.
HARRIS, MAXWELL (MAX) HENLEY (1921–1995), poet, editor, journalist, bookseller, and publisher, was born on 13 April 1921 at Henley Beach, Adelaide, only child of Victor Harris, salesman, and his wife Clarice Jean, née Moyse, who had been a typist; both parents were South Australian–born. When he was five the family moved to Mount Gambier, where Victor was a travelling smallgoods salesman. Max attended Mount Gambier primary and high schools. He was a clever student and in 1934 won a Vansittart scholarship, entitling him to three years as a boarder at the Collegiate School of St Peter, Adelaide.
At St Peter’s, Harris felt an outsider: a boy from the country from a low- to middle-class background. He detested the social mores of the school but was fortunate to have a sympathetic young English teacher, John Padman, and a forward-thinking headmaster, Guy Pentreath [q.v.18]. Both were influential in his intellectual development; Padman in particular introduced him to the modern English poets and writers, including Dylan Thomas and T. S. Eliot. At first Harris was regularly bullied until, recognising that sporting achievements were highly valued, he proved himself as a first-rate footballer and runner. Excelling academically, he won over twenty prizes and several of his poems were published in the college magazine.
In 1937 Harris’s parents moved back to Adelaide so that he could continue as a day student. The next year he was a prefect and house captain, and served on the library and magazine committees. Family finances were insufficient for him to remain at the school, however, and he left in mid-1938 to work as a copyboy for the News. He studied at night to complete Leaving honours, and won the Tennyson medal for best English literature scholar in the State. A handsome young man with thick black wavy hair and dark brown eyes, he had caught the attention of fifteen-year-old Yvonne (Von) Ruby Hutton at a combined college ceremony at St Peter’s Cathedral and they were soon a devoted couple.
From 1939 to 1944 Harris studied arts and economics at the University of Adelaide, but did not complete a degree. During his first year he published poems in the university’s literary journal, Phoenix, and became the news reporter of the student newspaper, On Dit. In 1940 his first book of poetry, The Gift of Blood, was published. He worked as a cadet in the university library, was obsessed with modern literature and poetry, and was keen to share his knowledge with others. Yet he was also ambitious and made enemies through his precociousness and cocky manner. In 1941 he won the Bundey prize for English verse. On 23 April that year he enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces. Called up on 3 December for seventy days training, which he completed locally with the 48th and 10th battalions, he was discharged from the army on completion. Afterwards, he worked as a research officer with the university’s economics department on a social and housing survey for the Commonwealth Department of Post-War Reconstruction. He also became active in Common Cause, a movement that sought to mobilise community action during World War II and shape better social conditions in peacetime.
With a fellow student and poet, Donald Kerr, Harris had co-edited the first issue of Angry Penguins—an avant-garde journal with poetry written in a modernist style, including his own—published in February 1941. Assisted by a team of five sub-editors, they produced the second number in August (reprinted in September), exciting the literary community and drawing the attention of the Melbourne-based arts patrons John and Sunday Reed [q.v.18]. John was collaborating arts editor of the fourth number and co-editor of issues five to nine. In 1943 he and Max formed the publishing house Reed & Harris, releasing numerous Australian books in addition to Angry Penguins. Intent on also publicising the work of emerging artists, they incorporated art images and articles on artists in the journal. Those featured included Arthur Boyd, (Sir) Sidney Nolan [q.v.], John Perceval, Joy Hester [q.v.14], and Albert Tucker from Melbourne, as well as Douglas Roberts and Ivor Francis [q.v.] from Adelaide.
In 1942 Harris was a founding member of the South Australian branch of the Contemporary Art Society (president, 1943–44) and his second book of poetry, Dramas From the Sky, appeared. The next year his newly published surrealist novel, The Vegetative Eye, met with a bitter and savage critique by the poet A. D. Hope. Harris’s prominent role in advocating modernism had made him a target for those who disliked literature’s new directions. In October 1943 a plot was hatched by the conservative Sydney poets Harold Stewart [q.v.] and James McAuley [q.v.15] to debunk what they viewed as the literary pretentions of modernist poetry. They concocted verse purported to be by a dead modernist poet, Ern Malley, and submitted it to Harris. Completely taken in, Harris devoted a special issue of Angry Penguins to Malley’s poems.
The deception was revealed on 25 June 1944 in Fact, a supplement of Sydney’s Sunday Sun and Guardian newspaper. A deeply shocked Harris maintained his equanimity and continued to vouch for the poetry’s merit, a stand he took throughout his life. However, the publicity drew the attention of the authorities to the journal and in September he appeared in the Adelaide Police Court, charged with publishing indecent matter. Found guilty, he chose to pay a five-pound fine in preference to six weeks in prison. The Ern Malley affair, as it became known, took on a life of its own as Australia’s best-known literary hoax.
In mid-1945 Max and Von moved to Melbourne where he and Reed published Angry Penguins Broadsheet and Tomorrow: The Outspoken Monthly. When Von became pregnant, she moved back to Adelaide to be with her parents. Max remained at work in Melbourne, returning for their marriage on 7 January 1946 at the office of the principal registrar, Adelaide. In October that year he suffered a serious breakdown. Relations with Reed had become increasingly fraught, exacerbated by his unhappiness at being separated from Von and their newborn child, and he returned to Adelaide.
Harris accepted the offer of Mary Martin [q.v.15], his university friend and former Angry Penguins business manager, to join her in running the Mary Martin Bookshop. Although he regretted relinquishing his role as a literary and arts editor, he threw himself into the bookselling business with creative energy and passion. In the early 1960s he purchased Martin’s interest in the business and was soon recognised as one of Australia’s best booksellers. An innovator, he pioneered the sale of remaindered books, organised regular book discounts, ran a highly successful mail order service, and produced a monthly magazine, Mary’s Own Paper (1950–61), that advertised his stock and commented on local social and cultural issues. As the business grew, he set up more bookshops in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Significant also was his determined campaign to break the British and American stranglehold over publishers under the Traditional Market Agreement. With the end of the agreement in 1976, he was able to purchase and release American and British books into Australia at lower prices.
John Reed and Barrett Reid [q.v.] invited Harris to co-edit a new magazine, Ern Malley’s Journal, in 1952. He left the journal in 1955 and in the same year his third book of poetry, The Coorong and Other Poems, was published. Two years later he established his most important literary and art journal, Australian Letters (1957–68), with Bryn Davies, Geoffrey Dutton, and later Rosemary Wighton [q.v.] as co-editors. What set this journal apart was its series of poet-artist collaborations. Such pairings as David Campbell [q.v.13] and (Sir) Russell Drysdale [q.v.17], Randolph Stow and Nolan, Dutton and Lawrence Daws, and Harris and Boyd, resulted in masterly creative works. In 1961 he founded Australian Book Review, devoted to critically reviewing Australian literature; it was welcomed by libraries, schools, and writers alike. He would cease its publication in 1974; however, others revived the journal in 1978.
Between 1960 and 1965 Harris chaired numerous media panels, including the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s The Critics, the first local television program discussing literature and the arts. In the same period he assisted in establishing Penguin Australia with Dutton and Brian Stonier, and then Sun Books (1965–71), both devoted to publishing home-grown works. In 1964 he was engaged to write a weekly column, ‘Browsing’, for the newly established Australian newspaper. Over the next twenty-seven years, his stance and the subjects he tackled in his column were often deliberately controversial and many readers considered him arrogant. The column aroused great interest, some buying the Australian just to read what he had to say each week. The paper’s proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, observed that:
every society needs a Max, to identify its successes as well as its failures, its forlorn hopes and its lost causes. And also to shake it out of its smugness and hypocrisy, to act as a catalyst and an irritant. (1973)
In 1967 Harris published a further book of poetry, A Window at Night, and in the next year he and Dutton produced The Vital Decade, summarising ten years of Australian Letters. In 1974 he sold the Mary Martin Bookshop chain to the Macmillan Co. of Australia. For a time he remained as managing director. He was then employed as a consultant by Macmillan and divided his time between Britain, the United States of America, and Australia. In 1979 he published his final book of poetry, Poetic Gems. When later assessing his literary contribution, Alan Brissenden acknowledged that while ‘the fluency with words … never deserted him’, the Malley incident had been pivotal, ‘turning him into a poet of sparer technique, and diverting his verbal prodigality into journalism’ (1996, xix–xx).
During the early 1970s Harris had visited Bali, Indonesia, and was shocked by the impoverished circumstances in which people lived. His desire to improve their conditions led him to return frequently over several years to learn about and financially support the work of the Catholic priest Anibal Oprandi, and Foster Parents Plan of Australia. Max and Von would sponsor nine children through the plan and he promoted the organisation’s work in advertising campaigns in Australia. Although not Catholic, he was an admirer of Mary MacKillop [q.v.5], and was an influential and enthusiastic advocate for her beatification and sainthood in newspaper articles he wrote from the mid-1980s. When he was diagnosed with membranous nephritis in 1989, the Sisters of St Joseph (founded by MacKillop) prayed for him, his family attributing his recovery to their prayers.
In late 1991, after further ill health, Harris was found to have advanced prostate cancer. Survived by his wife and their daughter, he died on 13 January 1995 at Daw Park, Adelaide, and was cremated. A memorial service was held in Bonython Hall at the University of Adelaide and his ashes were buried at Mary MacKillop Park, Kensington. A footpath plaque in his memory was placed along the cultural walk on The Parade, Norwood, and the National Library of Australia holds his portrait by Robert Hannaford. He had been appointed AO in 1989, and received the University of Adelaide alumni award in 1993. In 2018 he was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame.
Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide. MSS 92 H315p, Harris, Maxwell Henley (1921–1995), Papers 1935–2005; State Library of Victoria. MS 13186, Papers of John and Sunday Reed, 1924–1981; Brissenden, Alan. Introduction to The Angry Penguin: Selected Poems of Max Harris, vii–xx. Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1996; Harris Papers. Private collection; Harris, Samela. Personal communication; Harris, Von. Personal communication; Murdoch, Rupert. Introduction to The Angry Eye, by Max Harris. Sydney: Pergamon Press, 1973; National Archives of Australia. A6119, 2123, B884, S27295; Snowden, Betty. Max Harris: With Reason, Without Rhyme. North Melbourne: Arcadia, 2015.
HARRIS, WILLIAM STEWART (1922–1994), journalist and Aboriginal rights advocate, was born on 13 December 1922 at Woking, Surrey, England, younger son of English-born Henry Harris, retired banker, and his Victorian-born wife Katie, née Hay. Stewart visited Australia with his family on several occasions as a child. He was educated at Marlborough College and then Clare College, Cambridge (BA, 1944; MA, 1948), where he was awarded Blues in cricket and golf. Joining the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in August 1944, he was appointed as an acting sub-lieutenant in March 1945, allocated to the Special Branch, and trained as a naval air intelligence officer. He served briefly in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and at naval air stations in England before being demobilised in September 1946. At the end of World War II he also began studying at the London School of Journalism.
In 1947 Harris visited Australia on a working holiday. He was employed in several labouring jobs including as a cook at a Northern Territory mustering camp. While there, he observed the living and working conditions of Aboriginal people, an experience that influenced his career. He was to become one of the earliest mainstream journalists to write about racial discrimination and Aboriginal land rights. Returning to England seven months later, he spent some time as an insurance broker with Lloyd’s of London, freelanced as a journalist, and presented talks for the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 1949 he joined the London staff of the Yorkshire Post. During the next year he moved to the Times and briefly served with the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists). In 1951 Sir Keith Murdoch [q.v.10], chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd newspaper group, invited him to work in Australia. He spent eighteen months at the Brisbane Courier Mail, before leaving Murdoch and moving to the Sydney Morning Herald to write features. In 1954 he made an adventurous overland journey through Afghanistan to England. On 8 October 1955 at St Paul’s Church of England, Knightsbridge, he married Burmese-born Mary Orr Deas, daughter of a Scottish company director, whom he had met while travelling.
The couple settled in Melbourne, where Stewart had been appointed assistant correspondent for the Times. In 1957 he became its principal correspondent and was based in Canberra. Over the years that followed, he helped to expand and shape the extent and depth of reportage of Australian news. As foreign correspondent he covered South-East Asian events, the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968, and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, which he reported from the Egyptian perspective, a decision influenced by his support for Palestinian liberation. The Times regarded him as an ideal reporter: ‘observant, critical, and possessed of a rare sensitivity to the ideas and feelings’ of others (1994, 21). An outspoken opponent of apartheid, he covered demonstrations against the 1971 Springbok South African rugby union tour of Australia. As recounted in his book Political Football (1972), during these protests he was arrested and charged with hindering police, but acquitted and awarded costs.
That year Harris reported on and became involved in the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. He also published This Our Land, in which he described the background to the struggle for Aboriginal land rights. In 1973 he resigned from the Times to take up a senior research fellowship in anthropology in the Research School of Pacific Studies at The Australian National University. During an extended period in the Northern Territory in the late 1970s he was an honorary advisor to the Northern Land Council and ran the media campaign for the Aboriginal land rights claim at Borroloola. His work helped change public and government attitudes towards Indigenous people. From 1978 he was closely involved with Dr H. C. (‘Nugget’) Coombs, the poet Judith Wright, and others in the formation and work of the Aboriginal Treaty Committee. His book ‘It’s Coming Yet …’ An Aboriginal Treaty within Australia between Australians was published by the committee in 1979.
As senior editorial writer (1980–84) for the Canberra Times, Harris adopted clear and forthright positions on a range of subjects, including Palestinian self-determination. In 1982 he came to the defence of the Builders’ Labourers’ Federation which was under attack for its militant industrial actions and its campaigns on environmental and social issues. The union published a compilation of his articles, The B.L.F. A Personal View. In retirement he moved to Braidwood and conducted a series of oral history interviews for the National Library of Australia. Happy when outdoors, he celebrated his seventieth birthday by climbing Mount Kosciuszko and in 1993 competed in a cross-country skiing race from Perisher Valley to Charlotte Pass.
After contracting bacterial meningitis, Harris died on 6 December 1994 in Woden Valley Hospital, Canberra, and was cremated. His wife, and their two sons and two daughters survived him. A charming, kindly, and passionate man, with a horror of injustice and racist attitudes, he identified strongly as Australian and had been naturalised in 1965. He was like a convert, he told an interviewer, ‘a bit keener on it than the bloke who was born to it’ (Juddery 1968, 21).
Clare Association. The Clare Association Annual, 1994–95. Cambridge, England: The Association, ; Harris, Alistair. Personal communication; Juddery, Bruce. ‘A Bit Like a Converted Catholic.’ Canberra Times, 14 February 1968, 21; National Library of Australia. MS 8882, Papers of Stewart Harris; Riddell, Elizabeth. ‘Foreign Correspondent.’ Australian, 5 September 1970, 15; Times (London). ‘Stewart Harris.’ 10 December 1994, 21; Waterford, Jack. ‘A Gentle Radical to the End.’ Canberra Times, 8 December 1994, 8.
HARTLEY, ROBERT ALOYSIUS (BOB) (1897–1991), trade union official and political party organiser, was born on 30 December 1897 at Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire, England, only son and elder child of John Hartley, cotton weaver, and his wife Isabella, née Sumner. The family migrated to Western Australia in 1911, and Bob and his father found work at the timber mill at Wuraming, near Dwellingup, in the south west of the State. The mill was among several public enterprises established by the State’s first majority Australian Labor Party (ALP) government, led by John Scaddan [q.v.11]. Hartley worked as a timber loader.
On 22 September 1915 Hartley enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a gunner. His father joined the AIF in March 1916 and died of illness in England in December; his mother died in Perth in February 1917. Hartley served on the Western Front in the 12th (Army) Brigade, Australian Field Artillery, from March 1917, and was promoted to bombardier the next year. Returning to Australia in June 1919, he was discharged from the AIF on 30 August. At the time of his marriage to Ellen Veronica Vettler at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Perth, on 5 July 1922, his occupation was blacksmith and hers was dressmaker. She had grown up in a Labor family and was actively involved in union and party activities, including as a member of the Perth Labor Women’s Organisation and as president (1946) of the Labor Women’s Central Executive.
Involved since his youth in the ALP and the union movement, Hartley was a delegate on the Metropolitan District Council, and a member of the State executive. In 1940 he became secretary of the Cleaners’ and Caretakers’ Union. He was also a regular speaker on radio 6KY, a union-owned radio station. In 1943 he was elected secretary of the Metropolitan District Council and Perth Trades Hall which, until an independent Trades and Labor Council of Western Australia was created in 1963, was under the control of the ALP. He was later elected to the State Disputes Committee (1944–50), which settled conflicts that crossed ALP council boundaries.
As secretary Hartley inherited a run-down, inoperable system. He had only one staff member, who was his typist and filing clerk; they shared a small office. The filing system was ‘a real shambles’ (Reid 1992, 13). He purchased a new alphanumeric filing system to enable the easy location of correspondence. In addition to managing an organisation of eighty affiliated unions, he ran State and Federal elections in metropolitan seats. If a Federal member came to Perth, Hartley was expected to organise functions and speak at them. He also had to work with Labor and non-Labor parties both in government and in opposition, as well as with employers and the press. People responded well, he felt, to his honesty, even if they disagreed with his views. Later he recalled: ‘How on earth I kept it going I don’t know. If it hadn’t been for my wife, and … for the good sense of the committee who assisted me, I could never have got through it’ (Reid 1992, 14). A man of strong principles, he never drank alcohol during working hours; he felt that the job was too demanding, even if there was value in fraternising socially. This principle resulted in his once refusing a drink with Ben Chifley [q.v.13].
During the 1950s tensions between the left and the largely Catholic right factions of the ALP caused a party split, resulting in the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) forming. As a practising Catholic, Hartley was sometimes suspected of being a DLP sympathiser. He firmly believed that religion and politics did not mix and that his faith, which he maintained throughout his life, did not influence his allegiance to the ALP. Although he had several altercations with F. E. (Joe) Chamberlain [q.v.17], the ALP State secretary (1949–74), they were both fierce opponents of the DLP. Hartley chaired a meeting in 1957 which passed a resolution that the ALP Federal member for Perth, Tom Burke [q.v.13], who supported the DLP, had ‘expelled himself’ (Reid 1992, 20) by claiming that a story that he might quit was maliciously leaked to the Sydney Daily Mirror. It was a questionable decision but one Hartley did not regret.
Hartley retired in 1962 when an independent Trades and Labor Council replaced the ALP’s district councils. Characterised as a party ‘stalwart’ (Reid 1992, 1), he had provided strong, steady leadership, and was a moderate voice in a period of ferment, when the party split into opposing left and right factions, and some of its members left to form the DLP. In retirement he served in an unpaid position as secretary of the Watchmakers’ and Jewellers’ Union (1963–70). He was made a life member of the ALP in 1984. Predeceased by his wife and survived by their three daughters, he died on 25 June 1991 at Inglewood, Perth, and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery.
Hartley, Robert. Interview by Stuart Reid, 1990. Sound recording. State Library of Western Australia; National Archives of Australia. B2455, Hartley R. A; Oliver, Bobbie. Unity is Strength: A History of the Australian Labor Party and the Trades and Labor Council in Western Australia, 1899–1999. Perth: API Network, 2003; Reid, Stuart. ‘Bob Hartley 1897–1991: A Tribute.’ In Lenore Layman and Charlie Fox, eds. Papers in Labour History, no. 9 (June 1992): 1–4, ‘Bob Hartley’s Story.’ In Layman and Fox, eds. Papers in Labour History, no. 9 (June 1992): 5–23.
HARWOOD, GWENDOLINE NESSIE (GWEN) (1920–1995), poet and librettist, was born on 8 June 1920 at Taringa, Queensland, elder child of English-born Joseph Richard Foster, secretary, and his Queensland-born wife Agnes Maud Markwell, née Jaggard, a former teacher. Gwen lived with her family in a small weatherboard cottage at Mitchelton, then a semi-rural suburb near Brisbane. Her maternal grandmother lived with them while her great-grandmother visited the family from her home in Toowoomba. Gwen would reflect that she had always felt part of a long line of strong, self-reliant Australian women.
Starting at Mitchelton State School, Harwood recalled these formative years in poems such as ‘The Violets’ and ‘Class of 1927’, and in her short stories. When she was seven, the family moved to the suburb of Auchenflower. She attended Toowong State School until she was twelve and then Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School. A talented pianist, she studied music with the Handel scholar Dr R. Dalley-Scarlett [q.v.8] and became his assistant teacher. She also played the organ at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Wickham Terrace. There she met Rev. Peter Bennie who became a great influence on her personal and intellectual development. Bennie introduced her to Thomas ‘Tony’ Riddell, a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve, stationed in Brisbane. He shared her love of music and poetry and she would dedicate most of her volumes of poetry to him.
Towards the end of 1941 Harwood entered the novitiate at a Franciscan convent at Toowong, before realising that she had no vocation for a religious life. For five months in 1942 she taught music at St Christopher’s Church of England School for Boys, Brookfield, and then worked as a clerk at the local branch of the War Damage Commission for the remainder of World War II. She recorded this period in letters written to Riddell, later published as Blessed City (1990). In September 1943 Riddell introduced Gwen to his friend Frank William (Bill) Harwood, also a lieutenant in the naval reserve. A graduate of the University of Melbourne (BA Hons, 1939; MA, 1940), Bill exposed Gwen to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; his philosophical writing became an important source of thought and imagery in her poetry.
Gwen and Bill married at All Saints’ Church on 4 September 1945. Soon after, they moved to Hobart for Bill to take up a lectureship in the English department at the University of Tasmania. The Derwent estuary would figure prominently in her poetry, but her attitude to Tasmania was always ambivalent. Her poem ‘1945’ recalls her encounter with the icy winds blowing off Mount Wellington and her sense of dislocation. Brisbane as the ‘blessed city’ (Harwood 1990) of sunshine and colour was largely constructed in the greyer days of her exile. In Hobart, between 1946 and 1952, she became the mother of four children, including twins. She also had a stillborn daughter, whose birth and death she evokes in the poems ‘Dialogue’ and ‘Visitor’.
In the 1940s she began publishing in the Bulletin and Meanjin. Yet she questioned the competence of literary editors—aware that they were less likely to accept the work of an unknown Tasmanian housewife and that it was easier to get a poem published under a man’s name. In August 1961 the Bulletin printed two sonnets, ‘Eloisa to Abelard’ and ‘Abelard to Eloisa’, that she had submitted under the pseudonym ‘Walter Lehmann’. Read acrostically, they declared her farewell to the magazine and her forthright dismissal of all editors. To some, she is still best remembered for this hoax. Lehmann also appeared as the first ‘author’ of Harwood’s most widely known and frequently anthologised poem ‘In the Park’.
Her delight in the subterfuge—‘I like wearing masks’ (Ward 1978, 7)—led her to create further fictional alter egos, each of whom expressed one part of her personality. ‘Francis Geyer’ was a refugee from Europe at the time of the Hungarian uprising. He created the character of ‘Professor Kröte’ and wrote of exile, music, and frustrated love. ‘Miriam Stone’ was a housewife and mother who penned angry poems about domestic imprisonment. ‘Timothy Kline’ was a young Tasmanian clerk who protested against social injustice and the Vietnam War.
Publication of her poetry drew Harwood out of seclusion. Embarking on the literary circuit of conferences and readings, she met and became friends with other Australian poets including Vivian Smith, James McAuley [q.v.15], Vincent Buckley [q.v.17], and A. D. Hope. In 1963 she published her first collection, titled Poems. That year she met the composer Larry Sitsky and collaborated with him, writing libretti for the ‘Fall of the House of Usher’, ‘Lenz’, and ‘The Golem’. She also wrote libretti for other composers– James Penberthy, Ian Cugley, and Don Kay. From early 1964 Harwood worked for several years as a medical secretary and receptionist for a Hobart eye specialist. Her poem ‘Naked Vision’ records one experience from that time.
In 1976 the Harwoods moved to a 5-acre property at Kettering on the D’Entrecasteaux [q.v.1] Channel. There Bill built boats and Gwen went fishing, kept poultry, and wrote some of her finest poems. She was awarded the Grace Leven prize (1975), the Robert Frost medallion (1977), and the Patrick White [q.v.18] literary award (1978), and a fellowship from the Australia Council (1973–76). Appointed AO in 1989, she was made an honorary doctor of letters by the universities of Tasmania (1988) and Queensland (1993), and by La Trobe University (1994). Her volume Bone Scan (1988) won the C. J. Dennis [q.v.8] prize at the Victorian Premier’s literary awards (1989) and the John Bray [q.v.] award (1990). Blessed City was the Age Book of the Year for 1990. Her final collection, The Present Tense (1995), was posthumously shortlisted for the John Bray award in 1996.
In January 1985 the Harwoods had returned to Hobart. That year Gwen underwent a successful operation for breast cancer. She remained a productive poet and in 1989 became president of the Tasmanian branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. In 1995 a further, inoperable, cancer was diagnosed. Survived by her husband and their three sons and one daughter, she died in South Hobart on 5 December that year and was cremated. At her request, her ashes were scattered over the Brisbane River. A poetry prize was named after her in 1996 and she was inducted into Tasmania’s Honour Roll of Women in 2005.
Bennie, Angela. ‘The Many Voices of Gwen Harwood.’ Weekend Australian, 31 December 1988–1 January 1989, 9; Beston, John. ‘An Interview with Gwen Harwood.’ Quadrant, October 1975, 84–88; Frizell, Helen. ‘Putting It Down Like Vintage Wine.’ Saturday Evening Mercury, 25 November 1978, 22, 31; Harwood, Gwen. Blessed City: The Letters of Gwen Harwood to Thomas Riddell, January to September 1943. Edited by Alison Hoddinott. North Ryde, NSW: Angus & Robertson, 1990; Harwood, Gwen. ‘Lamplit Presences.’ Southerly 40, no. 3 (1980): 247–54; Hoddinott, Alison. Gwen Harwood: The Real and the Imagined World. North Ryde, NSW: Angus & Robertson, 1991; Hoddinott, Alison. ‘Serious Poet with a Zest for Laughter.’ Australian, 12 December 1995, 17; Lear, Anne. ‘Interview with Gwen Harwood.’ SPAN, no. 26 (April 1988): 1–11; Sellick, Robert, ed. Gwen Harwood. CRNLE Essays and Monographs Series no. 3. Adelaide: Centre for Research in New Literatures in English, 1987; Ward, Peter. ‘The Poet as a Prize Winner.’ Australian, 17 November 1978, 7.
HASLUCK, Dame ALEXANDRA MARGARET (ALIX) (1908–1993), historian, biographer, and short story writer, was born on 26 August 1908 in North Perth, Western Australia, only child of Queensland-born John William Darker (d. 1925), engineer, and his New South Wales–born wife Evelyn Margaret, née Hill. Alix’s mother, a graduate of the University of Sydney (BA, 1895), encouraged her daughter’s curiosity and love of learning, enrolling her at Ormiston College (1914–18) and then at Perth College (1919–25). There she took a leading role in school life and excelled at literary subjects and composition. Her ambitions to be a writer were enhanced when her poems were published in the school magazine and the Australasian.
At the University of Western Australia (BA, 1929) Darker studied French, English, history, biology, and economics; joined the dramatic society; and was a sub-editor (1929–30) of the university magazine Black Swan, in which she also published poetry, book reviews, and essays. Having unsuccessfully sought entry to the diploma of journalism course, she enrolled in honours to research the Arthurian legend but withdrew after a few months, the harsh economic times fuelling her desire to look for work. Employed first as a part-time French and English teacher at a small private school, she became a resident teacher at the Girl’s High School (later St Hilda’s Church of England School for Girls) in 1930 and 1931.
On 14 April 1932 Darker married (Sir) Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck [q.v.], then a journalist, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Perth. The couple had met at university and shared intellectual and cultural interests, including enthusiasm for Western Australian history. Having honeymooned in England, where she researched the English Tudors at the British Library, she submitted a historical novel entitled ‘Tudor Blood’ to publishers in England, who rejected it. She never returned to the project, the experience contributing to her decision to abandon fiction in favour of history. In 1934 she took over Paul’s duties as honorary secretary of the Western Australian Historical Society. With her husband, she established the Freshwater Bay Press to publish Western Australian historical and literary works by local authors. The outbreak of World War II, however, prevented the development of the venture.
Paul’s recruitment in 1941 by the Federal Department of External Affairs required a move to Canberra, where Hasluck learned the protocols of being a diplomat’s wife, while caring for two young sons. At first she disliked the place: ‘My idea of Hell has always been of a freezing region’, she wrote, ‘and here I am for my sins’ (Bolton 2014, 104). When her husband became a member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations in 1946, she enjoyed the opportunity to live in New York, and to meet and entertain ‘the foremost names in the world’ (Hasluck 1981, 178). After Paul resigned in 1947 and the family returned to Perth, she encouraged him to go into politics. They worked together on his campaign for the Federal seat of Curtin in 1949, in which she used her writing skills to enliven Liberal party election material, and appeared on weekly radio programs to expand her husband’s profile.
With her husband elected and frequently in Canberra, Hasluck was able to devote time to writing. She published a number of articles with historical themes in the West Australian. Encouraged by two of her friends, the author Henrietta Drake-Brockman [q.v.14] and the archivist Mollie Lukis, she began to research the life of Georgiana Molloy [q.v.2]. Based on the subject’s letters, Portrait With Background: A Life of Georgiana Molloy was published in 1955, and was subsequently reissued in a number of editions. Her next book, Unwilling Emigrants (1959), used rare letters from Myra Sykes to her husband William, a convict, to illustrate what she called ‘the prototype of many convicts’ (Hasluck 1959, xvi). The book raised the historical profile of women and convicts at a time when the study of neither was fashionable. She would regard Thomas Peel of Swan River (1965) as her best historical work because it drew on new sources ‘about a controversial figure … who has always been much maligned’ (Hasluck 1981, 236). These early books attracted many readers and became essential reading for those studying the history of Western Australia. Her work was also influential in encouraging writers such as Rica Erickson to take on Western Australian historical topics.
After her mother’s death in 1962, Hasluck published Evelyn Hill: A Memoir (1963) to honour the person who had been an important influence on her life and a pioneer in women’s education. The same year, she edited a collection of the letters of (Lady) Mary Anne Barker, and wrote for school children a short biography of (Sir) James Stirling [q.v.2]. In 1965 she published a biographical portrait of the former State engineer-in-chief C. Y. O’Connor [q.v.11]. When Paul became minister for external affairs in 1964, she often travelled with him, and eagerly visited the historical places she had read about. Long periods away from home meant that for practical reasons she returned to writing short stories, contributing to a number of anthologies. In 1970 she published her own collection, Of Ladies Dead: Stories not in the Modern Manner. In the same year, the University of Western Australia conferred on her an honorary doctorate of letters. She was appointed dame of grace in the Order of St John in 1971.
In 1968 Hasluck had learned that her husband was to be appointed governor-general, necessitating a return to Canberra. Although she was starting to experience problems from an arthritic hip, and was grieving the loss of her best friend, Henrietta Drake-Brockman, she recognised the importance of public service and the honour associated with vice-regal duty. Paul took up the role in April 1969, and Alexandra became a popular hostess. She acted as patron or president of over twenty associations, including the Girl Guides Association, the National Trust of Australia, and the Australian Red Cross; and promoted causes close to her heart, such as heritage conservation, literature, literacy, and women’s education. Despite her heavy workload, she maintained her commitment to writing, often working into the early hours of the morning. In 1973 she published Royal Engineer: A Life of Sir Edmund DuCane.
Although the Haslucks experienced the tragedy of the sudden death of their elder son in June 1973, they undertook their functions with dignity and dedication. Prime Minister Gough Whitlam tried to persuade Sir Paul to accept a second term, an offer he refused because his wife ‘objected very strongly and wouldn’t stay on’ (Wurth 2010, 6). Departing the vice-regal lodge in July 1974, the couple returned to Perth where she resumed her writing career. She published, with Lukis, Victorian and Edwardian Perth from Old Photographs (1977), and she edited a collection of letters, Audrey Tennyson’s Vice-Regal Days (1978). In 1978 she was appointed AD. Her autobiography, Portrait in a Mirror, was published in 1981, followed by her final book, Western Australia’s Colonial Years (1984).
Described by Geoffrey Bolton as a person of ‘style, intelligence and wit’ (2014, 44), Dame Alexandra had a firm sense of duty, and was strong willed and highly opinionated. She brought the history of Western Australia to a popular audience at a time when the State’s historiography was in its infancy, and inspired others to follow her example. In failing health, she went permanently into hospital care. Survived by a son, she died on 18 June 1993 at Claremont and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery next to her husband who had died five months earlier. In 2000 a new Federal electorate was named in their honour.
Bolton, Geoffrey. Paul Hasluck: A Life. Crawley: UWA Publishing, 2014; De Garis, B. K. Review of Portrait in a Mirror: An Autobiography, by Alexandra Hasluck. Westerly, no. 2 (June 1982): 98–100; Hasluck, Alexandra. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 1970. State Library of Western Australia; Hasluck, Alexandra. Portrait in a Mirror: An Autobiography. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1981; Hasluck, Alexandra. Unwilling Emigrants: A Study of the Convict Period in Western Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1959; Quartly, Marian. ‘Alexandra Hasluck Historian.’ In Paul Hasluck in Australian History: Civic Personality and Public Life, edited by Tom Stannage, Kay Saunders, and Richard Nile, 77–86. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998; Wurth, Bob. ‘Blame the Vice-Regal Wife.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 2 January 2010, 6.
Ann P. Hunter
HASLUCK, Sir PAUL MEERNAA (1905–1993), governor-general, historian, poet, politician, and public servant, was born on 1 April 1905 at Fremantle, Western Australia, second of four surviving children of English-born parents Ethel Meernaa Hasluck and his wife Patience Eliza, née Wooler, both of whom were Salvation Army officers. Paul spent much of his childhood at Collie, where his parents ran a home for boys; there he attended a single-teacher primary school. To facilitate Paul’s further education, the Haslucks moved to Guildford, a suburb of Perth. With the aid of a scholarship he studied at Perth Modern School (1918–22), where he did well in English literature and history, and impressed his teachers with his intelligence and integrity. In January 1923 he entered a cadetship with the West Australian. A voracious reader with a particular liking for the works of Montaigne, he led an active social life, later describing himself as an ‘eager and puppyish fellow, making friends with anyone’ (Hasluck 1977, 84).
Having joined the Historical Society of Western Australia in 1926, Hasluck was appointed honorary research secretary, and he used his knowledge of shorthand to prepare transcripts of interviews with pioneers from the colonial period, creating a valuable oral historical record of the State’s early years. Concurrently, he commenced part-time journalism studies (DipJ, 1932) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He joined the university dramatic society, and developed his skills as an actor, playwright, and poet. As drama critic for the student magazine, Pelican (1930), and then for the West Australian, he established a reputation for erudite and perceptive reports on local productions. During this time he met Alexandra Margaret Martin (Alix) Darker [q.v.], a fellow student, who shared his interest in theatre, writing, and literature. They married at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Perth, on 14 April 1932, and the same evening left for an extended honeymoon in England and Europe.
On their return Hasluck joined the Australian Aborigines Amelioration Association and, using the pen-name ‘Polygon’, which he had employed for his dramatic criticism, he wrote articles for the West Australian. He joined the staff of a royal commission, chaired by Henry Mosely, into the circumstances of Western Australia’s Aboriginal people, and travelled throughout the State interviewing pastoralists, missionaries, and Aboriginal people. With Alexandra he established Freshwater Bay Press in 1939 to publish works by local authors. The press’s first production was Into the Desert, a volume of his own poetry, but with the onset of World War II, its development was curtailed.
Having returned to part-time studies at UWA (BA, 1937), Hasluck completed a master’s thesis on Aboriginal affairs policy in Western Australia (MA, 1940); the work was published in 1942 as Black Australians. It argued that State policies of protective segregation had failed and should instead be founded on principles of legal equality and citizenship rights, with special measures to raise the living standards of Aboriginal people to those of modern Australian society. Such notions of assimilation were to be the foundation of the policies he espoused in later public life. After a year lecturing in history at UWA, he was recruited by the Department of External Affairs, having been recommended by John Curtin [q.v.13], then leader of the Federal Opposition, and the historian Fred Alexander, his former mentor at UWA. Curtin had known Hasluck when both were members of the Australian Journalists’ Association.
Moving with Alexandra and their baby son to Canberra in 1941, Hasluck was initially unimpressed with the public service. Unable to get on with his superiors, he complained that he was often given inconsequential work, and privately contemplated a return to Perth and to journalism. The entry of Japan into the war, however, induced him to remain and later he was assigned as officer-in-charge of postwar policy. Under H. V. Evatt [q.v.14] he worked to formulate the powers of the Commonwealth to oversee postwar reconstruction. Attending in December 1942 a conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Mont Tremblant, Canada, he found it a ‘stimulating learning experience, his first exposure to international debate and the practicalities of maintaining the Anglo-American alliance’ (Bolton 2014, 116). He formed the view that Australia was well placed to influence Pacific regional development, and shared his minister’s mistrust of American postwar ambitions in the region.
While Hasluck was developing a reputation as an ‘efficient, reliable, and intelligent’ (Bolton 2014, 123) officer, his relationships with staff were often difficult, even acrimonious. In November 1944 he was commissioned to write a volume on the home front for the official war history, Australia in the War of 1939–45, under the editorship of Gavin Long [q.v.15]. As the prospect of victory in the Pacific increased, he postponed his return to academic history and became influential as head of his department’s post-hostilities planning division. With John Burton, William Forsyth [q.v.], and others, he was a member of the delegation led by Evatt and the deputy prime minister, Francis Forde [q.v.17], to the United Nations (UN) Conference on International Organization at San Francisco (April–June 1945). Responsible for coordinating committees and briefing representatives and observers, he was appointed with (Sir) Kenneth Bailey [q.v.13] to the fourteen-member committee to draft the UN charter.
After attending the UN Preparatory Commission in London in late 1945, Hasluck became counsellor-in-charge of the Australian mission to the UN and acting representative on the Atomic Energy Commission; he moved in March 1946 to New York. Answerable to Evatt, who retained the ambassadorial role, he participated in the proceedings of the Security Council, of which Australia was an inaugural non-permanent member. Having been joined by his wife and two sons in May, he performed his duties with diligence and energy, and led a team which included (Sir) Arthur Tange and (Sir) Alan Watt [q.v.18]. Described as ‘cold, meticulous, and sparing of praise’, his colleagues saw him as developing ‘an excessive punctiliousness’ (Bolton 2014, 169, 168). He became frustrated by what he viewed as Evatt’s erratic ways, particularly his failure to instruct his staff properly and his tendency to ignore the formal public service channels of advice.
Following John Burton’s appointment as permanent head of the department, Hasluck resigned in 1947 and returned to Perth to take up his official war history commission. He approached the task with a vigorous interest in the archives, and interviewed many of the central wartime participants. In March 1949 the Liberal Party of Australia endorsed him as the candidate for the new Federal seat of Curtin. His progress on the official history now had a deadline; he needed to finish as much of it as possible by the elections at the end of the year. He had the added challenge of ensuring he continued to be seen as an objective historian. Volume One of The Government and the People, 1939–41, published in 1952, was praised for fairness and accuracy, and it prepared the way for other historians to pursue research on Australia during the war.
Elected in December 1949, Hasluck took his place as a backbencher in the new government of (Sir) Robert Menzies [q.v.15]. He was to be returned with large majorities in seven subsequent general elections, his electorate becoming the safest Liberal seat in Western Australia. In 1951 he was appointed minister for territories with responsibility for the Northern Territory, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, Nauru, and Norfolk Island. A stickler for administrative efficiency and with firm ideas about the relative roles of the public service and the minister, he nevertheless regularly intervened in departmental matters and expected his officers to conform to his standards of professionalism. Access to his office was controlled by his secretary, Ellestan Dusting, ‘the epitome of the protective personal assistant’ (Bolton 2014, 233); she would remain with him throughout his ministerial career. Unavoidably absent from Perth for much of the time, he left Alexandra to develop her own profile as an author, and to bring up the family. Later their sons were enrolled at Canberra Grammar School and Hasluck rented a house in the suburb of Deakin, while his wife visited frequently.
In the Northern Territory, Hasluck focused on improving administrative and governance procedures, developing infrastructure, and diversifying industry, while giving cautious support to aspirations for self-government. In February 1959 cabinet agreed with his proposals for an enlarged legislature, the Commonwealth retaining control of the budget, lands administration, and Aboriginal policy, and the minister having the power to veto Legislative Council ordinances.
The Territory’s large Aboriginal population, together with the potential of the Commonwealth to influence the States, gave Hasluck the opportunity to implement the reform agenda he had advocated in Black Australians. The Welfare Ordinance 1953 removed race-based protective legislation, ostensibly providing Aboriginal people with the legal equality to ‘attain the same manner of living … enjoying the same rights and privileges … as other Australians’ (Hasluck 1988, 93). His assimilationist ideas drew criticism from anthropologists such as A. P. Elkin [q.v.14] and Catherine Berndt [q.v.], who argued that policies that did not attend to Aboriginal cultural identity would be ineffectual. Nonetheless, the principle of assimilation was endorsed by a meeting of Commonwealth and State ministers in January 1961 and became a cornerstone of Aboriginal policy until the mid-1970s.
Hasluck assumed responsibility for Australia’s administration of Papua and New Guinea with no previous experience of the country but with powers akin to those of ‘the Premier and the whole of a state Cabinet’ (Hasluck 1976, 6). Rejecting what he believed was a colonial approach founded on ‘a misguided or mistaken idea that such was the way in which one ruled dependent peoples’ (Hasluck 1976, 14), he visited the territory frequently, later characterising his role as that of an ‘inspector-general’ (Hasluck 1976, 407). The historian Hank Nelson noted his unusual aptitude for ‘close surveillance in the field and of the files, for selecting central issues from cautious reports, for sustaining interest over a long period and for hounding and harrying his senior public servants’ (Nelson 1998, 154).
Australia’s mandate from the UN required that the country should be prepared, gradually in Hasluck’s view, for self-government, and thus much of his attention was directed towards diminishing what he saw as ‘the cramping effect of remote control’ (Hasluck 1976, 9). In 1951 he inaugurated a Legislative Council made up predominantly of ex officio members. Ten years later it was enlarged, and the number of elected members increased. In October 1962 the council recommended a House of Assembly of sixty-four members, all but ten of which were to be elected; this was approved by the Commonwealth the following year.
While recognising the importance of political development, however, Hasluck’s priorities were education, health, law enforcement, and employment, underpinned by skilled and knowledgeable local officials. Alert to the risks that entrenching foreign landownership would pose to future self-government, he resisted European demands for more land, and rejected proposals for an Australian soldier-settlement scheme. He insisted that the territory should raise its own revenue; in February 1959 cabinet endorsed his proposal for a system of income tax, in the face of opposition from European landowners, nominated members of the Legislative Council, and some members of his own party. He sought to improve health care and education, and in matters of local government, believed that traditional authority should be supported. By the end of his tenure there had been a significant growth in agriculture, industry, and infrastructure, while the number of local government councils, primary schools, hospitals, aid posts, and infant welfare clinics had also increased.
Following the re-election of the Menzies government in 1963, Hasluck was appointed minister for defence; he became minister for external affairs in April 1964 after the appointment of (Sir) Garfield Barwick as chief justice of the High Court. Sharing with Menzies a conviction that China sought to establish hegemony throughout South-East Asia and that Chinese aggression posed a threat to the stability of the region, he advocated policies of forward defence to curtail communist influence. During his short tenure as minister for defence, he had committed limited military aid to Malaysia to shore up the stability of the new republic and to counter Indonesian belligerence, which Australia feared also had the potential to threaten Papua and New Guinea. He sought to build constructive relations with the government of Indonesia, a goal that became more attainable with the overthrow of President Sukarno by the anti-communist Suharto regime in October 1965. In 1966 and 1967 he visited Indonesia on four occasions.
Hasluck held that the potential threat from Vietnam was a greater danger to Australian interests than Indonesia, and that the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam was serving the aims of China. While a firm supporter of the alliance with the United States of America, he thought that Australia should retain a degree of independence in external affairs and avoid simply following American policies. He also believed that the Soviet Union could act to restrain its communist rival, and in October 1964 travelled to Moscow to meet the foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko, and the premier, Alexei Kosygin. Yet the Soviet Union and other European powers, notably France, were unconvinced that China was behind the growing conflict in Vietnam. Visiting the United States in November 1964, Hasluck urged American military involvement in Vietnam, and expressed Australia’s willingness to commit troops in support of its ally.
Following the reintroduction of national service in 1964, cabinet agreed to offer a battalion as part of an American commitment of ground forces. Hasluck counselled delay until there was greater clarity about the aims of American strategy, and was worried that a military commitment to Vietnam might leave Australia exposed closer to home. Nevertheless, the decision to send troops was announced in parliament on 29 April 1965. In June the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, was sent to Vietnam to join the build-up.
On 1 January 1966 Hasluck was appointed to the Privy Council, an honour normally reserved outside Britain for Commonwealth prime ministers. Following the retirement of Menzies later that month, Harold Holt [q.v.14] was elected prime minister; Hasluck unsuccessfully contested the deputy leadership against (Sir) William McMahon [q.v.18]. Retaining his position as minister for external affairs and steadfast in his support for government policies on Vietnam, in March he oversaw the dispatch of a task force of two battalions, and the following year another battalion. In the public eye, he became closely associated with the increasingly unpopular Australian military involvement in Vietnam.
In December 1967, after the disappearance of Holt, Hasluck was persuaded by senior Liberals, including Menzies, to contest the leadership. (Sir) John Gorton, having risen to prominence in the month before Holt’s disappearance, also contested the leadership. Refusing to canvass support, on 9 January 1968 Hasluck lost to Gorton. He retained the external affairs portfolio in the new government. Uncertainty about Gorton’s commitment to forward defence and signs of America’s desire to disengage in Vietnam, however, made his uncompromising policies on Asia seem anachronistic. Indeed, more recently elected members of the backbench were of the view that he stood for a conservatism which was being overtaken by a desire for change.
With the impending retirement of Baron Casey [q.v.13] as governor-general, in September Gorton asked Hasluck to take on the vice-regal office, and, on 10 February 1969, he retired from parliament. On 21 February he was appointed GCMG. A brief sojourn in Perth gave him the opportunity to finish the second volume of The Government and the People (1970). Sworn in on 30 April 1969, he was appointed GCVO on 29 May 1970. In 1969 he had published Collected Verse; this was followed in 1971 by An Open Go, a collection of his essays.
The Haslucks undertook their official and unofficial functions conscientiously and with dignity; Sir Paul was meticulous in his consideration of official documents and in his observance of the ‘role of the Crown to discuss, counsel and warn’ (Hasluck 1979, 33). Although he disliked McMahon, who had replaced Gorton as prime minister in March 1971, he was able to maintain with him a working relationship that he later described as one of ‘frankness and trust’ (Hasluck 1979, 33). He also formed a good relationship with Gough Whitlam, who became prime minister in December 1972. While the new government was ‘composed of his former party enemies’, he ‘acted with perfect constitutional impartiality’ (Cunneen 1998, 211), even though the Australian Labor Party government sought to reverse policies he had previously espoused.
Hasluck’s term was to end in April 1974, but Whitlam asked him to continue for a further two years. He refused primarily because Alexandra was opposed to the idea on account of her health problems. In addition, Rollo, their son, had died suddenly in June 1973, a bereavement which may have contributed to their unwillingness to remain. Before his departure, with Whitlam’s agreement, he had suggested some possible replacements, including (Sir) John Kerr [q.v.]. One of his last actions was to agree to Whitlam’s request for a double dissolution election; this was held on 18 May and resulted in a return of the government. His final official function was to open the new parliament on 9 July.
In retirement Hasluck occupied himself with writing and visiting his bush block in the Perth hills, where he became adept at building dry-stone walls. He took no further part in public life. On 24 April 1979, he was appointed KG; Alexandra had been appointed AD the previous year. He published more books: A Time for Building (1976), a memoir of his administration of Papua and New Guinea; an autobiography, Mucking About (1977); Diplomatic Witness (1980), an account of his time with the Department of External Affairs; and Shades of Darkness (1988), which covered the evolution of Aboriginal affairs policy between 1925 and 1965. Two more collections of poetry followed his earlier volumes: Dark Cottage (1984) and Crude Impieties (1991).
Hasluck’s biographer, Geoffrey Bolton, considered his subject to have been a rare intellectual in Australian political history who, ‘if he had never entered politics’, would ‘still be remembered as a distinguished historian, poet, cultural publicist and essayist, and an important and early spokesman in favour of Aboriginal rights’ (Bolton 2014, 474). Instilled since his youth with a sense of duty and social conscience, he was motivated by a ‘belief in a common citizenship’ (Bolton 2014, 475). During his long tenure as minister for territories Hasluck succeeded in advancing political rights and improving services such as health and education for the indigenous people in the Northern Territory and Papua and New Guinea. Despite these achievements, he considered himself to have been a ‘diligent practitioner of government but an indifferent politician’ (Hasluck 1986, 3). While to his colleagues he could appear ‘brusque, demanding and aloof’ (Bolton 2014, 476), acerbic and withering in his judgements, to his family and friends he had ‘a positively mischievous sense of fun, a mind immeasurably well stocked from reading and reflection, with immense discretion, loyalty and tact, and an Orwellian sense of “decency”’ (Ryan 2014, 91–92).
Following the celebration of their golden wedding anniversary, Alexandra became more frail and eventually went permanently into hospital care; Hasluck visited her daily. He suffered increasingly from the effects of prostate cancer. Survived by his wife and one son, Nicholas, he died on 9 January 1993 at Subiaco and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery. Many dignitaries, including current and former governors-general and prime ministers, attended his state funeral in St George’s Cathedral, Perth. Alexandra died on 18 June the same year. A Western Australian Federal electorate was named in their honour in 2001.
Bolton, Geoffrey. ‘Oral Historian.’ In Paul Hasluck in Australian History: Civic Personality and Public Life, edited by C. T. Stannage, K. E. B. Saunders, and Richard Nile, 37–45. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998, Paul Hasluck: A Life. Perth: UWA Publishing, 2014; Cunneen, Chris. ‘A Question of Colour.’ In Paul Hasluck in Australian History: Civic Personality and Public Life, edited by C. T. Stannage, K. E. B. Saunders, and Richard Nile, 208–16. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998; Harris, Max. ‘Man For All Seasons at the Head of the Good Ship Australia.’ Weekend Australian, 10 September 1989, 2; Hasluck, Paul. The Chance of Politics. Edited by Nicholas Hasluck. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 1997; Hasluck, Paul. Diplomatic Witness: Australian Foreign Affairs, 1941–1947. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1980; Hasluck, Paul. Mucking About: An Autobiography. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1977; Hasluck, Paul. The Office of Governor-General. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1979; Hasluck, Paul. Shades of Darkness: Aboriginal Affairs, 1925–1965. Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 1988; Hasluck, Paul. The Social Scientist in a Democracy. Annual Lecture 1986. Canberra: Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, 1986; Hasluck, Paul. A Time for Building: Australian Administration in Papua and New Guinea, 1951–1963. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1976; Macintyre, Stuart. ‘The “Civic Personality” and the Public Intellectual.’ In Paul Hasluck in Australian History: Civic Personality and Public Life, edited by C. T. Stannage, K. E. B. Saunders, and Richard Nile, 60–66. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998; National Library of Australia. MS 5274, Papers of Sir Paul Hasluck, 1925–1989; Nelson, Hank. ‘Papua and New Guinea.’ In Paul Hasluck in Australian History: Civic Personality and Public Life, edited by C. T. Stannage, K. E. B. Saunders, and Richard Nile, 152–69. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998; Ryan, Peter. Brief Lives. Potts Point, NSW: Duffy & Snellgrove, 2004; State Records Office of Western Australia. SROWA 1184/1-3: transcripts of Paul Hasluck’s interviews with pioneers, 1926–32.
HASSETT, ARTHUR LINDSAY (1913–1993), cricketer, was born on 28 August 1913 at Geelong, Victoria, youngest of nine children of Edward Hassett, accountant, and his wife Frances, née Favarger, both Victorian born. Though Catholic, Lindsay was educated (1924–32) at Geelong College, a Presbyterian school, where he excelled at sport. Playing cricket for the first XI from 1927 to 1932 (captain, 1930–32), he scored a school-record 2,335 runs. He was also the school tennis champion (1929–32) and a member (1929–32) of the first XVIII football team (captain, 1930–32).
While still at school, Hassett joined the South Melbourne Cricket Club in November 1931. In February the next year he was selected in a Victorian Country XI, scoring an unbeaten 147 against the touring West Indians. He made his debut for Victoria in February 1933, but he was dropped after several low scores and not recalled until the 1935–36 season. Consolidating his position in 1936–37, he notched his maiden first-class century (127) against the visiting New Zealand side in November 1937. A nimble-footed, right-handed stroke-player, like many of the best batsmen he was short, at 5 feet 6.5 inches (169 cm). Selected in the 1938 Australian team to tour England, he struggled in Tests, though he guided Australia to victory and the Ashes with an invaluable 33 at Leeds, and finished third in the tour averages. His form peaked after his return to Australia, where he aggregated 967 first-class runs in 1938–39 and 897 in 1939–40, but the war interrupted his career.
Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 23 September 1940, Hassett served in the Middle East (1941–42) with the 2/2nd Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Papua (1942–43) with the 2/4th Anti-Aircraft Battery, and New Guinea (1943–44) with the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Regiment. On 9 May 1942 at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Geelong, he married Tessie Irene Davis, a clerk. In August 1944 he joined the staff of the AIF Reception Group (United Kingdom), which repatriated former prisoners of war. He led the Australian Services team against a strong English XI in the Victory Tests in 1945, drawing the series 2-2. Returning to Australia via India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the team struggled against a Test-strength Indian XI, despite Hassett’s strong batting performances. Having risen to warrant officer, class two, he was discharged from the AIF on 20 February 1946 in Melbourne.
Hassett was selected in the Australian team that toured New Zealand in March 1946 but, with (Sir) Donald Bradman absent for the tour, he was overlooked for the captaincy in favour of Bill Brown. He was, however, appointed Victorian captain later that year, and as Bradman’s deputy for the 1946–47 series against England. Aged thirty-three, he scored his maiden Test century (128) in the opening Test in Brisbane. Against a weak Indian attack in 1947–48, he made his highest Test score, an unbeaten 198 in Adelaide. No longer the pre-war stroke-player, but a dour run accumulator, he scored 310 runs at an average of 44.28 per dismissal in Test matches during the 1948 tour of England, and 1,563 runs at 74.42 in tour matches. Named among Wisden’s five cricketers of the year, he was praised for his ‘cheerfulness and leadership’ (Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 1949, 88), which contrasted with the solitary, win-at-all-costs Bradman. The journalist Ray Robinson [q.v.18] credited Hassett with ‘keeping the 1948 side ticking over as a companionable party’ (Robinson 1950, 25). Although he captained the team in nine tour matches, winning seven, the Australian Board of Control doubted his leadership qualities. He was too informal and anti-authoritarian, and a Catholic in a game controlled by Protestants and Freemasons. After Bradman retired, however, Hassett was appointed captain over Arthur Morris on the final casting vote.
During the tour of South Africa in 1949–50, players appeared more relaxed under Hassett’s leadership. Australia won the series 4–0 and Hassett, despite bouts of tonsillitis, scored 402 runs at 67.00. In 1950–51 he led Australia to victory over Freddie Brown’s touring Englishmen in what E. W. Swanton described as ‘a conspicuously friendly tour’ (1951, 18). Hassett proved a ‘charming opponent’ and ‘tactful diplomat’ (Swanton 1951, 18), but his captaincy was under fire. The journalist A. G. Moyes [q.v.15] found his batting dreary and his tactics ‘bewildering’ (1951, 240), while R. S. Whitington dismissed him as a ‘clock captain’ (1969, 164). Hassett remained consistent with the bat and was the leading Australian run-scorer in 1950–51 (366 runs), and during the 1951–52 tour by the West Indian team (402 runs).
In 1953 the forty-year-old Hassett led a team of unproven youngsters and fading veterans to England. He again topped Australia’s Test batting aggregate and averages, but the team lost the series 1-0. Uncharacteristically, he requested the removal of a leading English umpire, Frank Chester, for the final Test, and was openly critical of the younger Australian players’ performances. Yet he remained gracious in defeat and retained his devil-may-care humour. After a waiter spilled dessert over Hassett’s jacket and trousers at London’s Park Royal Hotel, he removed them and continued eating in his underpants.
Hassett was a popular captain, a great middle-order batsman, and a greater ambassador. His teammate Keith Miller considered him to be the ‘most popular cricketing ambassador of the age’ (Miller 1954, 56). In a career shortened by war, he played 43 Tests, captained Australia 29 times, and scored 3,073 runs at an average of 45.56. His 10 Test centuries came after the age of thirty-three. In 216 first-class matches he amassed 16,890 runs at 58.24 with 59 centuries. Appointed MBE on 1 January 1953, he was honoured with a testimonial match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to mark his retirement. In presenting Hassett with the cheque for £5,503, Prime Minister (Sir) Robert Menzies [q.v.15] remarked: ‘I don’t know that we have had a better representative abroad in recent years than Lindsay Hassett’ (Argus 1954, 7).
In retirement, Hassett concentrated on the Melbourne sports store that he had opened in 1949, which he expanded to several branches before selling the business in 1959. He wrote for Australian and British newspapers during the 1950s and 1960s and joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s commentary team in 1956. An authoritative voice, he grew critical of what he saw as Test cricket’s declining standards in the 1960s and the boorish player behaviour of the 1970s. Retiring from broadcasting in 1981, he moved to Batehaven on the New South Wales south coast, where he pursued his interests in fishing and golf. Survived by his wife and their two daughters, he died there on 16 June 1993 and was cremated. He was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2003. The Lindsay Hassett Oval at Albert Park, Melbourne, is named for him.
Argus (Melbourne). ‘Duke Wanted to Applaud Hassett the “Envoy.”’ 28 February 1954, 7; Fingleton, J. H. W. The Ashes Crown the Year: A Coronation Cricket Diary. Sydney: Collins, 1954; McHarg, Jack. Lindsay Hassett: One of a Kind. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster, 1998; Miller, Keith. ‘Comment.’ Sun (Sydney), 14 January 1954, 56; Moyes, A. G. The Fight for the Ashes 1950–1951: A Critical Account of the English Tour in Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1951; National Archives of Australia. B883, VX38843; Robinson, Ray. ‘Hassett More Relaxed than Bradman.’ Herald (Melbourne), 5 October 1950, 25; Robinson, Ray. On Top Down Under: Australia’s Cricket Captains. Stanmore, NSW: Cassell, 1975; Swanton, E. W. Elusive Victory: With F. R. Brown’s M.C.C. Team 1950–51: An Eyewitness Account. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1951; Whitington, R. S. The Quiet Australian: The Lindsay Hassett Story. London, Melbourne: Heinemann, 1969; Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. ‘Five Cricketers of the Year: Lindsay Hassett.’ 86 (1949): 88–90; Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. ‘Obituary: Lindsay Hassett.’ 131 (1994): 1343–45.
HAWES, STANLEY GILBERT (1905–1991), documentary-film producer, director, and film industry advocate, was born on 19 January 1905 at Battersea, London, elder of two sons of Gilbert Hawes, dairyman’s manager, and his wife Helen, née Foxall. Educated at Christ’s Hospital school, Stanley developed an early interest in theatre and appeared as an amateur actor with the Birmingham Municipal Players while working as a clerk for the City of Birmingham Corporation (1922–34). In his twenties he became captivated by film, and in 1931 he and Florence Jessica Ragg, a typist, were among the co-founders of the Birmingham Film Society. On 28 May 1932 he married her at the register office, Birmingham South.
Keen to become a documentary filmmaker, Hawes returned to London, where he worked with Quelch’s Film Studios and at the studios of Gaumont-British Instructional Films. At G-BI and in particular at Strand Film Company between 1936 and 1939 he made his name as director of documentaries, the most notable of which was Monkey into Man (1937), made in collaboration with the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley. Early in 1940 he joined the National Film Board of Canada, where he worked under that organisation’s commissioner, John Grierson, a highly influential documentary producer and theorist. Hawes produced and directed numerous films for the board, besides training new directors in the essentials of scriptwriting, direction, and editing.
On 26 April 1945 the Australian government established the Australian National Film Board, and in May 1946 Hawes arrived in Sydney to be the first producer-in-chief of the board’s film division (later the Commonwealth Film Unit). He eventually produced or supervised more than 500 films, although he seldom directed any after School in the Mailbox (1946), which was nominated for an Academy award in the United States of America. Remembered by colleagues ‘as a firm, determined man with an iron will [and] a commanding manner but gentle interior’ (Gill 1991, 7), Hawes followed Grierson in favouring a classical style of documentary filmmaking, in Grierson’s words, the ‘creative treatment of actuality’ (Lyle, Politis and Stell 1980, 9) as distinct from dramatised films or those that experimented with visual or narrative style in their observation of social events. Although Australian film historians view the late 1940s as a period of innovation for the film division and Australian documentaries, by the mid-1950s the classical style—educational, instructional, and promotional—held sway in the division’s productions. Through these years and into the 1960s, Hawes fought with every diplomatic and negotiating skill he could muster to keep the film division alive in the face of lobbying by independent producers who asserted that they and not a government body should be making films for the government. Helped by his spirited defence, the division survived several government inquiries at a time when its output of films for government departments was surging upward. His other major achievement during the 1950s was to supervise the making of the first Australian-funded feature-length colour film, The Queen in Australia (1954), an ambitious nationwide record of the 1954 royal tour.
‘A perfectionist in baggy pants’ (Gill 1991, 7), Hawes was by the early 1960s sometimes criticised for his lack of innovation. He did nevertheless encourage a new generation of Australian producers (and through them, young directors) who formed the basis of the Australian film renaissance of the next decade. He later defined this period as one of ‘breakthrough, when we started to get away from the conventional approach which had been expected of us’ (Barry 1979, 185). One of the decade’s several milestones was From the Tropics to the Snow (1964), a dramatised and experimental film that satirised institutional filmmaking and for which Hawes was executive producer.
In 1968 Hawes was a member of the Australian Council for the Arts, which recommended Federal support for features, experimental films, and a national film school. He subsequently served on the interim council of what became the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (1970–73) and chaired the National Film Theatre of Australia (1969–77). Appointed MBE in 1970, he received the Australian Film Institute’s Raymond Longford [q.v.10] award that year. His final project for the Commonwealth Film Unit was to produce a nine-screen, nine-track, 360-degree film for the Australian pavilion at Expo ’70 held in Osaka, Japan. After retirement in April 1970 Hawes remained active in the film community, serving as the first chairman of the Cinematograph Films Board of Review (1971–78). In 1979 he produced a documentary about planning for retirement, The Challenging Years.
Hawes died in Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, on 20 April 1991 and was cremated. His wife and two daughters survived him. Since 1997 an annual Stanley Hawes award has been presented by the Australian International Documentary Conference to individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to Australia’s documentary sector.
Barry, Graham. ‘Stanley Hawes.’ Cinema Papers, No 19 (January–February 1979): 182–85, 243; Gill, Alan. ‘A Pilgrim to the Shrine of Fine Film-Making.’ Northern Herald (Sydney), 2 May 1991, 7; Lyle, Valda, Tom Politis, and Ross Stell. Stanley Hawes: Documentary Film Maker. Sydney: WEA Film Study Group, 1980; Molloy, Susan. ‘Take 74, and the Cameras Keep Rolling.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 1979, 7; Moran, Albert. ‘Documentary Consensus: The Commonwealth Film Unit: 1954–1964.’ In History on/and/in Film. Proceedings of the 3rd History and Film Conference, edited by Tom Regan and Brian Shoesmith, 90–100. Perth: History and Film Association of Australia, 1987; Shirley, Graham, and Brian Adams. Australian Cinema. The First Eighty Years. Redfern: Currency Press, 1983.
HAYDON, THOMAS WILLIAM (TOM) (1938–1991), documentary film-maker, was born Thomas William Heaydon on 22 January 1938 in Sydney, son of New South Wales–born Thomas William Heaydon, traveller, and his New Zealand–born wife Phyllis Louisa, née Houghton. Tom was educated at Manly Boys’ High School, where he did well in English and was a student editor for the school journal. He graduated from the University of Sydney (BA, 1959) with honours in Australian history. On 2 April 1960, at St Matthew’s Church of England, Manly, he married Jennifer Margaret Grieve, a teacher trainee; they later divorced.
That year Haydon joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) as a specialist trainee with the education department. Beginning as a producer and director of children’s programs, he progressed to documentary film work, such as University of the Air. He became the first producer in the science unit, working in television. His initial production, The Case for Conservation, showed him to be a film-maker who was ahead of his time on environmental issues. On 26 August 1966 in a civil ceremony he married Andrina Bettini (née Watton), a widowed former actress and ABC producer, at her home in West Ryde. His first great success was The Talgai Skull, which was effectively a detective story about the connections between prehistoric and modern humanity. It won a Golden Reel award in the 1968 Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards.
The ABC’s documentary work was attracting acclaim in the late 1960s through programs such as Four Corners, This Day Tonight, and Chequerboard, which took inquiring and challenging positions that would previously have been rejected as outside the remit of the commission. Haydon was a strong conservationist, and his commitment was reflected in his next film. Dig a Million, Make a Million looked behind the scenes of the mining operations of Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd. He used comic juxtapositions to make points about the need to utilise Australia’s resources in a way that did not destroy the environment. Curiously, the mining companies saw the film as a validation of their policies and bought copies, while opponents of the companies saw the film as an exposé of rapacious foreign investment. It received a Silver award from the AFI in 1969.
In 1969 Haydon travelled to London to work for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He joined the documentary section, making programs for series such as Horizons, before becoming executive producer of the British Empire series. He wrote and directed three episodes. One of these, ‘Beyond the Black Stump’, presented a view of nineteenth-century Australia in order to comment satirically upon myths of Australian national character. Reaction was hostile in Britain and Australia. In a debate about the series in the House of Lords he was denounced as a ‘long-haired layabout from Kings Cross’ (Eng. HOL 1972).
Haydon left the BBC in 1975 and became an independent producer. Having received a creative fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts, he established Artis Film Productions and began to set up The Last Tasmanian, the film for which he is best known. It told a story of genocide, describing the near extermination of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population by British colonists in the nineteenth century. The project was not easy to finance and was cobbled together over fourteen months with funds from several sources, including the Australian Film Commission (AFC), the Tasmanian government, French television, and the BBC. The complexities of the co-production arrangements included the requirement that the film be delivered in three versions: English, French, and Welsh. The 105-minute film was a shocking experience for viewers and hugely controversial. In particular, Tasmanian Aboriginal people criticised the film for suggesting that they and their culture had been eradicated, an assertion that jeopardised their claims for recognition. It was sold to television in twenty-two countries and, after an initial showing at Cannes, France, it received numerous theatrical releases. Screened at seventeen international festivals to much acclaim, it was nominated for the Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival (1979).
In the 1980s Haydon took up various executive positions for the Australian Film Television School and the Special Broadcasting Service, and was an executive producer with Film Australia (1984–86). He was vice-president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, and chairman of its documentary division. His major legacy from this period was the Documentary Fellowship Scheme. The award was initiated by the AFC to promote excellence and originality in documentaries, and implemented by Haydon. Each year it gave up to two documentary film-makers the opportunity to create a work of their own choosing.
Behind the Dam (1986) was Haydon’s last major film. It was intended as the first part of a trilogy explaining the conflict between environmentalists and miners, loggers, and hydro-workers in Tasmania. Ebullient and idealistic, he was unafraid of challenge and controversy. He was a generous and willing colleague and mentor to others in the film industry. Throughout his working life he remained a person of vision and enthusiasm and at the time of his death he was working on a feature film about the origins of Australia’s Aboriginal population. In the middle of 1990 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Divorced from his second wife, on 15 June 1991 at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Watsons Bay, Sydney, he married Susanne Margaret Arane-Weston (née Arane), a consultant. He died on 6 July 1991 in Darlinghurst, survived by his wife, the daughter of his first marriage, and the son of his second.
Connolly, Keith. ‘The Last Tasmanian.’ Cinema Papers, no. 18 (October–November 1978): 143–46; England. House of Lords. Parliamentary Debates, series 5, vol. 332. 6 July 1972. Accessed 11 March 2015. hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1972/jul/06/bbc-and-british-empire-series. Copy held on ADB file; Haydon, Tom. ‘Tom Haydon.’ By Ian Stocks. Cinema Papers, no. 12 (April 1977): 305, 306, 372, 377; Jones, Rhys. ‘Tom Haydon 1938–1991: Film Interpretation of Australian Archaeology.’ Australian Archaeology, no. 35 (1992): 51–64; Nicklin, Lenore. ‘The Many Talents of Tom Haydon.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 14 October 1978, 13; O’Regan, Tom. ‘Documentary in Controversy: The Last Tasmanian.’ In An Australian Film Reader, edited by Albert Moran and Tom O’Regan, 127–36. Sydney: Currency Press, 1985; Personal knowledge of ADB subject.
HEATH, HARRY FREDERICK (1903–1992), teacher, union leader, and public servant, was born on 8 January 1903 at Tatura, Victoria, son of Victorian-born Henry Heath, saddler, and his New South Wales–born wife Mabel Evelyn, née Brady. Harry attended Thurgoona Public and Albury High schools; he was dux in 1920. He trained as a teacher at Sydney Teachers’ College and studied at the University of Sydney (BA, 1924; BEc, 1927). From the mid-1920s he taught in public schools, including becoming deputy headmaster at Narrandera Intermediate High School (1930–31), and headmaster at Norfolk Island Public School (1934–38), West Wyalong Intermediate High School (1938–40), and Deniliquin Intermediate High School (1940–45). On 10 January 1929 at the Presbyterian Church, Strathfield, he had married Eileen Daphne White, a teacher (d. 1977).
Between 1942 and 1945 Heath served part time in the 21st Victorian Battalion of the Volunteer Defence Corps, as a lieutenant from 1943. He was headmaster at Brighton-le-Sands Central School (1945–49), Gladesville Central School (1949–51), and Bankstown Public School (1951–52); he also wrote a number of mathematics textbooks for schools.
Heath became a member of the Headmasters’ Association, which was opposed to Sam Lewis, the communist president of the New South Wales Teachers’ Federation. In 1952 he was elected federation president on a platform of placing less emphasis on political issues and more on securing improved salaries and conditions for members, including equal pay for women. But he maintained earlier demands for additional Commonwealth aid to education, warning that the slight assistance given by the Federal government might turn schools into ‘intellectual slums’ (Canberra Times 1954, 4). A strong promoter of the ideal of the public comprehensive school embracing all students in the local neighbourhood, he opposed any movement for State aid to religious schools. As a member of the committee to survey secondary education (1953–57) chaired by the director-general of education (Sir) Harold Wyndham [q.v.18], he agreed with its major recommendations to establish comprehensive secondary schools, but failed to convince his fellow members that the State’s selective-entry schools should lose that status.
In 1955 Heath had been appointed to the New South Wales Public Service Board (PSB). As chairman of the board, Wallace Wurth [q.v.16] accepted the suggestion of increasing its size by including Heath as a ‘moderate’ teacher representative with ‘allegiance neither to Moscow nor to Rome’ (Curnow 2002). For more than a decade, Heath used his position to influence education and schools, fostering expansion through a program of decentralisation of educational administration and conducting enquiries into areas such as child guidance and paramedical education. He could be ‘abrasive and opinionated’ (Duffield 1990, 30) and it riled Wyndham that a former member of his teaching staff was exercising authority over his department. Heath was also thought to act against former opponents in the Teachers’ Federation. In 1955 his old adversary, Lewis, struck a pupil at Newtown Junior Technical School, leading to a formal reprimand. The PSB later ordered Lewis’s transfer to another school, a measure widely seen as the initiative of Heath.
Such incidents bolstered the views of the federation that education should be removed from PSB control, a demand which began to win acceptance by the major political parties. In 1967 (Sir) Robert Askin’s [q.v.17], Government created the Rydge [q.v.16] committee to investigate establishing an education commission. The board’s submission to the committee, which Heath drafted, argued against the proposal, and insisted that, since policy making remained the responsibility of the minister and implementation the duty of the education department, the effectiveness of execution must continue to be overseen by a body that was independent: the PSB. Although it did not lead immediately to the establishment of an education commission, the Rydge report did result in the board being compelled from 1969 to delegate to the director-general staff recruitment, appointments, promotions, and discipline.
Heath retired from the PSB in 1968. He continued to hold a number of positions in higher education, including those of chairman of the board of governors of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music (1973–77) and member of the council of the University of New South Wales (1955–81), with a particular role on the board of International House; he was also chairman of the Sutherland Hospital board and a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1955–72). He chaired the committee that led in 1971 to the establishment of the Riverina College of Advanced Education.
Described as bringing a ‘solid, no-nonsense but genial judgment’ to administration (International House 2014), Heath was also remembered as diplomatic and idealistic (Sydney Morning Herald 1992, 4). He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from the University of New South Wales in 1979, and appointed OBE for his services to the community in 1973. Survived by a daughter, he died on 13 July 1992 at Carss Park, New South Wales, and was cremated. The Harry Heath room at the University of Technology Sydney is named after him.
Canberra Times. ‘N.S.W. Education in “Grave Position”.’ 31 August 1954, 4; Curnow, Ross. ‘Wurth, Wallace Charles (1896–1960).’ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wurth-wallace-charles-12080/text21673, published first in hardcopy 2002, accessed online 17 July 2015; Duffield, Jill. ‘The Making of the Wyndham Scheme in New South Wales.’ History of Education Review 19, no. 1 (1990): 29–42; International House, University of New South Wales. ‘Harry F. Heath OBE.’ 2014. Accessed 13 August 2015. ihunsw.edu.au/fellows-harry-f-heath-obe/. Copy held on ADB file; Narrandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser. ‘Teachers’ Federation: New State President Once a Teacher at Narrandera.’ 10 June 1952, 2; O’Brien, John Michael. ‘The New South Wales Teachers’ Federation, c. 1957–1975.’ PhD thesis, University of Wollongong, 1985; State Records New South Wales. 13/12365, Public Service Board (New South Wales), Correspondence Files, Miscellaneous Papers and Reports (Chairman of the Board); Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Teacher’s Life of Service.’ 23 July 1992, 4; Yelland, Hedley. ‘Inspection.’ Draft manuscript, Sydney, 1993; Yelland, Hedley. Interview.
G. E. Sherington
John P. Hughes
HELE, Sir IVOR HENRY (1912–1993), artist, was born on 13 June 1912 at Edwardstown, Adelaide, youngest of four children of South Australian–born parents Arthur Harold Hele, chaff-mill foreman, and his wife Ethel May, née Thomas. As a child Ivor initially studied art under James Ashton [q.v.7] at Prince Alfred College and Ashton’s Academy of Arts, and then undertook night classes at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts (SASAC) where he was taught by Margaret Walloscheck and, later, Marie Tuck [q.v.12]. When he was thirteen Ashton sent his work to London, where it was awarded the Princess Louise Gold Star by the Royal Drawing Society. The following year the society awarded him a bronze and a silver star.
In 1926 Hele commenced exhibiting at the Royal South Australian Society of Arts (RSASA) and continued to have his work shown in the society’s spring and autumn exhibitions until 1930. By 1927 it was clear that he wanted to pursue a professional art career and he left school to study full time at the SASAC. The following year, after Tuck had helped win his parents’ consent, he travelled alone to Europe to study figure work in Paris under Louis Francois Biloul and then in Munich with Moritz Heymann.
Hele returned to Adelaide at the beginning of 1930, and set up a studio on the top floor of his parents’ house in Brown Street. From then on he was a committed studio artist, maintaining a disciplined working method and schedule that would underpin his practice for the rest of his life. Later that year he held his first solo exhibition at Argonaut Galleries; another solo exhibition at the same gallery followed the next year.
On 24 March 1932 Hele married Millicent Mary Jean Berry, a school teacher, at the Manse, Germein Street, Semaphore. The couple travelled to Europe so that Ivor could study again under his former masters, Biloul and Heymann. Returning to Adelaide, he taught life drawing part time at the SASAC. From 1933 he began again to exhibit at the RSASA, and showed his work there consistently until 1939.
By this time Hele was achieving success particularly as a portraitist and a painter of complex figure compositions, the genres for which he is best known. He was awarded the RSASA Melrose prize for portraiture in 1935, 1936 and 1939, cementing his reputation with Adelaide’s establishment. In 1936 he gained a commission to design two large relief panels for the Pioneers’ Memorial, Moseley Square, Glenelg, and also won the South Australian Centenary Art prize (for the best historical painting) for his The Reading of the Proclamation. His painting Sturt’s Reluctant Decision to Return was awarded the Sesquicentenary Commonwealth Art prize in 1938.
In 1937 Ivor and Jean moved to a former coaching inn at Aldinga on the Fleurieu Peninsula where he set up a studio that would be his workplace for the remainder of his life. Rather than travel to his subjects, those commissioning portraits came to him including Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, (Sir) Robert Menzies [q.v.15], on two occasions. His skill at taking quick likenesses in pencil or chalk, coupled with his ability to work such drawings up into fine, expressive portraits, or descriptive figure compositions, enhanced his already growing reputation. Despite the apparent ease with which he painted commissioned portraits, Hele found them exhausting to undertake, working intensely, ‘obsessed with that one thing’ until completion (Hylton 2002, 32).
Some of Hele’s finest work was produced during his years as a war artist. He enlisted on 29 June 1940 in the Australian Imperial Force, in the expectation of being appointed an official war artist. He sailed for the Middle East where, on 9 January 1941, the appointment was made and he was commissioned as a lieutenant (later captain). Back in Australia from March 1942, he had two tours in New Guinea (1943–44), the second ending when he suffered severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident. After convalescing at home, he transferred to the Reserve of Officers on 5 February 1947 but continued to produce war paintings for the next three years. His works had been shown in touring Australian War Memorial (AWM) exhibitions in 1942, 1943, and 1945. Paintings undertaken in New Guinea show a distinct change in palette from the high-keyed pastel pinks, oranges, and greys he had favoured in North Africa to deep greens, greys, and browns reflecting the oppressive nature of the climate and landscape.
Once discharged, Hele resumed part-time teaching at the SASAC and exhibiting at the RSASA. In 1951 he was awarded the Archibald [q.v.3] prize for his portrait of Laurie Thomas. He would go on to win the prize four more times (1953, 1954, 1955, and 1957). During this decade of success, Hele again served as a war artist; with the army rank of major, he spent much of the spring and summer of 1952 in Korea. In 1954 he was appointed OBE, gaining further recognition with his appointment as a trustee to the board of the National Gallery of South Australia (1956–69). On 21 March 1957, having divorced Jean earlier that month, he married May Elizabeth (June) Weatherly, a book-keeper, at Brougham Place Congregational Church, North Adelaide. There were no children from either marriage.
Major commissions from the AWM allowed Hele to create some of his busiest and most dramatic figure compositions, and he completed major works in 1959, 1962, 1964, and 1967. The first monograph on the artist was published in 1966. In 1969 he was appointed CBE, and he was knighted in 1982. The AWM published another book on his life and art in 1984, and he completed his last portrait commission, that of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, in the same year.
Hele’s work was distinguished by an exceptional talent for figure work. He believed strong drafting abilities were the foundation of any form of artistic endeavour and that ‘only your own hard work teaches you anything of value in the end’ (Age 1962, 18). Never an artist to experiment widely, it suited his working methods to stay largely with portraiture, nudes, and figure compositions. The landscapes surrounding his Aldinga home were also the basis for many paintings, revealing a more personal side of the artist’s work, a counterpoint to the formal portraits and the confronting subject matter of his war output. His topographically accurate beach and cliff scenes often incorporate athletic figures on horseback dashing through the waves, women and healthy young children frolicking in the surf or fishermen hauling on nets, and reflect his almost daily visits to the beach. He admired strength, beauty, robustness, and vigour, and sought throughout his life to energise his works with these human characteristics.
Survived by his wife, Hele died on 1 December 1993 at Bedford Park and was cremated. The AWM recognised his work with a touring exhibition and book. In 2002 another monograph on the artist was published by Wakefield Press, Adelaide, to accompany an exhibition at Carrick Hill. In addition to his prodigious output of artworks, his legacy can be found in the South Australian artists that he trained in life drawing, including Jacqueline Hick, Jeffrey Smart, David Dallwitz, John Dowie, Marjorie Hann, Hugo Shaw, Mary Shedley, and Geoff Wilson.
Age (Melbourne), 10 March 1962, 18; Art Gallery of New South Wales. ‘Archibald Prize’. Accessed 7 July 2016. www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/archibald/; The Art of Ivor Hele. Adelaide: Rigby Limited, 1966; Fry, Gavin. Ivor Hele: The Soldier’s Artist. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1984; Hylton, Jane. Ivor Hele: The Productive Artist. Kent Town: Wakefield Press, 2002; National Archives of Australia, 93, 50/4/2/66 Parts 1 and 2, D1358, SX7174; Wilkins, Lola. Ivor Hele: The Heroic Figure. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1997.
HENDERSON, DONALD JAMES (DON) (1937–1991), folk-singer, composer, poet, and musical instrument maker, was born on 17 January 1937 in Melbourne, son of Harold Richard Henderson, spring maker, and his wife Lillian Beatrice, née Saunders. Don grew up in a wealthy family in the semi-rural suburbs of Maidstone and Moonee Ponds, and was educated at Essendon High School and The Melbourne Technical College. He completed an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner in the family business, Henderson’s Federal Spring Works Ltd, in 1957. Henderson learnt violin and mandolin before picking up a guitar at sixteen. He initially studied jazz guitar, and played rhythm mandolin and guitar for square dances before joining a rock and roll band, The Thunderbirds, in 1956. After being called up for national service in 1957, for which he was found physically unfit, he worked briefly for the Snowy Mountains Authority. This experience produced one of his best-known songs, the Woody Guthrie-inspired ‘Put a Light in Every Country Window’.
In 1958 Henderson married a musician, Marian Grossman. He moved to Sydney where, at the Royal George Hotel Saturday afternoon singing sessions and the Sydney Bush Music Club, he encountered songs that he had first heard as fragments from swagmen who tramped past, and camped near, his childhood home. His interest in folk and bush music blossomed and he soon became well known as a singer and songwriter in Sydney’s folk clubs and other venues. His marriage did not survive the move, however. Using Sydney as a base, he started travelling and working at a variety of jobs around Australia. He had a range of skills, including carpentry, and, importantly, he started repairing and making guitars, banjos, and dulcimers.
On a trip to Brisbane in 1961, Henderson met Geoffrey and Nancy Wills, founding members of the Brisbane Union Singers. Although never a member of any political party, Henderson had joined the Builders Labourers Federation when he first arrived in Sydney and he spent his lifetime committed to the cause and struggles of working men and women. He and Geoffrey Wills travelled to Mount Isa, Queensland, during the strike of 1965 at the request of the local Trades and Labour Council; there Henderson wrote, and together they performed, a number of songs including ‘Isa’, ‘Who Put the W in AWU’, and ‘Talking Mt Isa’, before being run out of town by the police.
The first recording of Henderson’s singing was an album, The Ballad of Women, a record he made in 1964 with the Brisbane Union Singers that featured his songs ‘Talking Carpenter’, ‘The Happy Song’, and ‘Wittenoom Gorge’. The album Basic Wage Dream (1964), released by the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations featured his songs ‘The Basic Wage Dream’ and ‘Talking Basic Wage’, and formed part of the 1964 basic wage campaign. In 1966 Henderson and the Brisbane Union Singers released One Out, featuring thirteen of his songs including ‘Hooker Rex’, the anti-war song, ‘Boonaroo’, and ‘Peace Is Union Business’. On 28 April 1967 at the registrar general’s office, Sydney, Henderson married Sally Watson, an English-born nurse.
In 1970 Henderson released a songbook, I Can Sing, which contained twenty-seven songs and a poem. In the introduction he wrote, ‘I have seen a few things and met a few people … they are my life, and no man wants his life to go for nothing’. His album Ton of Steel (containing thirteen original songs), released in 1971, featured ‘The Westgate Bridge Disaster’, written by Henderson at union request as a memorial to the thirty-five men who died when the bridge collapsed during construction.
Henderson moved with his family to England in 1971, living in London and in Sussex where he wrote, performed, and continued to make and repair guitars. Together with Craig McGregor and John (‘Poli’) Palmer, he co-wrote songs for the rock opera Hero, which was performed by the Australian Opera in Sydney in 1976—extracts of two of the songs were included in the compilation The Songs of Don Henderson, released posthumously in 2009. The Hendersons returned to Australia in 1979 and after a brief stay in Melbourne they moved to Brisbane, where Don became actively involved in the Queensland Folk Federation. He continued to organise folk concerts and perform at clubs, including the 291 Folk Club, and he contributed to the 1979 album Flames of Discontent. In 1986 he released In My Time, containing songs he had written between 1961 and 1979. Henderson’s music is difficult to categorise; many considered him to be an Australian Woody Guthrie. In his own words he was ‘a rake and a rambling man and an anarchist’ (Lowenstein 1992, 21).
Survived by his wife and two children, Henderson died of hypercalcaemia and lung carcinoma at Wesley Private Hospital, Auchenflower, Brisbane, on 20 August 1991 and was cremated.
Australian Tradition (Box Hill). ‘Don Henderson – Not Just a Coffee Shop Protester.’ July 1965, 21; Henderson, Don. I Can Sing. North Sydney: Horwitz Publications, 1970; Henderson, Don. A Quiet Century: 100 Songs and Poems. Nambour: Queensland Folk Federation, 1994; Lowenstein, Wendy. ‘It’s My Time Mister, And My Price.’ Overland, no. 129 (1992): 19–22; McGregor, Adrian. ‘Don’s Songs of Struggle.’ National Times (Sydney), 9–15 March 1980, 51; McGregor, Craig. People, Politics and Pop. Sydney: Ure Smith, 1968.
HENDERSON, JAMES ROBERT (BOB) (1916–1991), air force officer and business executive, was born on 24 September 1916 at Mosman, Sydney, son of English-born James Henderson, company managing director, and his German-born (of Australian parentage) wife Ella Madeline, née Maurice. Educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore), in 1934 Bob became a factory student (intern) with W. D. & H. O. Wills (Australia) Ltd, a subsidiary of the British Tobacco Co. (Australia) Ltd. He played first-grade cricket for Mosman, which won the Sydney competition in the 1938–39 season.
After World War II broke out in September 1939, Henderson joined the Citizen Military Forces and soldiered part time with the 1st Anti-Aircraft Brigade, Sydney. In November 1940 he volunteered for service under the Empire Air Training Scheme and on 20 July 1941 enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force. He was recorded as being 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall and having blue eyes and brown hair. Awarded his pilot’s badge (‘wings’) on 27 February 1942 and commissioned in April, he sailed for Britain in June. He became the skipper and only Australian member of a seven-man crew training for the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command. In April 1943 the airmen were posted to No. 460 Squadron, RAAF, based at Breighton, Yorkshire, and shortly afterwards, Binbrook, Lincolnshire.
Henderson aborted two sorties because of mechanical failures before he undertook his first mission, bombing Dortmund, Germany, on the night of 4–5 May 1943. Being allotted a ‘lucky’ aircraft, the famous Lancaster G for George, proved a mixed blessing, as he considered the battle-worn George a ‘dreadful bloody aircraft’ (Henderson 1988), difficult to handle. In July, following seventeen sorties, including twelve in George, he was selected to play services cricket. He was saddened to learn that, during his absence, two of his crew members were shot down while on loan to another crew. At month’s end he resumed operations, in time for the bombing of Hamburg, and encountered the strongest searchlight, anti-aircraft artillery, and night-fighter defences to date. With sound teamwork and luck, he and his crew completed their tour of thirty sorties, their final mission being a raid against Stuttgart on the night of 7–8 October. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for ‘high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty’ (NAA A9300).
During a year as an instructor, Henderson was promoted to flight lieutenant. In October 1944 he commenced another tour with No. 460 Squadron. Promoted to acting squadron leader in November, he commanded ‘B’ Flight and carried out seventeen bombing sorties. The ‘exceedingly loyal and efficient’ officer, possessing ‘marked qualities of leadership’ (NAA A9300), motivated his subordinates to give of their best. His final mission, on 3 May 1945, was a food drop to Dutch civilians. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (1945) in recognition of his cool and fearless conduct in a large number of operations.
Demobilised on 1 April 1946 in Sydney, Henderson returned to W. D. & H. O. Wills. He managed tobacco factories at Forbes and, for the parent company from 1951, in Melbourne, then returned to Sydney, where he headed the manufacturing branch (1958–72) and the manufacturing and development section (1972–81). On 20 April 1950 at the district registrar’s office, Chatswood, he had married Evangeline (Ena) Mary Wade, née Ditton, a trained nurse and a divorcee. Predeceased by her, and survived by his son and daughter, he died on 4 November 1991 at Narrabeen and was cremated.
Australian War Memorial. AWM64, 1/293 and 1/295; British American Tobacco Australia Ltd. Staff Employee’s History Card, Henderson, James Robert; Henderson, James Robert. Interview by Laurence Field, 30 March 1988. Transcript. Australian War Memorial; Herington, John. Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939–1943. Vol. III of Series 3 (Air) of Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1954; National Archives of Australia. A9300, HENDERSON J. R.
HENDERSON, RONALD FRANK (1917–1994), economist and social reformer, was born on 27 May 1917 at Dundee, Scotland, only child of Charles Frederick Henderson, jute manufacturer, and his Australian-born wife Janet Alice Millar, née Steel. The Henderson family owned and managed a spinning and weaving factory in Dundee and were active in financial investments. His mother was born in Melbourne and he visited Australia three times as a child. Educated at home by a governess until the age of nine, Ronald then boarded at the Cargilfield School near Edinburgh and, from the age of twelve, at Trinity College, Glenalmond, an Anglican school in the Perthshire Hills. His father gave serious thought to ‘the condition of the people’ (Ironmonger and Perkins 1995, 284), devoting both time and money to charitable organisations such as the Dundee Royal Infirmary, and Ronald followed in this tradition of philanthropy.
In 1935 Henderson entered Clare College, Cambridge (MA, 1938), to study economics. Supervised by Maurice Dobb, and for a term in his final year by Joan Robinson, he obtained first-class honours in each of his undergraduate years. He was greatly affected by the social work he undertook during university vacations, notably in Wales where he lived for a while with an unemployed family and learned to use a pick and shovel. Much later he recalled that he had seen much worse poverty in Britain than he ever saw in Australia. During his first year as a research student at Cambridge (1938–39), Henderson was supervised by John Maynard (Baron) Keynes, but World War II interrupted his career. Joining the Royal Artillery in 1939, he worked for a year in the Dundee-based investment company Alliance Trust until he was called up. He then served as an officer in the Royal Artillery and from January 1945 in the infantry in the Black Watch, rising to the rank of captain.
Returning to Cambridge in 1946, Henderson resumed his doctoral studies (PhD, 1949) under the supervision of (Sir) Dennis Robertson. The resulting book, The New Issue Market and the Finance of Industry (1951), was a pioneering study of emerging financial institutions. In 1946 he was elected a fellow of Corpus Christi College, and in 1948 he became a university lecturer and the treasurer of the college. He was successful in both teaching and financial management and continued his research on company finance and the United Kingdom’s monetary system, co-editing (with Brian Tew) and authoring three chapters of Studies in Company Finance (1959).
On 12 August 1950 at the Armadale Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, Henderson had married his cousin Frances Mary Isabel Steel, a nurse. The first of the couple’s three children died in infancy. Henderson twice travelled to Australia on sabbatical, as a visiting fellow (1953–54) at The Australian National University and as a guest of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1960. During the latter visit, economists at the University of Melbourne sought his advice on the need for independent research in economic policy in Australia. At their request, he wrote a typically brief, two-page memorandum, drawing on his knowledge of the department of applied economic research at Cambridge.
In 1962 the Ritchie professor of economic research at the University of Melbourne, Richard (Dick) Downing [q.v.14], persuaded the university to set up an Institute of Applied Economic Research (later Economic and Social Research), with Henderson as its founding director. Arriving in December, Henderson recruited two former students, John Rose and Peter Stubbs, who led work on Australian financial markets, and research and innovation, respectively. Under Henderson’s firm but tolerant leadership for nearly two decades, the Melbourne Institute (as it was widely known) grew to a staff of fifty and was to have a major transformative impact on Australian life.
Henderson was elected to the Social Science Research Council (later the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia) in 1964. He was granted a personal chair at the University of Melbourne in 1966, the year he commenced, with colleagues, the first major attempt to measure poverty in Australia. The results, published in People in Poverty: A Melbourne Survey (1970), aroused the national conscience, and led the McMahon government to establish the Commission of Inquiry into Poverty in 1972, with Henderson as chairman. Presenting its first (and main) report in 1975, the commission sought to establish the minimum income required for an adequate but austere standard of living, defining what became known as the Henderson Poverty Line. Many of the commission’s findings and recommendations were overlooked in what Henderson later described as a ‘conspiracy of silence’ (McGirr 1995, 36).
In 1968 two of Henderson’s doctoral students, Richard (Dick) Scotton and John Deeble, produced a blueprint for a universal health care system, which was implemented by the Whitlam government in 1975 as Medibank and extended by the Hawke government as Medicare in 1984. From 1968 the Melbourne Institute published Australian Economic Review, which provided independent economic forecasts. Henderson’s interest in corporate finance was reflected in the work of Rose with Federal governments of both political persuasions, which reshaped corporate legislation in Australia. Henderson and the institute also provided intellectual foundations for the Prices and Incomes Accord, which underpinned Australian economic policy under Labor governments from 1983 to 1996.
After a period of remarkable achievement, Henderson retired from the institute in 1979, but continued to be active, especially in social policy with the Victorian Council of Social Service and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. He left a powerful intellectual legacy through his key characteristics: a love of discussion and an ability to go to the heart of important matters; a broad perspective, ranging from issues of financial governance and macroeconomics to social issues; and a deep commitment to both economic efficiency and social justice. He was appointed CMG in 1976 and AO in 1988.
While wealthy, Henderson lived simply and with devotion to his family, the Uniting Church, gardening, and golf, and above all to the welfare of the whole community. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 1985, and again in 1991. Survived by his wife and their daughter and son, he died at Toorak on 28 December 1994 and was cremated. Following his death the University of Melbourne created the Ronald Henderson chair at the Melbourne Institute, and a foundation in his name that supports applied social and economic research among younger specialists.
Faber, Thomas Erle. ‘Ronald Frank Henderson: 27 May 1917–28 December 1994.’The Corpus Letter 74 (Michaelmas 1995): 14–21; Ironmonger, Duncan, and Jim Perkins. ‘Ronald Frank Henderson 1917–1994.’ Economic Record 71, no. 214 (1995): 284–90; Larkin, John. ‘A Man of Poverty Takes Stock.’ Age (Melbourne), 12 March 1979, 11; McCaughey, Jean, and Davis McCaughey. Ronald Frank Henderson 1917–1994: A Tribute. Melbourne, Vic.: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 1997; McGirr, Michael. ‘Ronald Frank Henderson, 1917–1994.’ Eureka Street, March 1995, 36; Nieuwenhuysen, John. ‘Ronald Henderson: An Appreciation.’ In Australian Poverty: Then and Now, edited by Ruth Fincher and John Nieuwenhuysen, xii–xvi. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1998; Saunders, Peter, ed. Revisiting Henderson: Poverty, Social Security and Basic Income. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 2019; Sheehan, P., B. Grewal, and M. Kumnick, eds. Dialogues on Australia’s Future: In Honour of the Late Professor Ronald Henderson. Melbourne: Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, 1996.
HENDERSON, WILLIAM (BILL) GEORGE (1919–1995), army officer, was born on 19 July 1919 at Clifton Hill, Melbourne, son of William Alfred Leslie Harrison Henderson, medical practitioner, and his wife Winifred Ethel, née Jenkin, both Sydney-born. During the 1920s the family moved to Parkes, New South Wales. Bill was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore, 1934–38), becoming a prefect, captain of athletics, and a lieutenant in the school’s cadet corps. Having worked as a jackeroo and served part time in the 6th Light Horse Regiment, Citizen Military Forces, in February 1940 he entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australian Capital Territory. He was commissioned in June 1941.
Following a series of training and regimental postings in Australia and his transfer (July 1942) to the Australian Imperial Force, Lieutenant Henderson served with the 19th Battalion in Papua and New Guinea from March 1944. He moved with the unit to New Britain in December 1944 and saw action in March 1945. By May he was at First Army headquarters, Lae, New Guinea. On 2 July 1945 he was promoted to temporary captain (substantive August 1948). He married Catherine (Kate) Dorothy Russ, a corporal in the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force, on 23 July 1945 at the chapel of his old school.
The next year Henderson attended the Army Staff College, Cabarlah, Queensland, before holding appointments at Western Command, Perth, and as brigade major of the 13th Infantry Brigade. Between 1950 and 1952 he served at Army Headquarters, Melbourne. In January 1953 he joined the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), in Korea. He served as a company commander and second-in-command during final operations on the Jamestown Line, a series of defensive positions. For his administration and leadership he was appointed OBE in 1954. Having left the unit in March, he was made temporary lieutenant colonel (substantive May 1955) and joined the headquarters of the 3rd Division. In June 1955 he was posted to the headquarters of Far East Land Forces in Singapore, where he coordinated operations against communist insurgents in Malaya. Returning to Australia in November 1957, he took command of 2nd Battalion, RAR. At his first unit parade at Holsworthy army camp, he gave an unusual command for the men to sit on the ground while he inspected their footwear, giving rise to his nickname ‘Boots’.
Appointed chief instructor at the School of Tactics and Administration, Seymour, Victoria, in November 1958, Henderson was subsequently acting commandant of the Jungle Training Centre, Canungra, Queensland, from July 1960. He was granted the temporary rank of colonel in November (substantive May 1964), and proceeded to London as assistant head of the Joint Services Staff at the Australian High Commission. Back in Australia in 1963, he became commander of the support unit at the Woomera rocket range, South Australia. After serving on the headquarters staff of Southern Command (1964–66), Melbourne, he went to Washington as military attaché and army representative at the Australian Embassy, and also military adviser to the Australian high commissioner in Ottawa (October 1966 – February 1969). On 1 August 1967 he was promoted to brigadier. Having returned to Australia in early 1969, he was appointed commander of the 6th Task Force, based in southern Queensland.
In May 1970 he left for South Vietnam, where he assumed command of the 1st Australian Task Force on 1 June. The Gorton government had announced in April that his three infantry battalions would be reduced to two late in the year. Believing that the People’s Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong) were avoiding pitched battles and waiting for all foreign forces to withdraw, he replaced large-scale operations with close ambushing. This was to deny the enemy access to infrastructure and sources of supply in the principal villages, as well as to inflict heavy casualties with minimal own losses. Concurrently, he increased efforts to train South Vietnamese forces and cooperate with them in the field. In November he courted controversy when he observed to the press that the reduction of his force would mean the remaining units would have to work harder to maintain control of the same area of responsibility. He was awarded the DSO (1971) for his leadership. Returning to Australia in March 1971, he was promoted to temporary major general (substantive June 1973) commanding the 1st Division, the army’s principal field formation. From November 1973 he headed Training Command, until transferring to the Retired List on 16 March 1976.
Appointed AO in January 1976, Henderson was described as ‘genial, conscientious and personally caring’ (Ekins and McNeill 2012, 432). In retirement he was honorary colonel of the Cadet Corps in New South Wales, and enjoyed rugby, cricket, tennis, and sailing. Despite suffering from osteoporosis, he proudly participated in the National Reunion and Welcome Home Parade for Vietnam veterans held in Sydney on 3 October 1987. On 10 October 1995 he died in Mosman Private Hospital and was cremated. He was survived by his wife and their three sons, of whom the eldest, William, served in Vietnam as a second lieutenant while on national service in 1968–69.
Coulthard-Clark, Chris, ‘Commander Made an Impact, Boots and All.’ Australian, 21 November 1995, 16; Ekins, Ashley, and Ian McNeill. Fighting to the Finish: The Australian Army and the Vietnam War, 1968–1975. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2012; Gorham, J. R., and Christopher Hewett, eds. The Torch Bearers. North Sydney: Sydney Church of England Grammar School, 1999; Horner, David, and Jean Bou, eds. Duty First: A History of the Royal Australian Regiment. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2008; National Archives of Australia. B2458, 3210, Henderson, William George; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Sydney Church of England Grammar School Register, 1889–1994. North Sydney: Shore Old Boys Union, 1994.
HENNESSY, NOREEN EILEEN (1912–1994), organist, was born on 6 August 1912 in Brisbane, youngest of three daughters of Queensland-born parents Thomas Hennessy, civil servant, and his wife Mary Agnes, née Mogan. From an early age Noreen displayed exceptional musical talent for violin and piano. She attended St Patrick’s primary school, Fortitude Valley. In 1932 she was the pianist for a fundraising performance of Sundowner, and by 1935 she was prominent among musicians and broadcasters in Queensland and south-eastern Australia.
Moving to Sydney, Hennessy was appointed organist at the Prince Edward Theatre in Castlereagh Street on 18 August 1944. For the next nineteen years she presented sparkling performances at the console of the Prince Edward’s Wurlitzer pipe organ, entertaining an estimated 2.5 million people. From the early 1930s silent films had given way to those with soundtracks. She was therefore not employed to improvise music and sound effects to match with films but rather to entertain audiences before, between, and after film screenings. Her popularity brought followers to the theatre as much to see and hear her perform as for the enjoyment of the film. She gave three performances a day, six days each week at the theatre, and on Sundays for eleven years was also musical director at the Western Suburbs Leagues Club. She gave many radio broadcasts from the Prince Edward Theatre organ for the Macquarie network, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and Radio Australia.
The special features of Hennessy’s performances were that she sang the words to the popular songs she presented; and that she played from memory, without sheet music in front of her. ‘People came to listen to me playing’, she recalled in a 1977 interview: ‘They came from Melbourne, Queensland, all over Australia. I could even keep teenagers quiet with Debussy’ (Bolton 1977, 10). The music she played ranged through ‘high-brow, middle-brow and low-brow’ (Sydney Morning Herald 1994, 15). She said, ‘I don’t think anyone minded what I played, as long as I played’ (Bolton 1977, 10). Her style and musical skills at the theatre organ can still be appreciated from several recordings.
Impending closure and demolition of the Prince Edward Theatre brought Hennessy’s final performance for patrons on 23 February 1964, and she also gave a private concert there on 15 August 1965. With the passing of the theatre organ era she largely disappeared from the public arena. In 1968 she suffered a severe nervous breakdown. She was reserved about her private life, and her movements in Brisbane and Sydney in later life are unclear. In 1977 she returned briefly to the spotlight to perform at the Music Hall theatre restaurant, Neutral Bay, Sydney.
Of medium height and build, Hennessy was always immaculately groomed with hair ‘permed’ in the fashion of the time. A well-known columnist, Leo Schofield, affectionately described her as ‘a real Sydney identity in the 1950s … blonde and beaming in crushed velvet and diamante’ (Schofield 1994, 34). Although she had been engaged in 1932, she never married. She died at Eastwood, Sydney, on 11 January 1994, and following a requiem Mass at St Anthony’s Catholic Church, Marsfield, was privately cremated.
Bolton, Clive. ‘Play It Again, Noreen.’ Australian, 5 July 1977, 10; Martin, K. J. Personal communication; Pratt, Tony. ‘Swansong of a Wurlitzer.’ Sun-Herald (Sydney), 15 August 1965, 92; Schofield, Leo, letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 January 1994, 34; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Queen of the Wurlitzer Reigned for Two Decades.’ 17 January 1994, 15; Webb, M. Personal communication.
G. D. Rushworth
HERMAN, SALI (1898–1993), artist, was born on 12 February 1898 at Zurich, Switzerland, eleventh of eighteen children of Polish Jewish parents, Israel Hermann Yakubowitsch, drapery salesman, and his wife Sahra Mirlia, née Malinski. As a child Sali drew continuously, and he developed an interest in painting while still at school. His desire to become a painter was supported by one of his secondary teachers, but he had to abandon this ambition to help support the family by working in a glove shop, especially after his father’s death in 1914. Later that year, however, he and one of his brothers left for England. They stopped in Paris instead, where he spent nearly two years working odd jobs to earn a living, immersing himself in the cultural life of the city and mixing with artists, writers, and poets. There he discovered the art of Manet, Courbet, and Van Gogh, as well as the work of Utrillo and the Post-Impressionist painters, including Cezanne.
After returning home in 1916, Yakubowitsch studied life drawing and composition at the Zurich Technical School, and painting at the Max Reinhardt school. He first exhibited his work publicly in 1918 at the Kunsthaus Zurich. In 1920 his painting of one of his sisters, Yetta (1919), won him a Carnegie Corporation of New York grant of 1,000 francs. He married Hannah Magnus in 1920 and worked full time as a dealer in oriental rugs, paintings, and other works of art. They separated in 1926, and on 25 August 1929 in Geneva he married French-born Paule (Paulette) Jeanne Marie Briand (d. 1973). He did not return to painting until about 1933. He had changed his surname to Hermann while completing compulsory military service (from 1918) in the Swiss Army with his six brothers; soon after emigrating to Australia the final ‘n’ would be dropped.
Leaving behind economic depression in Europe, rising anti-Semitism, and his frustration with the art-dealing industry, Hermann moved to Melbourne with his wife and the two children from his first marriage, arriving on 25 January 1937 to join his mother and several of his siblings, who had migrated there in 1920 to join his uncle. He studied briefly at the George Bell [q.v.7] school (1937–38), which was then regarded as the centre of the modern art movement in Melbourne, and became involved in the modernists’ fight against (Sir) Robert Menzies’s [q.v.15] proposed Royal Academy of Art.
Disillusioned with the politics of the art scene in Melbourne, and considering a return to Europe, Herman visited Sydney in 1938. He was immediately drawn to the beauty of the natural environment and the architecture and feel of many of the city’s buildings, and decided to remain. Association with artists such as Rah Fizelle [q.v.8], Grace Crowley [q.v.13], and Frank and Margel Hinder [q.v.]—all of whom also had experience of the world of international art—‘would have made him feel at home’ (Sali Herman Retrospective 1981, 8). He had an open and warm personality, and his circle of artist acquaintances grew: (Sir) William Dobell [q.v.14] became a firm and lifelong friend, as did the art historian and critic Bernard Smith. In July he joined the Contemporary Art Society, which had Bell as its president, as a foundation member.
Herman soon came to be known for his paintings of the streets, buildings, and slums of the inner city, where, at Potts Point, he made his home. Finding inspiration in the urban environment, rather than the outback scenes and gum trees then popular among many artists and collectors, he developed a distinctive style within Australian art. He was actively discouraged, however, in his renditions of the dilapidated houses with their peeling paint and squalid look that detracted from the beauty of Sydney, including by the director of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Will Ashton. The choice of his McElhone Stairs as the winner of the 1944 Wynne prize was criticised in the Bulletin, the art critic of which compared the selection of a painting of one of Sydney’s ‘slummiest aspects’ to the awarding of the Archibald [q.v.3] prize to Dobell for his portrait of Joshua Smith [q.v.] the year before (Bulletin 1945, 2). Herman maintained that artists must be true to themselves, and explained: ‘An old man or an old woman may not be attractive but may have beauty in their character. So it is with houses’ (Thomas 1962, 9).
Understating his age, Herman enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces on 22 July 1941 and transferred to the Australian Imperial Force twelve months later. He was employed as an instructor in camouflage with the School of Military Engineering’s fortress wing, Sydney, and with training units at Wagga Wagga, and in Victoria at Kapooka, until discharged in May 1944 with the rank of sergeant. In 1943 he had been naturalised. From May 1945 to April 1946 he was back in the AIF as a temporary captain and an official war artist, serving in New Guinea and on Bougainville. He based the twenty-six paintings he submitted to the Australian War Memorial on the many field sketches he had completed. Subjects included Japanese anti-aircraft guns stacked ready for surrender, road-building teams, camps, and soldiers burying the dead.
In 1946 Herman was awarded the Sulman [q.v.12] prize for Natives Carrying Wounded Soldiers; he won it again two years later for The Drovers. He also won the Wynne prize three more times: in 1962 for The Devil’s Bridge, Rottnest; in 1965 for The Red House; and in 1967 for Ravenswood I. For many years he held regular one-man exhibitions around Australia, as well as participating in group shows. In 1953 he exhibited at Leicester Galleries in London, and in 1962 his work was included in an exhibition of Australian art at the Tate Gallery. He was appointed OBE in 1971 and CMG in 1982.
Over his career, Herman painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. He gave classes, judged prizes, travelled extensively around Australia and through Europe, presented lectures, and wrote critically and assertively on many subjects related to contemporary art. He became a mentor to many artists. He is best known for his purposeful and decisive handling of the palette knife on canvas, and for his distinctive use of colour to evoke an emotional impact. His paintings and vision inspired a generation to re-examine the heritage and artistic potential of the urban environment. In 1981, in the catalogue foreword to his major retrospective exhibition, the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Edmund Capon, stated that: ‘His intimate, personal and evocative visions of what were once considered the backwaters of the city have become poignant statements on the march of progress’ (Sali Herman Retrospective 1981, 5).
A short man with ‘humorous eyes veiled with large horn-rimmed glasses’ and ‘his head circled with a halo of fuzzy white hair’ (Newton 1971, 2), Herman had a strong character, confidence, and personality. He was a lively conversationalist, generous with his time and money, and with a deep love of classical music and animals. He nurtured a love of art in his family: his son Edward (Ted) and his granddaughter Nada both became artists. From 1960 he had lived at Avalon, including in his later years with his son and daughter-in-law at their house Hy-Brasil—designed by the architect Alexander Stewart Jolly [q.v.Supp]—where for a time the three artists worked in a family studio. In July 1979 in Copenhagen he had married New South Wales–born Wanda Maie Williams, an occupational therapist (d. 1982). Survived by one son and one daughter from his first marriage, he died on 3 April 1993 at Harbord and was cremated. His work is represented in major Australian public collections, including the AGNSW and the National Gallery of Australia.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Research Library and Archive. MS 2000.2, Papers of Sali Herman; Bevan, Scott. Bill: The Life of William Dobell. Cammeray, NSW: Simon & Schuster, 2014; Bulletin (Sydney). ‘Archibald Prize.’ 31 January 1945, 2; Herman, Sali. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 3 November 1965. Transcript. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Herman, Sali. Interview by James Gleeson, 23 November 1978. Transcript. James Gleeson Oral History collection. National Gallery of Australia; The Hermans: Art in the Family. Curated by Katherine Roberts. Sydney: Manly Art Gallery and Museum, 2010. Exhibition catalogue; Hetherington, John. Australian Painters: Forty Profiles. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1963; National Archives of Australia. B883, NX102781, B883, VX138789; Newton, Gloria. ‘Sali Herman—At 73, He’s Really Only 50.’ Australian Women’s Weekly, 8 December 1971, 2; Sali Herman Retrospective. Edited by Barry Pearce. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1981. Exhibition catalogue; Swiss Artists in Australia 1777–1991. Edited by Barry Pearce. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1991. Exhibition catalogue; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘A Lover of the City’s Old “Slums”.’ 5 April 1993, 19; Thomas, Daniel. Sali Herman. Melbourne: Georgian House, 1962.
HERMES, CLARENCE LINDSAY (CLARRIE) (1921–1991), chief magistrate and intelligence officer, was born on 16 January 1921 at Arncliffe, Sydney, second son of New South Wales–born parents Alphonse Réné Hermès, schoolteacher, and his wife Daphne, née Browne. Clarrie’s family moved to South Australia in 1928 and he attended Birdwood High School, Adelaide Hills. He did not complete his Leaving certificate, which he later regretted. After finishing school in 1936 he worked briefly as a copy-boy with the Adelaide News, then as a clerk at the Union Bank of Australia Ltd.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Hermes enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 4 June 1940. As a wireless telegraphist and one of the first airmen trained to intercept enemy radio communications, he served at headquarters and in wireless units in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Victoria. In October 1944 he was commissioned and in April 1945 promoted to flying officer. On Labuan Island, Borneo, following the Allied invasion in June 1945, he displayed an ‘unusual flair’ (NAA A9300) for intelligence duties. He was demobilised in Australia on 4 March 1946.
Taking advantage of the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, Hermes attended the University of Adelaide (LLB, 1950) and was admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of South Australia on 18 December 1950. He worked in private practice at Whyalla until 1952 and then spent a year with the South Australian Crown Law Office. A keen member of the debating club while at university, he had been noticed by (Sir) Richard Blackburn [q.v.17], professor of law, who recommended him to the newly established Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). Hermes became one of the organisation’s first recruits and ‘most brilliant officers’ (Waterford 1991, 2).
On 9 May 1953 Hermes married Betty Ellen Lewthwaite in the Church of England, Whyalla. Following his marriage, he was sent to London for training with the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Poised to head the ASIS station in Indonesia, he resigned in 1957 after his friend and mentor Alfred Brookes failed to have his contract as ASIS director renewed. Returning to South Australia, Hermes worked briefly again for the Crown Law Office before moving into private practice. He liked the law but disliked its business side; he especially disliked ‘dunning people for money’ (Canberra Times 1970, 9). In 1961 he applied successfully for a position as a magistrate with the Adelaide Police Court. Two years later he was appointed a stipendiary magistrate for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Stern but unpretentious, Hermes soon developed an interest in the rehabilitation of young people. In 1967 he founded Outreach, a group dedicated to providing supervised homes for juvenile offenders. He was also active in Legacy and in various parents’ and citizens’ associations. From 1967 to 1970 he was president of the Council of Social Service of the ACT. He was appointed Canberra Citizen of the Year in 1968 and in 1969 received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship that enabled him to visit Europe and the United States to study legal practices concerning juvenile offenders.
Hermes stepped down from the bench to contest the by-election for the House of Representatives seat of the Australian Capital Territory as a Liberal Party candidate in 1970. Triggered by the death of James (Jim) Fraser [q.v.14], a popular and long-serving member of the Australian Labor Party, the by-election resulted in a huge swing to the Liberal Party, but not enough to elect Hermes. Following his defeat, he accepted a senior position in the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. Posted to London in 1974 as senior assistant secretary, he returned to Australia in 1979 as deputy president of the Repatriation Review Tribunal. In 1980 he was appointed Canberra’s chief magistrate. The rise in violent and drug related crime deeply saddened him. On retiring in 1984 he reflected that, apart from cases involving alcohol, drug cases had been ‘unknown when I first came to this court’ (Campbell 1984, 7).
At the request of Prime Minister Robert (Bob) Hawke, in 1984 Hermes conducted a special inquiry into the Sheraton Hotel incident in Melbourne in which ASIS officers had staged a mock hostage rescue operation without informing hotel management or staff. In 1985 he was appointed AM. Between 1984 and 1986 he conducted oral history interviews with former parliamentarians, including Sir John Gorton, for the National Library of Australia. He served as chairman of the ACT Credit Tribunal from 1987. Survived by his wife and four sons, he died on 24 January 1991 at Woden following a heart attack. A road at Gungahlin and a park at Hughes are named for him in Canberra.
Campbell, Rod. ‘Retiring Magistrate Cites Violent Crime and Drugs as Canberra’s Major Problems.’ Canberra Times, 4 March 1984, 7; Canberra Times. ‘Former SM Who Likes to Serve.’ 9 May 1970, 9; National Archives of Australia. A9300, HERMES, C. L.; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Waterford, Jack. ‘Hermes: A Humane Magistrate.’ Canberra Times, 25 January 1991, 2.
HEY, JOHN VICTOR (VIC) (1912–1995), rugby league footballer and coach, was born on 17 November 1912 at Liverpool, New South Wales, youngest of five children of English-born Joe Hey, hotel keeper, and his New Zealand–born wife Rose, née Taylor. Vic attended Canley Vale Public and Granville Central Junior Technical schools, where he first displayed his rugby league football talents. He represented New South Wales combined schools in 1927, and played junior rugby league in Guildford and Fairfield before signing for Western Suburbs (the Magpies) in the New South Wales Rugby League’s Sydney competition. In 1933, in his first season in first grade for Western Suburbs, he was chosen to represent the State. At the time he was working as an apprentice electrician; he would remain in the electrical trade for most of his career. An injury to Ernie Norman resulted in his selection as five-eighth for the Australian national team (the Kangaroos) on the 1933 to 1934 tour of Great Britain. When he received the invitation, he said that ‘I realise I have been extremely lucky … I’m an electrical mechanic’s apprentice, but I received my record shock’ (Sydney Sportsman 1933, 16). He played in twenty-six tour matches, including three Test losses to England, and scored fourteen tries.
Following the tour, Hey returned to Western Suburbs, playing in the premiership-winning team of 1934. On 16 July 1935 he married Kathleen Mary Rose, a stenographer, at the Catholic presbytery, Guildford. The couple moved to Queensland, where he played for Toowoomba and then Ipswich. He captained the Queensland representative team in 1936, and was selected to play for Australia in three Test matches against the touring English team. During this time, the Heys’ first son, Victor John, died of pneumonia at the age of five months.
In May 1937 Hey signed to play for Leeds in Britain. At the time the transfer fee of £1,400 was the highest paid by an English club for an Australian player. He played as five-eighth and captain, and led the team to Challenge Cup trophies in 1941 and 1942. During World War II he worked as an electrical mechanic in a factory producing small arms and heavy freight locomotives. In 1944 he joined Dewsbury, to represent his father’s home town. He played and coached there for three seasons. At the start of the 1947–48 season he coached and played for Hunslet, while awaiting a passage back to Australia.
Hey joined the recently formed Parramatta club in 1948. He was player-coach for that season and part of the next, then non-playing coach until 1953. His experience in England led to his appointment as the coach of Australia’s national team in 1950. He succeeded immediately, guiding Australia to its first rugby league Ashes series win against Great Britain since 1920. The same year he published a memoir, A Man’s Game, mostly reflections on his time in England. In 1951 he coached Australia to a series loss to France on home soil. After Australia finished third under him in the 1954 rugby league World Cup, he returned to club coaching. He led Canterbury-Bankstown in 1955 and 1956; took over his original club, Western Suburbs, in 1958 and 1959; and coached the country club Cootamundra in 1960 and 1961. In 1962 he ceased coaching to concentrate on his electrical contracting business.
Following the breakdown of his first marriage in 1951, Hey had married Joyce Veronica Wells, née Sanders, on 23 July 1954 at the office of the district registrar, Paddington, Sydney. He died on 11 April 1995 at Castle Hill, and was buried in Castlebrook cemetery, Rouse Hill; his wife, five sons, and one daughter, survived him. Known as the ‘Human Bullet’, and remembered as a well-built, speedy five-eighth and a strong leader, he had been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1990. Since his death, he has been acknowledged in the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame, the Western Suburbs Team of the Century, and the Australian Rugby League greatest 100 players. His son Ken played rugby league for Western Suburbs, Parramatta, and Penrith.
Hey, Vic. A Man’s Game. Sydney: Excelsis Press, 1950; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘League Legend Hey Dies.’ 12 April 1995, 59; Sydney Sportsman. ‘“I’m Only an Electrician’s Mechanic, But I’ve Received a Record Shock”: Vic Made Hay While Sun Shone.’ 1 July 1933, 16; Whiticker, Alan, and Glen Hudson. The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. 6th ed. Wetherill Park, NSW: Gary Allen Pty Ltd, 2007.
HILLS, PATRICK DARCY (PAT) (1917–1992), toolmaker and politician, was born on 31 December 1917 at Surry Hills, Sydney, the second of three surviving children of English-born John Shirley Hills, power station fireman (later foreman), and his wife Margaret Mary, née O’Sullivan, born in New South Wales. His father had been a friend and occasional sparring partner of the boxer Les Darcy [q.v.8], hence Patrick’s second name. John Hills was secretary (later president) of the local Belmore City branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), while Margaret provided the other half of a strong Irish Catholic family tradition.
Educated at the local parish school and at Marist Brothers’ High School, Darlinghurst, Hills was apprenticed as a fitter and turner with Australian General Electric Ltd, Auburn, in 1934. That year he became a member of both the Amalgamated Engineering Union and the ALP (led by J. T. Lang [q.v.9] in New South Wales). Specialising in toolmaking, he was prevented from serving during World War II as his skills were vital to heavy industry. On 20 December 1941 at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Daceyville, he married Stella Steele Smith, a cashier. They lived at Maroubra, where Hills soon became secretary of the local ALP branch. In 1942 he found work at the new General Motors Holden factory at Pagewood, building engines and body parts for trucks, armoured vehicles, and aircraft. After the war, he and two workmates formed a successful business partnership, GHM Engineering, in Surry Hills, supplying tools and jigs for the postwar development of the Holden car.
In 1948 Hills was elected an alderman of the Sydney City Council. The council was then controlled by a corrupt inner-city ALP political machine, but in 1952 the State executive installed Hills as lord mayor, the youngest ever, with the task of cleaning up the council. Among the key issues he had to address were chronic parking problems and controversy over street fruit vendors, who were accused of paying kickbacks to aldermen and council officers. Solutions included the building of designated public car parks in the city and removing street vendors to make way for parking meters. Hills also served as chairman (1952–54) of the Sydney County Council, which was responsible for Sydney’s electricity supply. In 1954 he welcomed Queen Elizabeth II to Sydney, controversially touching her arm as they walked down the Town Hall steps.
Hills had ambitions for higher electoral office. In 1949 he had unsuccessfully contested preselection for the Federal division of Watson, losing the ballot by one vote. In August 1954 he easily won a by-election for the inner-city State seat of Phillip. Supported by the State executive he continued as lord mayor until 1956, as his reform agenda had only just begun. He was to represent the seat of Phillip until it was abolished in 1981, after which he held the new seat of Elizabeth until 1988.
After the 1959 election, the premier, Joe Cahill [q.v.13], appointed Hills minister assisting the premier and treasurer. The surprise promotion of the ‘Golden Boy’ provoked some resentment among longer serving ministers. It was motivated by Hills’s link with the Sydney Catholic hierarchy, notably his friendship with the auxiliary bishop of Sydney, James Carroll [q.v.], which helped maintain a high level of Catholic voter support during the mid-1950s ALP split. When Cahill died in office in 1959, the new premier, Bob Heffron [q.v.14], appointed Hills minister for local government and minister for highways (1959–65). For a year before the 1965 election, at which the ALP lost government, Hills also served as deputy premier under Jack Renshaw [q.v.18]. In 1961 the Botany council honoured Hills by naming a new suburb Hillsdale.
After the second electoral victory of (Sir) Robert Askin’s [q.v.17] Liberal–Country coalition in 1968, Hills replaced Renshaw as leader of the Opposition. His task was to renew the policies and personnel of a party that had run out of ideas after twenty-four years in government. He led the party in two elections, picking up seats in 1971, but losing momentum in 1973. Although Hills had supported the recruitment of Neville Wran to the Legislative Council in 1970, he must have noted the threat when Wran moved to the Legislative Assembly in 1973. Wran was a media-aware politician in the Whitlam mould, while not even Hills’s own supporters would claim that he was charismatic. When he was elected lord mayor, one journalist had commented: ‘Interviewing Ald. Hills is like trying to interview a charming, polite clam’ (McLeod 1952, 8). Yet when a leadership ballot was taken after the 1973 election, Wran won by only one vote. Disappointed, Hills retired to the backbench for the remainder of that term.
At the May 1976 election Hills put aside his resentment and campaigned strongly at Wran’s side to help regain government for his party. He returned to the frontbench as minister for mines (1976–78), minister for energy (1976–81), and, following a reshuffle in August, minister for industrial relations (1976–88). He later served terms as minister for technology (1978–80, 1981–84), roads (1984), and employment (1986–88). He lost the energy portfolio in 1981 due to public pressure following power blackouts. His achievements in industrial relations included tough negotiations to allow Saturday afternoon and extended night shopping, reforms to public sector superannuation, and a complete restructuring of workers’ compensation. A capable administrator, he was able to find and implement policy compromises acceptable to seemingly irreconcilable interest groups.
During the years of the Wran Government, Hills was a senior parliamentary faction leader. He convened the initial meeting of the dominant Centre Unity faction in caucus to confront the left’s Steering Committee. He was skilled at arranging compromises within and between groups, making effective government possible. He was also the main factional boss in the inner-city electorates and municipalities at a time when the Steering Committee was sweeping away a corrupt local branch structure. His leadership at the local level was, however, non-interventionist, and a more active involvement might have prevented some of the worst excesses of his supporters in the inner-city branches.
In his youth Hills had been a good athlete. He was an active member of the Sydney Cricket Ground and a frequent attender at sporting events. He became a trustee of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground (SCSG) in 1961 and, while still a minister, was chairman of the trust (1977–89). In 1957 he had moved his family home from Maroubra to Centennial Park, within walking distance of the SCG. He brought the same skills of effective administration to the job as he exercised in government. During a period of increasing commercialisation in sport, including the establishment of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, Hills moved energetically to meet the challenges: the old Sports Ground and No. 2 Oval were transformed into the Sydney Football Stadium, while the Cricket Ground was redeveloped with new stands, floodlights, and an electronic scoreboard. The Pat Hills Stand was opened in 1984. Naming it after a politician was very controversial and it was later renamed the Bill O’Reilly [q.v.] Stand.
Hills’s chairmanship of the SCSG Trust provides a glimpse of his political style. While he had an interest in sport, he also recognised that the trust was an important social (and political) institution that needed to respond to rapid social change. His last press secretary commented at the time of his death:
If Pat Hills had a fault, it was that he could never condone any escapism, neither film nor play, alcohol, tobacco nor dirty joke. There was a job to do out there, he would say, and it was real and it would never be finished (Blair 1992).
Appointed AO in 1988, Hills retired from the Legislative Assembly prior to the election in March that year. Survived by his wife, three daughters, and two sons, he died of heart failure on 22 April 1992 at Darlinghurst, Sydney, and was cremated after a state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
Bailey, Paul. ‘Pat Hills. Labor’s Most Successful Also-Ran.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 1986, Good Weekend 24–26; Blair, John. Letter to Terry Sheahan, 24 April 1992. Sheahan Papers. Private collection; Gosman, Keith. ‘Hills – A Party Man to the End.’ Sun-Herald (Sydney), 26 April 1992, 27; Hogan, Michael, and David Clune, eds. The People’s Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales. 3 vols. Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, University of Sydney, 2001; McLeod, Zelie. ‘Alderman Patrick Hill Realises an Ambition.’ Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 9 December 1952, 8; Stephens, Tony. ‘Friends and Foes Farewell Pat Hills, “A Prince Among Men”.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 28 April 1992, 2.
HINCHLIFFE, ALBERT THOMAS (BERT) (1901–1993), newspaper editor, was born on 19 November 1901 at Crocodile, near Bouldercombe, Queensland, fourth of nine children of Queensland-born Daniel Hinchliffe, miner, and his Irish-born wife Margaret Isabella, née Inslay. Bert was educated at Rockhampton Technical College and studied several tertiary subjects privately, becoming a skilled shorthand writer. He joined Queensland Railways in 1916 and was employed as a clerk.
A 1921 visit to Rockhampton by the premier, Edward Theodore [q.v.12], set Hinchliffe on a new career path. The reporter who was to cover the event for the local Daily Record fell ill, and the editor, Godfrey Westacott [q.v.16], called on Hinchliffe to fill the gap. His report was so impressive that he was offered a job as a junior reporter the next day. The following year the newspaper became the Evening News. On 10 May 1926 he married Ena Vivian Simpson Cross at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Rockhampton.
The Dunn family, founders and proprietors of a Queensland newspaper empire, acquired the Evening News in 1929 and, a year later, appointed Hinchliffe to their sister paper, the Morning Bulletin, as chief of the reporting staff. In October 1942 he was transferred to the daily Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette, first as sub-editor, and then, in November 1943, as associate editor. After deputising for five years for the proprietor and editor, William Dunn [q.v.8], who lived in Brisbane, he was appointed to the senior position in 1951. He was the first non-proprietorial editor in the ninety-year history of the newspaper.
Hinchliffe was known for his integrity and ethical approach to journalism. In April 1966 the Toowoomba Development Board was upset when the Chronicle published criticism of the board’s latest proposals even though the newspaper had supported the plans editorially. In a memo to the Chronicle’s general manager, he strongly defended the principle of publishing all sides of a story. But when he formed the view that a story would be detrimental to the community or could harm innocent people, he withheld publication entirely. He strongly believed that regional newspapers were indispensable because of their intimacy with local opinions, priorities, and needs.
A ‘quiet, mannerly man, not easily ruffled and with a graceful writing style’ (Chronicle 1993, 11), Hinchliffe’s grandson described him as ‘a small man with a big heart and a first-rate mind’ (Chronicle 2015, 12). He continued as editor until his retirement in August 1969, and was succeeded in the role by his son, Bruce. His proudest achievement was establishing a training system for journalists. Among those he trained were four who became editors: Evan Whitton (National Times), Pat Hinton (Melbourne Herald), and Greg Chamberlin and David Smith (both the Courier Mail). He was appointed OBE in 1964.
As a young man, Hinchcliffe was an enthusiastic and periodically successful amateur jockey, and maintained an interest in boxing. In 1951 he won a Commonwealth prize for poetry. He was involved in numerous community organisations including the local branch of the Australian Red Cross Society, the Toowoomba Art Society, the Toowoomba Orchid Society, and Rotary and chess clubs. Collaborating with his grandson, the artist David Hinchliffe, he produced the illustrated Toowoomba Sketchbook (1977). Survived by his wife, son, and two daughters, he died on 13 October 1993 at Toowoomba and was cremated. A portrait by his grandson is held by the Chronicle (Toowoomba).
Chronicle (Toowoomba, Qld). ‘David Hinchcliffe’s Tribute to Grandfather.’ 11 September 2015, 12, ‘A Gentle-Man in Every Sense.’ 14 October 1993, 11; Hinchliffe, A. T. Autobiographical notes. Unpublished manuscript, 1976. Copy held by author; Kirkpatrick, Rod. ‘The Chronicle: Groomed to Survive.’ In They Meant Business: An Illustrated History of Eight Toowoomba Enterprises, edited by Bruce Hinchliffe, 48–82. Toowoomba, Darling Downs Institute Press, 1984, ‘Ghost of Caution Haunts House of Dunn: The Rise and Fall of a Queensland Newspaper Dynasty (1930−1989).’ PhD thesis, University of Queensland, 1994, Purposely Parochial: 100 Years of the Country Press in Queensland. Kelvin Grove, Qld: Queensland Country Press Association, 2008.
HINDER, HENRY FRANCIS (FRANK) (1906–1992), artist and teacher, and MARGEL INA HINDER (1906–1995), sculptor and teacher, were husband and wife. Frank was born on 26 June 1906 at Summer Hill, Sydney, fourth child of New South Wales–born parents Henry Vincent Critchley Hinder, medical practitioner, and his wife Enid Marguerite, née Pockley. He was educated at Newington College and Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and took art classes from Dattilo Rubbo [q.v.11], first at Newington and then at the school of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales in 1924. Rubbo’s injunction to draw rather than copy left a lasting impression. In 1925 he toured Europe with the Young Australia League. Returning to Sydney, having decided to become a commercial artist, he enrolled at East Sydney Technical College, where he worked under Rayner Hoff [q.v.9].
In September 1927 Hinder went to the United States of America seeking to improve his graphic skills. Over the next seven years he supported himself designing for advertising agencies and book and magazine publishers while studying and later teaching. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York, where teachers at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art invigorated him. Howard Giles and Emil Bisttram advocated Jay Hambidge’s system of pictorial composition, dynamic symmetry, from which Hinder developed a theoretical approach that focused on geometric ways of organising and relating the parts of a work.
Attending Bisttram’s summer school at Moriah, Lake Champlain, New York State, Hinder met Margel Ina Harris, a fellow student. She was born on 4 January 1906 at Brooklyn, New York, second child of Wilson Parke Harris, journalist, and his wife Helen, née Haist. The family had moved to Buffalo in 1909. Margel’s talent for sculpture was recognised early. As a small child she modelled rather than drew, and at the age of five she attended children’s classes at the Albright Art Gallery. She received a progressive education at Buffalo Seminary.
Studies followed in 1925 at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, under Florence Bach. Moving to Boston in 1926, she spent three years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, learning traditional modelling in clay and plaster from Charles Grafly and Frederick Allen. She preferred carving. On 17 May 1930 at the registry office, Wellesly, Massachusetts, she married Frank. From 1931 to 1934 Frank taught design and drawing at the Child-Walker School of Fine Art, Boston, where Margel attended his classes and those of Giles. In 1933 he held his first solo show, at Boston.
With the Depression biting, the Hinders moved to Sydney in August 1934, where they promoted modern art. For the next five years, they scratched a living as commercial artists. Margel experimented with carving Australian timbers. Interested in the contemporary movement and influenced by Eleonore Lange, they befriended like-minded artists, including Rah Fizelle [q.v.8], Grace Crowley [q.v.13], Ralph Balson [q.v.13], and Gerald Lewers and his wife Margo [q.v.15]. In May 1937 Frank held his first exhibition in Australia, at the Grosvenor Galleries.
Margel was naturalised in 1939. That year, with Lange, Frank organised Exhibition 1 at David Jones Art Gallery. Margel exhibited her carving and Frank exhibited the painting Dog Gymkhana (1939), perhaps his best-known work. His attempts to draw unity from complex modern-life subjects involving movement were received negatively by critics such as Howard Ashton. During 1939 Frank also helped Peter Bellew to establish the Sydney branch of the Contemporary Art Society (president, 1956).
Both Hinders contributed to Australia’s effort in World War II. As a lieutenant (1941–43) in the Citizen Military Forces and a member (1942–44) of William Dakin’s [q.v.8] directorate of camouflage in the Department of Home Security, Frank researched and developed methods of disguising and concealing equipment and structures. Margel made wooden models for use in this work. Frank received a war invention award for his ‘Hinder Spider’, an improved frame for draping a camouflage net over a gun.
With the war over, Frank returned to commercial art, and began teaching at the National Art School in 1946; he would continue until 1958. Margel lectured at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) (1948–50), taught sculpture at the National Art School (1949–50), and ran sculpture classes in her home studio (1950–51). In 1949 the couple had moved into a purpose-designed Sydney Ancher [q.v.13] house at Gordon. That year the AGNSW bought Margel’s Garden Sculpture (1945); it was her first work acquired by an Australian public gallery. It prefigured her increasing preoccupation with movement, and her ambition to progress from the classicism of a solid shape with a central axis. The spontaneity she sought was difficult to achieve in wood or stone, and in 1953 she began working with metal. Taking her inspiration mostly from nature, such as birds in flight, she made delicate constructions of thin wire and transparent perspex. Asymmetry, and the necessity to move around sculpture to comprehend its form, became central to her approach, and led to the revolving constructions she began in 1954.
The Hinders’ work was increasingly recognised during the 1950s. Frank controversially won the second Blake prize for religious art in 1952, although traditionalists derided his painting Flight into Egypt. He was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation medal in 1953, and won the Perth prize for contemporary art (watercolour) in 1954. His paintings were included in the exhibition Twelve Australian Artists, presented in Britain by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1953 and 1954. In 1953 Margel was placed among the first twelve sculptors in more than 3,000 entries for the international Unknown Political Prisoner competition. She was awarded the Madach (1955) and Clint (1957) prizes by the Contemporary Art Society, Sydney.
Frank’s interest in theatrical design blossomed when, between 1957 and 1965, he created seventeen sets and eleven costume designs, with assistance from Margel. His design for the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust’s The Shifting Heart (1957) won the Irene Mitchell award for set design. In 1963 he helped found the Australian Stage Designers’ Association (president, 1964). His work was exhibited at the 1962 Festival of Performing Arts: Theatre Design, Athens, and the 1967 Prague Quadrennial of Theatre Design and Architecture. He was appointed to the board of studies, National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1958.
Aware of what he had gained from his teachers in New York, Frank became an advocate for art education. From 1958 to 1964 he was head of the art department at Sydney Teachers’ College, and, in 1968, he resumed teaching at the National Art School. Artistic recognition also continued. His work was exhibited at the 1957 Synthesis of Plastic Arts, Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques, Paris; in Fifteen Contemporary Australian Painters, New Vision Centre Gallery, London, 1960; and at the VI Bienal de Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1961. In 1962 the War Memorial Gallery of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, staged a survey of forty of his works from 1925 to 1961.
Meanwhile, Margel had become one of the few women artists in Australia involved in large public commissions. She won the Blake prize for religious sculpture in 1961. The same year, her work was included in the Second International Sculpture Exhibition, Paris. She insisted her large public sculptures should be related to their setting, and reached a wide audience through many commissions that became part of Australia’s environment. Her desire to express movement would ultimately lead her to work with water. After winning a design competition, she was assisted by Frank to construct the fountain for Civic Park, Newcastle; it was completed in 1966. This water sculpture, later renamed Captain James Cook Memorial Fountain, is acknowledged as her masterpiece.
While Margel articulated movement with sculptural space in the round, Frank searched for objective order using light. Lengthy experimentation with colour organisation in his own painting, beside stage lighting, design, and rear projection, led him in 1967 to make luminal kinetics, sculpture in which coloured lights and designs interact upon each other.
In 1973 the Newcastle City Art Gallery held a retrospective exhibition of the Hinders’ work, their first joint exhibition and the first time that a body of Margel’s work was exhibited. For their services to art, both were appointed AM in 1979. Another joint retrospective exhibition was held at the AGNSW in 1980. Economy of form, spatial mastery, and imaginative innovation were hallmarks of their work. Their dedication to the visual arts was showcased in 1983 in the exhibition Frank and Margel Hinder—A Selected Survey, at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.
Opposite personalities, the Hinders complemented each other. They were frequently inspired by similar thoughts and attitudes, yet displayed great individuality in their work. As a friend observed, ‘Frank is the cliff, and Margel is the ocean’ (McGrath 1980, 12). Frank was tall, good-humoured, and self-deprecating, with a honeyed voice and avuncular manner. Margel was short, direct, and ardent, a perfectionist with a keen intellect who could be outspoken but also warm. His sharp sense of the comic and the absurd was a foil to her intensity and passion. He died on 31 December 1992 at Killara, and was cremated. Survived by their daughter, she died on 29 May 1995 at Roseville; she was cremated. For more than fifty years, they had formed an artistic partnership, influencing each other in the exchange of ideas and exploration of media, and in focus and style.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Research Library and Archive. MS1995.1, Papers of Frank Hinder, MS1995.2, Papers of Margel Hinder; Cornford, Ian. The Sculpture of Margel Hinder. Willoughby, NSW: Phillip Mathews Book Publishers, 2013; Free, Renee. Frank and Margel Hinder 1930–1980. Sydney: Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1980; Free, Renee and John Henshaw, with Frank Hinder. The Art of Frank Hinder. Willoughby, NSW: Phillip Mathews Book Publishers, 2011; McGrath, Sandra. ‘Marriage of Minds—50 Years On.’ Australian, 21–22 June 1980, 12; National Archives of Australia. B884, N279580; State Library of New South Wales. Frank Hinder Aggregated Collection of Papers, Pictorial Material and Cassette Tapes, c. 1745–1992; State Library of New South Wales. MLMSS 6088, Margel Hinder—Papers, c. 1900–1995.
HINZE, RUSSELL JAMES (RUSS) (1919–1991), dairy farmer, businessman, and politician, was born on 19 June 1919 at Oxenford, Queensland, second of three children of German-born August Carl Friedrick Hinze, farmer, and his Queensland-born wife Georgina Ann, née Dodds. After attending several state schools, Russ worked on his father’s milk run from age twelve until his late teens. He then bred Friesian cattle at Oxenford and acquired a horse stud at Pimpama. On 6 December 1947 at St Peter’s Church of England, Southport, he married Ruth Elizabeth Byth, a shop assistant.
In 1950 Hinze became the chairman of directors of the South Coast Co-operative Dairy Association and its subsidiaries. He served as Albert Shire chairman (1958–67), and in 1966 was elected to the Queensland parliament as Country Party—National Country Party (NCP) from 1975; National Party of Australia from 1982—member for the electorate of South Coast, winning over 80 per cent of Australian Labor Party (ALP) preferences. In 1968 he nominated (Sir) Johannes (Joh) Bjelke-Petersen for deputy leadership of the parliamentary CP.
Early in his career Hinze demonstrated his unsubtle individuality. In the Legislative Assembly he railed against modern plays which appeal ‘to those who could be regarded as sexually deprived or homosexuals, lesbians, wife-swappers or spivs’ (Qld Parliament 1969, 146). When the Liberal Party of Australia (LPA) challenged him at the 1969 election, he stunned and horrified his coalition colleagues by arranging a one-off preference deal with the ALP; he easily retained his seat. Following demonstrations in Brisbane during the 1971 South African rugby team’s tour of Australia, Hinze, a cricket enthusiast, warned in parliament that if South Africa’s cricket team ever toured Queensland and was met with similar behaviour ‘there will be no need to worry about the demonstrators. I will do them over myself’ (Qld Parliament 1971, 362). In November 1973 he argued on national television for capital punishment and castration of rapists, suggesting that, were the wrong man castrated, ‘modern medical science being what it is, they might give him a better one than he started with’ (Wells 1979, 84).
Dissatisfied with the government’s poor public image, Hinze was one of four parliamentarians who in October 1970 requested Premier Bjelke-Petersen to resign. Forewarned, the premier marshalled the numbers to survive and the coup failed. Hinze later denied intentions to unseat Bjelke-Petersen and became his staunch supporter, referring to him soon after as ‘a mighty little Premier’ (Qld Parliament 1971, 367). He made no secret of his ambition to be in cabinet and reputedly advanced his cause by strolling past the premier’s office singing in full voice:
hear my humble cry,
oh when others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.’
(Qld. Parliament 1991, 14).
Appointed minister for local government and electricity in October 1974, two months later Hinze relinquished the electricity portfolio but acquired that of main roads. In July 1980 he took on the additional portfolio of police, which he gave up in December 1982 in favour of the portfolio of racing, earning him the nickname ‘the Minister for Everything’ (Qld Parliament 1991, 6). According to (Sir) Robert Sparkes, Hinze was a strong minister ‘very much in control of his departments. He doesn’t let his public servants ride over the top of him’ (Trundle 1977, 4). Hinze once said, ‘Making decisions is the most satisfying thing under the sun’ (Australian 1991, 4).
At a congress of the Urban Development Institute in March 1977, Hinze claimed that he had told Bjelke-Petersen, ‘If you want the boundaries rigged, let me do it and we’ll stay in power forever’ (Wells 1979, 87). He subsequently protested that his comments were a joke, and that if there was a gerrymander in Queensland, it was the ALP that benefited. Much later he admitted that the boundaries were rigged in favour of the NCP (Morley 1989, 9). Divorced in 1980, on 27 June 1981 at the Albert Street Uniting Church, Brisbane, he married his former electorate secretary, Fay Jeanette McQuillan.
As minister for local government, Hinze allowed local authorities to maintain their autonomy, and amended the Local Government Act to give them extra discretionary powers. He stated in 1984, ‘I intend government controls over local authorities be kept to the barest minimum, and unnecessary red tape be eliminated’ (Locgov Digest 1984, 17). He was sceptical of the worth of the Federal Office of Local Government. Reversing the legislation of a previous NCP-LPA administration, in 1984 he introduced the bill for the election of local authority mayors by popular vote.
Hinze’s performance as minister for main roads was exceptional. Many roads were sealed and rendered usable all year round, vehicle registration costs were reasonably contained, and his policy of allowing departmental engineers a high degree of autonomy in dealing with local councils expedited proceedings considerably. Among his monuments were Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge, the Logan Motorway, and the Gillies Highway.
Particularly relishing the racing portfolio, Hinze spent government money profusely on new grandstands and racing centres, many of which were in remote locations and seldom used. Controversially, he negotiated the Racing Development Corporation’s purchase of Albion Park racecourse for $9 million, closing the sand gallops circuit and funding its conversion into a pacing centre, a project marked by cost blowouts. His knowledge of racing came as a breeder of racehorses and pacers. His galloper, Our Waverley Star, was narrowly defeated in the ‘race of the century’, the 1986 W. S. Cox Plate. When the Opposition asked Bjelke-Petersen in parliament how he could justify the choice of Hinze for racing minister when he owned one of the largest racing stables in Queensland, the premier replied that a declaration of interests would cover the situation.
While police minister Hinze contended that there were no illegal casinos in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, although at the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald inquiry) a retired licensing branch inspector claimed to have taken him around the area, pointing out places where gambling was taking place. Hinze said that he had been told that the only games taking place ‘were between Yugoslav, Italian and other ethnic groups playing cards’ (Roberts 1987, 2). A self-confessed corrupt policeman admitted deceiving him by telling him the illegal casinos were ethnic clubs. Hinze vehemently denied allegations made at the Fitzgerald inquiry that he had visited brothels, and he requested that parliament be recalled so that he could clear his name (Forrest 1988, 3). Bjelke-Petersen relieved Hinze of the police portfolio on 6 December 1982 because Hinze had clashed with Sir Edward Lyons, a National Party trustee and chairman of the Totalisator Administration Board (TAB) over the Board’s funds. On the same day, however, Hinze said he was stepping down because it was becoming too much work. He did not reveal the actual circumstances until some years later (Smith and Green 1988, 1).
After the election of 1983, several new ALP members of parliament decided to make a special project of examining Hinze’s business affairs. Known as the Special Hinze Investigation Team (or its acronym) the group made a co-ordinated effort through the future premier, Wayne Goss, to pursue Hinze. Goss used leaked information from Lyons to show that Hinze had improperly pressured the TAB to award a sub-agency licence to one of his companies. The new TAB chairman subsequently withdrew the licence. Goss baited him relentlessly in the Legislative Assembly on this and other business issues. Shaken, Hinze said he would retire from politics at the next election. While he quickly rescinded the decision, he never recovered from the mauling. Confronting Goss in private, Hinze asked him, ‘Why don’t you go after some of those other bastards? They are much more corrupt than I am’. Goss agreed to do so if documents were provided but Hinze just laughed (Wanna and Arklay 2010, 566). He continued to hold three portfolios until December 1987 when the incoming premier, Mike Ahern, did not include him in cabinet. Ahern told him that evidence linking him to starting-price bookmaking was expected to surface at the Fitzgerald inquiry.
Hinze’s last years were bitter and troubled. Refusing to accept his backbencher’s salary and electoral allowance, he donated the money to the Children’s Hospitals Appeal. He felt aggrieved at being asked to stand aside for ‘a reason which has not been proven’ (Voisey 1988, 12). He boycotted subsequent sittings of parliament although he was said to be handling electorate matters. Defeated in a last-ditch attempt to become deputy premier in April 1988, he resigned from parliament in May.
During the by-election campaign for his old seat Hinze attacked Ahern, claimed that the Queensland electoral boundaries were rigged, and blasted Commissioner Tony Fitzgerald for ‘political naïvety’ and as a ‘two-bob each way expert’ (Morley 1989, 9). He called the Fitzgerald inquiry ‘a bloody exercise in major political blunder’ (Siracusa 1990, 28). Inquiry testimony showed that while minister he had received $1.5 million in interest-free loans from various entrepreneurs and developers who were assisted in turn with favourable ministerial decisions. He told the inquiry that his ministerial conduct in these dealings was ‘at worst, less than ideal’ (Weekend Australian 1989, 8).
Although Hinze claimed that the inquiry showed no connection between any politician and an actual corrupt activity, he was charged in December 1989 on eight counts of having received a total of $520,000 in corrupt payments (Dunn 1991, 5). He had claimed an income of $360,000 per year, a figure that he said rendered him unsusceptible to bribes, although a political opponent asserted that many of Hinze’s properties were mortgaged (Stewart 1979, 7).
For medical reasons, including angina and the inability of his knees to bear his weight, Hinze was initially excused from appearing in court during his committal hearing. In a legal battle over his fitness to stand trial it was revealed that he was terminally ill with bowel cancer. Although a Supreme Court judge said it was probable he would die before a trial, it was ruled that he had to face committal proceedings. The corruption charges became a secondary concern to Hinze who, gravely ill, said ‘I’ve been sentenced by the Lord’ (Charlton 1991, 10).
Survived by his wife and the six children of his first marriage, Hinze died on 29 June 1991 in Allamanda Private Hospital, Southport, before he could stand trial. After a funeral at Southport Uniting Church he was buried in Lower Coomera cemetery. He left an estate worth $12 million, but liabilities resulted in it being declared bankrupt in November. Although he died without being found guilty in a court of law, a businessman, George Herscu, had earlier been gaoled for five years on charges of bribing him.
A very large man, Hinze was described as having ‘his 20 stone [127 kg] body angled Roman style, elbow crooked, head in hand, lazing like an Erskine Caldwell senator from the deep south’ (McGregor 1978, 15). His voice was likened to blue gravel being tumbled along the bed of a turbulent stream. He had few qualms about his appearance. In January 1984 he had posed shirtless at a beer-belly contest, horrifying the health authorities and being dubbed ‘Supergut’ by Britain’s Sun newspaper (Times 1991, 16).
Bluntness and apparent indifference to conflict of interest were hallmarks of his career. In 1985 he denied that owning 167 racehorses while minister for racing and having interests in gravel companies while minister for main roads constituted conflicts of interest. ‘For Christ’s sake’, he said to one journalist, ‘Do you want a Racing Minister who doesn’t know anything about the game?’ (Charlton 1991, 10). His public statements depicted him as ‘a racist, tammanist, chauvinist and vengeful authoritarian’, but he was well liked by constituents, popular with parliamentary colleagues, and successful in business (McGregor 1978, 15). Hinze himself said he wanted ‘to be remembered for the Gateway Bridge and … for the many, many thousands of miles of road that I’ve built throughout Queensland’ (Siracusa 1990, 28). His public prominence was second only to that of Bjelke-Petersen in an era of Queensland politics that produced effective, colourful, and larger-than-life characters.
Australian. ‘Larrikin Accepted No Judge But God.’ 1 July 1991, 4; Charlton, Peter. ‘Big Russ Leaves Larrikin’s Legacy.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 1 July 1991, 10; Dunn, Rosalind. ‘Hinze, from Poverty to Power.’ Sunday Sun (Brisbane), 30 June 1991, 5; Fitzgerald, G. E. (Chairman). Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct. Brisbane: Government Printer, 1989; Forrest, Brad. ‘Hinze Denies Brothel Trip.’ Sun (Brisbane), 3 February 1988, 3; Locgov Digest. ‘Address by the Hon. R. J. Hinze, M. L. A.’ 10, no. 5 (December 1984): 17; McGregor, Adrian. ‘The Man on Joh Bjelke’s Right.’ National Times, 28 April 1978, 15; Morley, Peter. ‘Fitzgerald Probe Wrong.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 13 July 1989, 9; Noud, K. Keith Noud Recalls, 193–197. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1986; Queensland. Legislative Assembly. Debates. vol. 251, 21 August 1969, 146, vol. 257, 2 September 1971, 362, 367, vol. 319, 16 July 1991, 6, 14; Roberts, Reg. ‘Senior Police Misled Me, Says Hinze.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 1987, 2; Siracusa, Joe. ‘Interview: Russ Hinze.’ Playboy, February 1990, 28; Smith, David and Lisa Green. ‘Joh Axed Me, Says Hinze.’ Sun (Brisbane), 16 November 1988, 1; Stewart, Andrew. ‘Battle of the Heavies.’ Sun-Herald (Sydney), 14 October 1979, 7; Times (London). ‘Russell Hinze.’ 10 July 1991, 16; Trundle, Peter. ‘The Man Who Calls a Spade a Spade.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 6 April 1977, 4; Voisey, Mark. ‘Big Russ is Huge Problem for Premier.’ Sun (Brisbane), 10 March 1988, 12; Wanna, J., and T. Arklay. The Ayes Have It: The History of the Queensland Parliament, 1957–1989. Canberra: ANU E Press, 2010; Weekend Australian. ‘Hinze Conduct “At Worst, Less Than Ideal”.’ 11–12 February 1989, 8; Wells, D. The Deep North. Collingwood: Outback Press, 1979.
Brian F. Stevenson
HOAD, LEWIS ALAN (LEW) (1934–1994), tennis player, was born on 23 November 1934 at Waverley, New South Wales, eldest of three sons of New South Wales–born parents Alan Henry ‘Boy’ Hoad, electrical fitter, and his wife Ailsa ‘Bonnie’ Lyle, née Burbury. The family moved from Coogee in 1938 to a rented one-storey terrace at Glebe, where their backyard overlooked the tennis courts of the Hereford Club. Fascinated by the game, the five-year-old Lew began to hit a tennis ball against a garage door in the back lane. Alan, a keen sportsman, instilled into his boys the importance of exercise and keeping ﬁt, and every Sunday in summer the family headed off to Coogee to swim. In 1943 Lew joined Glebe Police Boys Club where he boxed and wrestled; he also played rugby league, cricket, and tennis. He developed into a 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm) tall, 12 stone (76 kg), blue-eyed blond with broad shoulders and powerful wrists and forearms.
The working-class boy from Glebe ﬁrst played a game of tennis against Ken Rosewall when both boys were aged twelve; Rosewall’s superior control and court speed dominated their early encounters. Very different in personality and style of play, as Hoad gradually gained control over erratic ground shots he generally defeated Rosewall. At fifteen years of age both were selected in the New South Wales men’s team to play Victoria in Melbourne, beginning a ‘famous rivalry and partnership’—as the tennis ‘twins’—through which their names would become linked ‘almost as though they were halves of one person’ (Jones 1981, 42). Adrian Quist [q.v.] recognised in Hoad a splendid athlete with uncanny instincts, and employed him at Dunlop Sports Co. Pty Ltd after he left Glebe (Technical) Public School. Soon he came under Harry Hopman’s [q.v.17] tutelage, and in 1951 he won the Australian junior singles title. That year he met Jennifer Jane Staley, an Australian women’s singles ﬁnalist in 1954.
Hoad and Rosewall captured the public imagination in 1953, when they were both aged nineteen. That year they won the Australian, French, and Wimbledon doubles titles, and in the Davis Cup challenge ﬁnal Hoad’s defeat of the American Tony Trabert was a supreme achievement. Australia was behind by two rubbers to one when they played. Hoad won the ﬁrst two sets, 13-11, 6-3, and Trabert the next two, 3-6, 2-6, but Hoad triumphed 7-5 in the fifth set, to level the tie. The next day Rosewall defeated Vic Seixas and Australia retained the cup. Hoad also helped Australia win the Davis Cup in 1955 and 1956, with a winning record in nine ties of 10-2 in singles and 7-2 in doubles. He and Jennifer married at the parish church, Wimbledon, on 18 June 1955.
At his peak in 1956, Hoad won the Australian, French, and Wimbledon men’s singles finals, but defeat to Rosewall in the United States final denied him the grand slam. In the 1957 Wimbledon ﬁnal he produced a remarkable display of power to crush Ashley Cooper. Between 1953 and 1957 he won thirteen grand slam events and was runner-up ten times. With no ﬁnancial prospects if he remained amateur, and with family responsibilities, he signed a contract for $125,000 to turn professional with Jack Kramer’s tennis troupe in July 1957. In his ﬁrst year he played a series of matches against Ricardo ‘Pancho’ Gonzales. The results were about even until a damaged disc in Hoad’s spinal column became herniated and Gonzales ﬁnally won 51 matches to 36.
A majestic player, with power and ﬂair, and an intimidating court presence, Hoad possessed an explosive service and lightning reﬂexes. With superb volley, backhand, forehand, and top spin shots, he was a complete player. Restless with rallying and unwilling to temporise, he was formidable once his great power was harnessed with steely concentration. His contemporaries Gonzales, Rosewall, and Rod Laver ranked him, at his best, as the number one all-time player. But career statistics suggest an enigma, whose concentration and control could be wayward, perhaps weighed down by the grind of the professional circuit and compounded by back and muscle injuries that prematurely terminated his playing career. Kramer (1981) wrote that, despite great natural ability, Hoad was inconsistent.
Professional tennis provided enough capital for Lew and Jenny to establish Campo de Tenis in 1967 at Fuengirola, Costa del Sol, Spain, where they coached. A genial host, Hoad ‘smoked and drank and yarned’, with a broad Aussie accent. He was warm-hearted, easy-going, and well-liked. Survived by his wife, two daughters, and one son, he died at Fuengirola on 3 July 1994 of a heart attack, awaiting a bone marrow donor for leukaemia. The Lewis Hoad Reserve in Minogue Crescent, Forest Lodge, Sydney, and Lew Hoad Avenue in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles County, United States of America, were named after him.
Davidson, Owen, with C. M. Jones. Lawn Tennis: The Great Ones. London: Pelham Books, 1970; Hoad, Jenny, and Jack Pollard. My Life with Lew. Sydney: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002; Hoad, Lew, with Jack Pollard. My Game. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1958; Jones, Margaret. ‘Lew Hoad, Grandfather, Looks Back.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 1981, 42; Kramer, Jack, with Frank Deford. The Game: My 40 Years in Tennis. London: André Deutsch, 1981; Metzler, Paul. Great Players of Australian Tennis. Sydney: Harper & Row Publishers, 1979; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Tennis Great Stood Tall among Australian Champions.’ 5 July 1994, 2; Trengove, Alan. ‘Obituary: Lew Hoad.’ Independent, 5 July 1994, 14.
HOBBS, VICTORIA ALEXANDRA (VICKI) (1907–1995), nurse and historian, was born on 24 May 1907 at Subiaco, Perth, only child of New South Wales–born James Joseph Hobbs, mechanic, later a bootmaker, and his Victorian-born wife Charlotte, née Emery. Vicki was educated at South Perth High School (later Raith Girls’ Grammar School), a small private school. A bright student, she felt out of place because her parents ‘kept a shop … others were children of professors and people at the university’ (Hobbs 1989). Her mother died when Vicki was twelve. After leaving school at sixteen, she attended Stott’s Business College. She found employment in an office, but lost her position to ‘a cheaper person’ (Hobbs 1988) when she turned nineteen. In 1929 she commenced three years of nursing training at (Royal) Perth Hospital. She later completed a year of midwifery training at King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women. Between 1935 and 1940 she worked at Fremantle, Grosvenor, St Helen’s private, and Harvey hospitals.
Hobbs volunteered for service in World War II and on 26 June 1940 was appointed as a staff nurse (sister from December), (Royal) Australian Army Nursing Service (Corps), Australian Imperial Force. Posted to the 2/4th Australian General Hospital, she served in the Middle East (1940–42), including a stint (March–April 1941) at Tobruk, Libya; Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (March–July 1942); Australia (1942–45); and on the islands of Morotai, Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) (June–July 1945), and Labuan, British Straits Settlements (Malaysia) (July–November 1945). Sisters were commissioned as lieutenants in March 1943 and she was promoted to captain in August. She continued in the army after the war, with postings to military and repatriation hospitals in Australia, the troopship Duntroon for a return voyage to Japan (January–March 1949), and the Long Range Weapons Establishment’s range at Woomera, South Australia (1949–51). On 12 March 1952 she transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
In 1952 Hobbs attended the Royal Victorian College of Nursing, Melbourne, gaining a certificate as a sister tutor the following year; she became a fellow of the college in 1956. She worked as principal tutor at the School of Nursing, Perth, until her retirement in 1969. That year she bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder to interview nurses for her book, But Westward Look: Nursing in Western Australia, 1829–1979 (1980). For her services to nursing, particularly in recording its history, she was appointed OAM in 1987.
Standing 5 feet 3 inches (161 cm) tall, with large grey-blue eyes, Hobbs was a slight woman whose ‘wry sense of humour and eye for the ridiculous made her approachable to staff and students’ (Hunt-Smith 1995, 47). She enjoyed a lively social life in retirement, travelling widely and writing histories, short biographies, articles, plays, and poetry. The historian of the Western Australian returned sisters’ sub-branch of the Returned Services League, she documented each member’s service details and civilian work. She also worked on a history of St Mary’s Anglican Church, West Perth, of which she was a lifelong member.
Unmarried, Hobbs shared her home with her ducks and cats. She survived a car accident in 1994 but never fully recovered. When she realised that she was ‘for the chop’ (Hunt-Smith 1995, 47), she arranged her own funeral. She died on 21 May 1995 at Hollywood Private Hospital, Nedlands, and was cremated. She donated her extensive collection of private papers, oral histories, and photographs to the J. S. Battye [q.v.7] Library, State Library of Western Australia.
Hobbs, Victoria. Interview by Chris Jeffrey, 1985. J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, Oral History Collection. State Library of Western Australia; Hobbs, Victoria. Interview by F. Welsh, 1988. J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, Oral History Collection. State Library of Western Australia; Hobbs, Victoria. Interview by S. Meggitt, 1989. J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, Oral History Collection. State Library of Western Australia; Hunt-Smith, Betty. ‘Nurse Taught the Art of Caring.’ Listening Post, Spring 1995, 47; J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. MN2119, Hobbs, Victoria Alexandra; National Archives of Australia. B883, WX3367.
HODGINS, IAN PHILIP (1959–1995), poet, was born on 28 January 1959 at Shepparton, Victoria, only child of Samuel Walter Hodgins and his wife Rhoda Cromie, née McKee, dairy farmers who had been born in Northern Ireland. Philip grew up on the family farm at Katandra West and was educated at the local primary school and Shepparton High School, before attending Geelong College (1972–76) as a boarder. Although he displayed talent and discipline in athletics, breaking a school high jump record in 1972, he was a rebellious student and was suspended several times. Moving to Melbourne, he began work at the publishing firm Macmillan Co. of Australia Pty Ltd as a storeman and later as a sales representative. While there he formed a close friendship with the Polish-born poet Alex Skovron, who would recall that ‘it was our passion for poetry that initially drew us together’ (1988, 57). In 1980 Hodgins’s poem ‘Platform Verse’ appeared in the literary journal Meanjin.
Late in 1983 Hodgins was diagnosed with myeloid leukaemia, and told that he had three years to live. He was to survive for twelve and, for most of that time, was an immensely productive writer. In 1986 he took subjects in arts at the University of Melbourne, a course that he would not complete. Living for a while in Abbotsford, he shared a house with the countertenor Hartley Newnham, and the Italian-born cultural activist and chef Stefano de Pieri. Hodgins would travel to Italy more than once, intrigued by its culture and by European history more generally. Always blunt and clear, even grim, his first book of poems, Blood and Bone, was published in 1986. Among them were some of his ‘needle poems’ that confronted his illness. In 1987 the collection won the New South Wales premier’s literary award for poetry. He was frequently in hospital and his writing was partly supported by fellowships awarded by the literature board of the Australia Council for the Arts in 1988 and 1991. He married the writer Janet Anne Shaw in 1989 and settled near Maryborough.
Animal Warmth (1990) demonstrated the qualities that made Hodgins a prolific and respected poet. His work ranged from the open flow of his nine-page ‘Second Thoughts on The Georgics’ to a memorable haiku about a 5,000-acre (2,023 ha) paddock—‘There was only one/ tree in all that space and he/ drove straight into it’ (Hodgins 1990, 51). Common to his poetry was his commitment to plain-language pastoral. Focused on factual experience, he had frequently worked on his parents’ dairy farm and carried that practical knowledge of the land and its labour with him.
Always wary of intellectual pretension, Hodgins once complained about some clever types that ‘they might know all about Wittgenstein … but they couldn’t track an elephant through the snow’ (Skovron 1998, 58). His own poetry held firmly to the work, the reality, and the pain of farming life and to such traditional forms as the Elizabethan sonnet and the villanelle, which easily accommodated his realism. After Up on All Fours (1993) and the pamphlet, The End of the Season (1993), he varied his predominantly lyrical style by publishing a book-length narrative poem, Dispossessed (1994). Of it Clive James commented ruefully that ‘nothing can stop all the characters turning into poets’ (2003, 27). In 1995 Hodgins and de Pieri helped to found the Mildura Writers’ Festival.
Hodgins’s fertile creativity moved toward the daring, deadpan signal that was the final book of his lifetime: Things Happen (1995). With dogged realism, he rediscovered ‘the authentic rural voice of Australia’ (Kane 2015, xii), its blood and bone and fodder. The collection’s strong poems shift from such traditional subjects as ‘Two Dogs’ and ‘Those Yabbies’ back to the cold facts of his cancer and impending mortality. As it happened 1995 was the year in which his ever-present enemy, leukaemia, took its toll. Survived by his wife and their two daughters, he died on 18 August at Maryborough and was buried in the nearby Timor cemetery at Bowenvale. The next year the Mildura Writers’ Festival established a prize in his name, and a volume of New Selected Poems was published in 2000.
Academy Library, University of New South Wales, Canberra. MSS 13, Papers of Philip Hodgins; Hodgins, Philip. Animal Warmth. North Ryde, NSW: Angus and Robertson, 1990; Hodgins, Philip. Interview by Diana Ritch, 7 March 1988. Transcript. National Library of Australia; James, Clive. ‘The Meaning of Recognition.’ Australian Book Review, September 2003, 21–29; Kane, Paul. ‘A Note on Philip Hodgins.’ In First Light: A Selection of Poems by Philip Hodgins, by Philip Hodgins, i–xiii, New York: George Braziller, 2015; Ryan, Brendan. ‘Vulnerable Landscapes: Pastoral in the Poetry of Philip Hodgins.’ Antipodes 15, no. 1 (June 2001): 26–30; Shaw, Janet. Personal communication; Skovron, Alex. Personal communication; Skovron, Alex. ‘Plain Speaking about Philip Hodgins.’ Metaphysical Review, no. 26/27 (July 1998): 57–58.
HOLLINSHED, CHARLES NEVILLE (NEV) (1899–1993), architect and author, was born on 8 June 1899 at Fulham, London, the first child of Charles Frederick Hollinshed, jeweller, and his New Zealand–born second wife Edith Marion, née Simmonds. By 1901 the family had settled in Brisbane. Nev was educated at Eagle Junction State and Brisbane Grammar schools. Unsettled as a youth, he took up fruit farming before becoming an apprentice motor mechanic. In 1916 he was articled to the architects Chambers & Powell [q.v.11] and he began studying architecture at the Central Technical College, Brisbane.
On 19 December 1917 Hollinshed enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. Selected as an air mechanic in the Australian Flying Corps, he did not embark for England until October 1918. Writing to his mother en route, he was determined to ‘justify the trouble’ that she had taken with him by seeking a discharge in England to ‘get down to my studies again’ (SLV MS 11265). On arrival he was granted six months leave to study with the Architectural Association, London. He returned to Australia in October 1919 and was discharged from the AIF that month. Moving to New South Wales, he studied at the newly established School of Architecture at the University of Sydney (BArch, 1922). In 1922 he joined the firm of Stephenson [q.v.12] & Meldrum in Melbourne. Like many young Australian architects of his generation, he gained professional experience by working in London (1924) and New York (1925).
Returning to Melbourne, Hollinshed set up practice in Collins Street. On 1 December 1927 at St John’s Church, Toorak, he married Janet Evelyn Tait. His father-in-law, John Henry Tait [q.v.12], was a concert promoter who, with his brothers, managed the theatrical business of J. C. Williamson [q.v.6] Ltd. Hollinshed became the major architect for the company. From late 1926 he had worked with the experienced theatre designer Albion Walkley on Williamson’s Comedy Theatre (1928). This project was followed by his design (with Richard Gailey Jr) of the Regent Theatre, Brisbane (1929): a cinema and live theatre finished in a palatial style with a classical revival facade. Again with Walkley, he was commissioned to remodel and upgrade the fire-damaged interior of His Majesty’s Theatre in Exhibition Street, Melbourne (1934). Showcasing contemporary art deco-moderne style, he decorated its auditorium and foyers using rich Australian timbers in preference to plaster and casts.
In 1934 Hollinshed redesigned the Auditorium in Collins Street to accommodate moving pictures for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. As the medium of film boomed, he was commissioned to design cinemas across Melbourne’s suburbs, including the Regent, Fitzroy (1929); the Village, Toorak (1936); and the Maling, Canterbury (1941). Further afield, he was architect of the Regent, Palmerston North, New Zealand (1930); the Corio, Geelong, Victoria (1938); and the stylish art deco Princess Theatre, Launceston, Tasmania (1940). In addition to theatres, he took on a range of work from factories to domestic houses, including his own house in Canterbury. Among his more important commissions was the Horsham Town Hall (1939). Regarded as one of the finest municipal complexes outside Melbourne, it was praised in a lavishly illustrated spread in the Journal of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects.
Hollinshed was an early and tireless advocate for the establishment of a city square in Melbourne. From 1935 to 1961 he campaigned for the development of a square by roofing the railway yards adjacent to Flinders Street. Although his plans were unsuccessful, some forty years later the site was developed as Federation Square. While advocating modern changes to Melbourne’s streetscape, he was also active in preserving the past. He was a long-standing member of the council of the (Royal) Historical Society of Victoria and he served as one of its vice-presidents (1952–59). In 1956 he became a founding member of the Victorian branch of the National Trust of Australia, and chaired the management committee (1959–73) of its property Como in South Yarra. On his retirement to Sorrento, he co-authored a history of the Mornington Peninsula, built a sailing boat, and continued to design houses and extensions locally.
In 1985, when Hollinshed resigned from the Architects’ Registration Board of Victoria, he was acknowledged as an architect who brought to the profession ‘outstanding work which has improved the quality of life in our cities and towns’ (Blogg 1985, 17). Survived by his wife and two daughters, he died on 14 December 1993 at Forest Hill, Melbourne, and was cremated.
Blogg, Judith. ‘Neville Hollinshed.’ Architect, no. 3 (July 1985): 16–17; Hollinshed, Charles N., E. C. F. Bird and Noel Goss. Lime Land Leisure: Peninsular History in the Shire of Flinders. Rosebud, Vic.: Shire of Flinders, 1982; Journal of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects. ‘The Horsham Town Hall.’ July 1939, 138–49; National Archives of Australia. B2455, Hollinshed, C. N., 3502; Owen, Gail. Personal communication; Public Records Office of Victoria. VPRS8838/P1 Individual Architects Registration Files, Unit 7, membership file for Charles Neville Hollinshed; State Library of Victoria. MS 11265, Hollinshed, Charles N. Papers, 1864–1919, MS 13877, Hollinshed, Charles N. Papers, c. 1928–c. 1978.
HOLLOWS, FREDERICK COSSOM (FRED) (1929–1993), ophthalmologist, was born on 9 April 1929 at Dunedin, New Zealand, second of four sons of Joseph Alfred Hollows, engine driver, and his wife Clarice Sylvia, née Marshall. Educated at Palmerston North Boys’ High School (1943–47), Fred was a good scholar and played for the first XV rugby team as a front-row forward. He grew up as a dutiful member of the Churches of Christ and, influenced by his father, became interested in social justice. After completing a year’s study in divinity at the University of New Zealand (Otago), he took a vacation job at Porirua mental hospital.
As a result of his experiences with patients and fellow attendants, Hollows abandoned his religious beliefs; as he later described, ‘sex, alcohol and secular goodness … surgically removed my Christianity, leaving no scars’ (Hollows and Corris 1994, 29). After beginning arts at the University of New Zealand (Victoria), he returned to Otago as a medical student (MB, ChB, 1956). Moving further to the left politically, he was for a number of years a member of the Communist Party of New Zealand. He developed a love of mountain climbing, which became his main source of recreation and relaxation. While employed during his holidays as a guide, he met Mary Skiller (d. 1975) whom he married in 1958; they were to have a daughter and a son.
Hollows became interested in ophthalmology during terms as a hospital resident in Wellington (1955–56), Auckland (1957), and Tauranga (1958–59). In 1961 he travelled to England to study at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology (Moorfields Eye Hospital). As an ophthalmic registrar (1961–64) at the Medical Research Council Epidemiological Unit in Cardiff, he undertook pioneering research on the epidemiology of glaucoma in mining towns. He was made a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1964.
In 1965 Hollows was appointed associate professor of medicine at the University of New South Wales and chairman of ophthalmology at Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick. After meeting the author Frank Hardy [q.v.], he joined the Save the Gurindji Committee, a group of left-wing activists formed to support Aboriginal pastoral workers on strike at Wave Hill station, Northern Territory. He became aware of the alarming prevalence of curable eye disease, particularly trachoma, among Aboriginal people during visits to Wattie Creek (Daguragu) and Wave Hill in 1972, and to Bourke, Enngonia, and other New South Wales towns. In the early 1970s the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders was pressing the Commonwealth government to respond to the critical health needs of Aboriginal people. With Shirley Smith, Ross McKenna, John Russell, and other Aboriginal advocates, Hollows helped establish the Aboriginal Medical Service at Redfern, Sydney, in 1971.
Recognising that poor eye health and blindness were both causes and consequences of poverty, Hollows believed it an indictment of any society that allowed the incidence of such conditions to reach the levels he observed in Australia. Environmental health measures, such as access to clean running water and dust reduction, and education to improve standards of hygiene, could dramatically improve eye health. Simple operations on the lens of the eye, the cornea, or the eyelid, were effective in the treatment of trachoma. Commonwealth government funding in 1975 allowed him to establish the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program in association with the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists; he was appointed director, with Gordon Briscoe, a Mardudjara-Pitjantjatjara man from Central Australia, his deputy. Working in each State and Territory, between 1976 and 1979 his team examined 105,000 Aboriginal people, treated 15,000, and performed 1,000 operations. Adopting the slogan ‘no survey without service’ (Hollows and Corris 1994, 78), Hollows sought to ensure that those assessed as needing medical treatment received it. The final report of the NTEHP, presented to the Commonwealth minister for health on 28 March 1980, praised his ‘great humanity and unlimited enthusiasm’, which had been an ‘inspiration to all who have been associated with him in the Program’ (Harley 1980, 2).
On 23 August 1980 Hollows married Gabrielle (Gabi) Beryl O’Sullivan, an orthoptist, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Randwick. While continuing his work in Aboriginal health, in 1985 he visited Nepal for six weeks and subsequently expanded his activities to other developing countries, particularly those he called the ‘cataract triangle’—Nepal, Eritrea, and Vietnam. As a consultant to the World Health Organization between 1985 and 1991, he undertook surveys of eye health in each of these countries. He identified strongly with Eritrea in its war of liberation against Ethiopia, and was impressed by the underground hospital and medical manufacturing plants in the war-torn country. ‘I could see no reason’, he wrote, ‘why they couldn’t manufacture intra-ocular lenses … the most expensive little bits of plastic in existence’ (Hollows and Corris 1994, 218). To counter the extortionate prices of Western manufacturers, he began to raise funds to establish lens factories in Eritrea, Vietnam, and Nepal.
Appointed AO in 1985, Hollows was honoured as Australian of the Year in 1990. He established the Fred Hollows Foundation in 1992 to continue the strategies he had developed: to transfer technologies to disadvantaged communities, enabling them to use existing skills and capabilities to create lasting improvements in eye care. In 1991 he was appointed AC; he was promoted to professor the following year.
A lover of the Australian and New Zealand bush, Hollows was a voracious reader of poetry and history, and a keen chess player. He was aggressive and passionate by nature, with a ‘thoroughly no-bullshit approach’, and could ‘get very angry, sometimes unfairly’ (Waterford 1993, 11) with his colleagues, friends, and family. Even prime ministers feared his ability to embarrass them by ‘nagging them aloud about aid, or Timor, or Bougainville’ (Waterford 1993, 11). Preferring to avoid bureaucracy and deal with problems and people directly, he was prepared to circumvent rules and regulations when he considered a cause justified direct action. Although believing strongly in social justice and equality, he spoke against popular causes which he saw as defying available evidence. Thus he offended some when he asserted that gay men should share responsibility with health service providers to prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and that Aboriginal cultures needed to adapt to the modern world.
Diagnosed with metastatic renal cancer in 1989, Hollows died on 10 February 1993 in his home at Randwick. He was survived by his wife, a son and daughter from his first marriage, and a son and four daughters from his second. After a state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, he was buried in the cemetery at Bourke, where he had spent much time, and which he had grown to love. In 1993 Gabi accepted on his behalf the Schweitzer award of excellence from the Chapman University of California. She continued the work of his foundation; intra-ocular lens factories in Nepal, Eritrea, and Vietnam started production after his death. In 2010 the Royal Australian Mint released a $1 coin bearing his portrait.
Briscoe, Gordon. ‘Obituary for Professor Fred Cossom Hollows, 1929–1993.’ Aboriginal History 17, no. 1–2 (1993): 1–3; Cameron, Kirsty. ‘Hollow’s Vision Still in Sight.’ Weekend Australian, 26 January 1991, 17; Canberra Times. ‘Cancer Claims a Humble Icon.’ 11 February 1993, 3; Harley, Geoffrey. ‘Preface.’ In The National Trachoma and Eye Health Program of the Royal Australian College of Opthalmologists, National Trachoma and Eye Health Program, 2. Sydney: Royal Australian College of Opthalmologists, 1980; Hollows, Fred, and Peter Corris. Fred Hollows: An Autobiography. Redfern, NSW: Kerr Publishing, 1994; Middleton, C. G. ‘Professor Frederick Cossom Hollows.’ Medical Journal of Australia, 7 February 1994, 140–1; Waterford, Jack. ‘A Dedication to Making the Blind Men See.’ Canberra Times, 11 February 1993, 11.
HOLMES, CECIL WILLIAM (1921–1994), film-maker and writer, was born on 23 June 1921 at Waipukurau, New Zealand, elder son of English-born Alan Holmes, farmer, and his New Zealand–born wife Ivy Marion, née Watt. He attended Palmerston North Boys’ High School. After seeing the documentary Night Mail (1936), he decided on a career as a film-maker—preferably of ‘radical films’ that would ‘make people think’ (Holmes 1986, 12). In 1939 he joined the Left Book Club, a cover for the local branch of the Communist Party of New Zealand. He remained a member of the party for the next twenty years.
Holmes enlisted as a trainee pilot in the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 28 July 1940. After being injured in an aircraft accident at Blenheim on 9 January 1941 and assessed as medically unfit for flying duties, he transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy in July. Sent to Britain for training, he was commissioned in October 1942. He served aboard the destroyer HMS Wensleydale (1943) and the aircraft carrier HMS Premier (1943–45), seeing action in the English Channel and the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. While on leave in London, he visited Denham Studios, later describing this as his ‘own private film school’ (Holmes 1986, 21). He was demobilised as a temporary lieutenant on 15 August 1945.
On 27 March 1945, in New York City, Holmes had married Margaret Enns, a Russian-born Canadian. Returning to New Zealand, he joined the National Film Unit, first as a newsreel editor, later as a director. An active member of the Public Service Association, he became embroiled in a political scandal in 1948 after his satchel containing ‘evidence of communist activity in New Zealand’ (Bay of Plenty Times 1948, 3) was stolen from his car. He was dismissed from the NFU; however, the PSA won a legal battle to have him reinstated in May 1949.
Preferring to make a fresh start, Holmes moved to Australia in November 1949. Over the next four decades, he worked as director, writer, and sometimes producer on more than twenty films. His first feature film, Captain Thunderbolt (1953), a fictional drama about an Australian bushranger, was photographed by Ross Wood and featured the actors Grant Taylor and Charles Tingwell. Filmed in the New England area of New South Wales with a budget of £15,000, it recouped twice that amount from sales overseas; however, its Australian release consisted of a single week in 1956 at Sydney’s Lyric Cinema. With Wood and the writer Frank Hardy [q.v.], Holmes developed a three-part feature, Three in One (1957), which celebrated the spirit of Australian mateship. The film won a prize at the International Film Festival at Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), but did not recover its costs.
Holmes made a number of documentaries on various Indigenous themes. His sponsors included the Australian Broadcasting Commission (I, the Aboriginal, 1960), the Methodist Overseas Mission (Lotu, 1962; How Shall They Hear, 1964; Faces in the Sun, 1965), the Commonwealth Film Unit (The Islanders, 1968), the Institute of Aboriginal Studies (Djalambu, 1964; The Yabuduruwa Ceremony, 1965; The Lorrkun Ceremony, 1968), and Opus Films (Return to the Dreaming, 1971). Based on the biography of the Alawa man Phillip Waipuldanya Roberts as told to Douglas Lockwood [q.v.15], I, the Aboriginal won a gold award in the documentary category at the 1964 Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards. That year Holmes moved to Darwin with his second wife, Elsa Sandra Dingly, née Le Brun, also a film-maker. He continued his ethnographic film work and joined the Northern Territory Aboriginal Rights Council, fighting alongside Roberts and other Indigenous leaders for citizenship rights and equal pay. While in Darwin, Holmes also edited the Rupert Murdoch–owned fortnightly magazine The Territorian.
Returning to Sydney in 1970, Holmes worked as a contractor at Film Australia. His major work in this period, Gentle Strangers (1972), was a drama examining the problems of Asian students in Australia. Often poignant, it won a bronze award in the fiction category at the 1972 AFI awards. Although occasionally gruff, Holmes was foremost a man of great compassion and a mentor to many young film-makers, including Roberts’s son and daughter. A self-proclaimed ‘unrepentant radical’, he was the author of One Man’s Way (1986).
From the early 1970s Holmes taught film-making to young Aboriginal students, gave talks to Amnesty International, and tried, unsuccessfully, to mount another feature film. Survived by his third wife, Elizabeth Florence Warner, and the daughter from his second marriage, Holmes died on 24 August 1994 at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, New South Wales. He was buried in the Church of England cemetery, Waverley. The Australian Director’s Guild named its most prestigious award for him.
Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand). ‘Evidence of Communist Activity in New Zealand.’ 21 December 1948, 3; Campbell, Russell. ‘Holmes, Cecil William.’ Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara—the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Accessed 4 May 2018. teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5h32/holmes-cecil-william. Copy held on ADB file; Holmes, Cecil. One Man’s Way. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin, 1986; Holmes, Sandra Le Brun. Faces in the Sun: Outback Journeys. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin, 1999; New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives. ‘Holmes, Cecil William.’ Copy held on ADB file; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Pike, Andrew, and Ross Cooper. Australian Film, 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production. Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press, 1980; Shirley, Graham. ‘Director Focused on Underdog.’ Australian. 31 August 1994, 13; Williams, Deane. ‘Holmes, Cecil.’ In Oxford Companion to Australian Film, edited by Brian McFarlane, 215. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1999.
HOLTHOUSE, HECTOR LE GAY (1915–1991), journalist and historian, was born on 15 April 1915 at Toowoomba, Queensland, eldest of three children of Sydney-born Richard Carsten Holthouse, farmer, and his German-born French wife Delphine Naomi, née de Tuetey. His parents had met on a pastoral station near Charleville where they worked respectively as a jackeroo and governess. Educated at Southbrook, Bunkers Hill, and Ascot state schools, Hector’s country childhood embraced milking cows, clearing prickly pear, and travelling on horseback each day to school.
After training (1934–37) as a sugar chemist at the Central Technical College, Brisbane, Holthouse worked at sugar mills in North Queensland. He began writing in his spare time and the Bulletin published a number of his stories. He later contributed historical studies and journalistic pieces to Walkabout, Man, and the Queenslander. By the late 1930s he had found work as a journalist with the Telegraph in Brisbane. He enrolled in courses in English and journalism at the University of Queensland, but did not sit for examination or complete a degree. On 14 March 1942 at Scots Church, Clayfield, Brisbane, he married Beatrice Margaret Ferricks, a Queensland-born clerk; they had no children and later divorced.
Having served (December 1938 – February 1941) in the Citizen Military Forces, Holthouse re-enlisted in December 1941 and on 18 September 1942 began full-time duty at Warwick. He was employed at training headquarters and in records and accounts offices before being discharged as a corporal on 16 November 1945. Following the war he returned to the Telegraph, later becoming the newspaper’s chief reporter for the Supreme Court of Queensland. Between 1957 and 1959 he was appointed as a special lecturer in the introductory journalism course at the University of Queensland.
In 1967 Angus [q.v.7] & Robertson [q.v.11] published his first book, River of Gold: The Story of the Palmer River Gold Rush. Running to several editions, it remained Holthouse’s best-known work and established his style: more concerned with personality and incident than original research, his books aimed to be lively and interesting, intended for general readers, high school students, and tourists. From 1969 he concentrated on historical writing, beginning that year with his account of the Melanesian indentured labour trade, Cannibal Cargoes. The anthropologist A. P. Elkin [q.v.14] praised the book, but the historian Peter Corris argued that it lacked significant original research, paraphrased other sources, was obsessed with cannibalism, and perpetuated the mythology of forcible kidnapping and callous plantation masters. Up Rode the Squatter (1970) and Gympie Gold (1973) continued Holthouse’s treatment of major themes in Queensland’s colonial history. He also wrote a number of other travel and local history books.
In 1973 Holthouse was awarded a half-fellowship by the literature board of the Australian Council for the Arts. His most popular book appeared that year: S’pose I Die: The Story of Evelyn Maunsell, a fictionalised biographical narrative of frontier life based on Maunsell’s experiences as a young English bride on pastoral stations in Queensland. On 6 August 1976 at Caloundra, Queensland, Holthouse married Sybil Shiach, a journalist. They lived on Bribie Island—connected to the mainland by bridge from 1963—in a house that Holthouse largely built himself. A fellow writer later recalled him as ‘a rather shy man but tall and well-built’ (Sydney Morning Herald 1991, 12). His Illustrated History of Queensland was published in 1978 and Australian Geographic Pty Ltd published his last book, Cape York, a week before his death. Survived by his wife, Holthouse died on 16 November 1991 at Auchenflower, Brisbane, and was buried in the Pinnaroo lawn cemetery, Aspley. The Hector Holthouse Room in the Bribie Island Library commemorates him.
Corris, Peter. Review of Cannibal Cargoes, by Hector Holthouse. The Journal of Pacific History 7 (1972): 239–240; Elkin, A. P. Review of Cannibal Cargoes, by Hector Holthouse. Oceania 41, no. 2 (December 1970): 149; Metcalf, Bill. ‘Histories of Queensland: A Bibliographic Survey.’ Queensland History Journal 21, no. 3 (November 2010): 162–180; National Archives of Australia. B884, Q143592, B4747, Holthouse/Hector Le Gay; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘An Author Takes his Place in History.’ 27 November 1991, 12.
Geoffrey A. C. Ginn
HOLYMAN, HAZEL (1899–1992), air hostess services superintendent, was born on 17 March 1899 at Launceston, Tasmania, eldest of four children of locally born parents Frederick Archer Gaunt, clerk, and his wife Mary Emmeline, née Dodery. Hazel was educated at Broadland House Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, Launceston. On 22 August 1921 at Christ Church, Longford, she married Victor Clive Holyman, master mariner, grandson of the founder of the Tasmanian shipping firm William Holyman [q.v.4] & Sons Pty Ltd.
In 1932 Victor and his brother Ivan expanded the family’s shipping interests to aviation, inaugurating Holyman Bros Pty Ltd and flying a three-seater de Havilland 83 Fox Moth, Miss Currie, twice a week between Launceston and Flinders Island. Hazel supported the family business by driving passengers to the airport and providing them with blankets, biscuits, and coffee for their trip across Bass Strait. She thus ‘became the very first [air] hostess in Australia, without actually leaving the ground!’ (Witcomb 1986, 2). Holyman Bros merged with a rival, Laurie McK. Johnson, to become Tasmanian Aerial Services Pty Ltd in 1932. The firm was renamed Holymans Airways Pty Ltd in 1934. Holyman continued to play her part, which included, she said, ‘literally pushing’ (Teale 1989, 11) passengers into the cramped planes.
On 19 October 1934 Victor was killed while co-piloting the firm’s new de Havilland 86 twelve-seater aircraft, Miss Hobart, over Bass Strait. Widowed and childless, Hazel withdrew from the firm and sought solace by travelling in England and America. She spent time in Chicago with officials from United Airlines, one of the pioneers of air hostessing services.
Holymans Airways merged with Adelaide Airways in 1936 to become Australian National Airways Pty Ltd (ANA) (later Ansett-ANA, eventually Ansett Australia), employing Australia’s first in-flight air hostesses, Marguerite Grueber and Blanche Due. Called back to Australia by her brother-in-law, Holyman joined ANA in 1939 as superintendent of air hostesses. Her duties included taking charge of stores, catering, laundry, designing uniforms, and even filling in for women too sick to fly. Affectionately known as ‘matron’ by her charges, Holyman was renowned for having ‘steely grey eyes’ and ‘X-ray vision’ that could ‘spot dirty shoes, crooked stocking seams and soiled unpressed uniforms at fifty paces!’ (Witcomb 1986, 15). She retired in 1955 having seen the number of ANA air hostesses grow from eighteen to 200.
In 1966 Holyman was nominated patroness of the Down to Earth Club formed that year for former Ansett-ANA air hostesses and she continued this involvement for the rest of her life. Appointed AM in 1980, in 1988 she received an Advance Australia Award for her services to aviation. She died on 14 November 1992 at Launceston and was cremated. A portrait commissioned by the Down to Earth Club hangs in the Sir Reginald Ansett [q.v.17] Transport Museum at Hamilton, Victoria.
McRobbie, Margaret. Walking the Skies: The First Fifty Years of Air Hostessing in Australia, 1936–1986. Melbourne: M. McRobbie, 1986; Teale, Brandt. ‘Matron Left Her Mark on Air History.’ Sunday Tasmanian, 28 May 1989, 11; Witcomb, Nan. Up Here and Down There. Brighton, SA: N. Witcomb, 1986; Young, Elaine. ‘Pioneer Hostess Retires.’ Argus (Melbourne), 20 August 1955, 9.
HOLZHEIMER, THORA DAPHNE (TOOTS) (1934–1992), truck driver, was born on 5 July 1934 at Bundamba, Ipswich, Queensland, fifth of six children of Welsh-born John Albert Bishop, ganger, and his Queensland-born wife Ethel Louisa, née Bavister (d. 1948), railway station mistress. Following a succession of Railway Department transfers, Jack was sent in 1939 to Aratula in the Fassifern district. The family lived at the railway station, where Ethel was in charge of the office. Toots attended Aratula State School (1939–48) then, moving to Brisbane, found work as a fruit picker and barmaid. Her father settled at Cairns and she joined him there in 1951. That year she gave birth to a son from a relationship in Brisbane.
Recording her occupation as domestic, on 3 January 1953 at the Central Methodist Church, Cairns, Bishop married Frederick Arthur Hipworth, a stockman; they had three daughters and a son; a second son was stillborn. The marriage failed in 1960 and Frederick Hipworth gained custody of the five children. Their mother struggled in vain to have them returned to her until her first son was able to join her at age sixteen; his half-siblings followed after their father died in 1972. On 11 August 1962, again at the Central Methodist Church, she had married Ronald Kenneth Holzheimer, a truck driver; they had two daughters and a son; another son died in infancy.
Ron Holzheimer’s brother John formed a trucking business in the early 1960s. Toots and Ron worked for him until they established their own firm, Northern Freighters, in 1975. They specialised in transport services to the tropical savannah country of Far North Queensland. She carried general freight—including food, beer, building materials, molasses for stock feed, diesel, and vehicles—to cattle stations, mines, Aboriginal missions, and small settlements. Her vehicles were noisy and hot, with heavy steering, and they quickly filled with bulldust in the dry seasons. When on the road, she slept under the truck’s flatbed, sometimes with the comfort of a hammock. The rough, unsealed roads and tracks caused mechanical damage and numerous flat tyres; bogging and breakdowns were common. She serviced and repaired her trucks and dug them out when they were stuck in mud. Rejecting offers of help, she insisted on loading heavy freight herself, including 44-gallon (200 L) drums of diesel, weighing about 410 pounds (185 kg).
Holzheimer’s regular run, sometimes in convoy with her husband and others, was from Cairns to Weipa, a return trip of approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Renowned for being the first to bring a truck through at the end of the wet season and the last before the onset of the next, she reportedly made as many as twenty-five journeys each dry season. She covered about 1 million miles (1.6 million km) during her driving career. Until old enough to be left unattended, her younger children travelled with her; some became drivers themselves in the family business; eventually, she took her young grandchildren on the road. During the wet season (generally November to April), when trucking was impossible in the far north, she and her extended family regularly drove to Victoria, fruit-picking, camping, and holidaying near Shepparton.
Holzheimer had short, curly hair and a stocky, muscular figure. Photographs of her at work show her in a scruffy skirt and tube top or equally shabby dress, barefoot, and smeared with mud or grease. She said of her occupation: ‘It is a job, one I love and am grateful for’ (Vawdrey 2011, 243). In her spare time, she enjoyed parties and dancing and, a skilled seamstress, made clothes for her family. An admired local identity, she gained national fame in 1981 after featuring in an episode of the television documentary series, The Australians, hosted by Peter Luck. She was accidentally killed on 29 February 1992 at Evans Landing Wharf, Weipa, when she was crushed between a tyre of her truck and a heavy pylon swinging from a crane. A memorial service at Weipa and a Uniting Church funeral at Cairns were held simultaneously; a convoy of semi-trailer trucks, with air-horns blasting, accompanied her body to the Cairns crematorium. Her husband and children survived her.
The family firm went out of business not long after Holzheimer’s death. Her last and favourite truck, a German MAN that she had painted powder blue, was placed in the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum at Winton. A granite monument—roughly in the shape of Cape York Peninsula, with the route she travelled engraved on it—was erected near the Archer River Roadhouse, where she had often stopped; a plaque with an inscribed tribute to her was embedded in the stone. The album Makin’ a Mile (1997) by the country and western singer-songwriter Slim Dusty included ‘The Lady Is a Truckie’; it ends with the words:
From Cairns to Edward River
And on all the Cape York stations
Toots the lady trucker
Is a legend in the north.
Stephens, Tony, and Peter Luck, comps. The Australians. Dee Why West, NSW: Lansdowne Press, 1981; Vawdrey, Donna. Toots — Woman in a Man’s World. Self-published, 2011.
HONNER, HYACINTH RALPH (1904–1994), schoolteacher, solicitor, army officer, and diplomat, was born on 17 August 1904 at Fremantle, Western Australia, third of six children of South Australian–born Richard Joseph Honner, police constable, and his Irish-born wife Eleanor Iris, née McMahon. Ralph was named Hyacinth after Saint Hyacinth, on whose feast day he was born. He was educated at Three Springs primary school, Perth Boys’ School and, after winning a scholarship, Perth Modern School. As his family remained at Three Springs, over 180 miles (300 km) away, he boarded at Subiaco. A quiet, reserved, and undemonstrative child, he immersed himself in his studies.
In 1923 Honner entered Claremont Teachers College and the University of Western Australia (BA, 1926). At university he studied English and history, and transformed from a short, slim boy to a 6 -foot-tall (183 cm), well-built athlete who played football (both Australian Rules and rugby union) and was a gifted sprinter. In mid-1929, after having taught at Kalgoorlie for just over a year, he accepted a position as senior house master at Hale School, Perth. Taking up studies in law at the University of Western Australia (LLB, 1933), he attended evening lectures and was articled to Parker and Parker. On 2 June 1934, at St Mary’s Cathedral, he married Marjory Collier Bennett, a teacher he had met at college. Admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in July 1935, he worked as a solicitor until 1939.
Honner had served in the Citizen Military Forces from 1924 and was commissioned as a lieutenant on 25 June 1936. Immediately following the outbreak of World War II, he transferred to the Australian Imperial Force on 13 October 1939. Promoted to captain, he was given command of ‘C’ Company, 2/11th Battalion, which fought along the Libyan coast at Bardia, Tobruk, and Derna in January 1941. The North African campaign gave him invaluable training in offensive, fluid operations incorporating infantry-artillery coordination. In April the 2/11th was shipped to Greece. From Kalabaka to Brallos Pass and thence to Megara, the battalion fought continuously until its evacuation to Crete on 25 April 1941. With the 2/1st Battalion, Honner’s unit was entrusted with the defence of the Retimo sector. The battalions held their ground against German paratroopers for ten days before enemy gains elsewhere forced the surrender of the island. Honner subsequently led a 2/11th party across Crete for a rendezvous with, and evacuation by, a British submarine to Alexandria, Egypt, in August. He was promoted to major in October and awarded the Military Cross in December. In recommending him for the award, his commanding officer described him as ‘the best company commander [he had] known in this or the last war’ (NAA B883).
Returning to Australia in May 1942, Honner briefly commanded the 19th Training Battalion in Western Australia. On 1 August he was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel (substantive, September) and appointed to command the 39th Battalion, which he joined at Isurava, Papua, on 16 August. His adjutant observed that: ‘He had a strong personality about him … He made it his war … he knew what he wanted’ (Lovett 1998). Honner and his greatly diminished and exhausted battalion held out against repeated Japanese attacks until reinforced by the 2/14th Battalion. The two battalions resisted the enemy’s advance for four days before being compelled to withdraw to Eora Creek on 30 August. The 39th was rested from early September and then recommitted to the fighting at Gona on the north coast of Papua in December, where Honner achieved a remarkable victory. By sending his men in under their own artillery barrage, he enabled them to overwhelm the numerous Japanese pillboxes confronting them. After briefly serving at Sanananda in early January 1943, the malaria-ridden battalion was relieved. Honner was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (1943) for his Papuan service. Following the disbandment of the 39th, he was posted as commanding officer of the 2/14th Battalion in Australia in July. The unit took part in the operations in the Markham and Ramu valleys of New Guinea in September and October. On 4 October Honner received a gunshot wound to the hip, forcing an end to his active service. He was evacuated to Australia and transferred to the Reserve of Officers on 3 January 1945.
Honner had been appointed chairman of a pensions assessment appeal tribunal in Perth in December 1944. He remained there until late 1949, when he moved to Sydney to become chairman of the No. 2 War Pensions Entitlement Appeal Tribunal. President of both the New South Wales division of the United Nations Association (1955–57) and the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party of Australia (1961–63), he was ‘the party’s first Roman Catholic president’ (Canberra Times 1963, 2). From 1968 to 1972 he served as Australia’s ambassador to Ireland. He retired to Sydney. In 1981, with Marjory, he visited Crete to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the battle for that island. Self-effacing and scrupulously honest, he was a man of many skills and interests—‘a renaissance man’ (Stephens 1992, 11). Predeceased by his wife (d. 1990) and survived by their three sons and one daughter, he died on 14 May 1994 at Fairlight, Sydney, and was buried at the Northern Suburbs General (Macquarie Park) cemetery. He is commemorated by the Ralph Honner Kokoda Education Centre, opened in 2009 as part of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, Sydney.
Brune, Peter. Gona’s Gone!: The Battle for the Beachhead 1942. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1994, We Band of Brothers: A Biography of Ralph Honner, Soldier and Statesman. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2000; Canberra Times. ‘President of Liberal Party Calls It a Day.’ 2 July 1963, 2; Dexter, David. The New Guinea Offensives. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1961; Lovett, Captain Keith. Interview by the author, 5 October 1998; McCarthy, Dudley. South-West Pacific Area: First Year. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1959; National Archives of Australia. B883, WX15; Stephens, Tony. ‘Kokoda Camaraderie.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 24 April 1992, 11.
HUDSON, HUGH RICHARD (1930–1993), politician, university lecturer, and consultant, was born on 12 February 1930 at Wollongong, New South Wales, second child of Stanley Hudson, surveyor, and his wife Phyllis Clare, née McClelland. At North Sydney Boys’ High School Hugh won a scholarship to the University of Sydney (BEc Hons, 1953). He displayed considerable academic prowess and gained a two-year research scholarship to the University of Cambridge (1956–58). While there he won the Stevenson essay prize and edited two volumes of the collected papers of the economist Nicholas Kaldor. On his return to Australia he married Ainslie Ann Rowe, a teacher, on 16 May 1959 at the Auburn Methodist Church, Hawthorn, Victoria.
Hudson was appointed in 1960 as a senior lecturer in the school of economics at the University of Adelaide, and was the first editor of Australian Economic Papers. He was side-tracked from an academic career by his love of politics, and gained endorsement by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to contest the marginal seat of Glenelg in the 1965 State general election. His campaign, with enthusiastic support from university students, focussed on the injustice of the South Australian electoral system, and on the education policies of the Liberal and Country League government of Sir Thomas Playford [q.v.18], which he viewed as inefficient and outdated. He defeated Sir Baden Pattinson, the long-serving education minister, and Labor, under the leadership of Frank Walsh, returned to office after thirty-two years in Opposition.
Under Don Dunstan, who succeeded Walsh as premier in 1967, Hudson briefly served as minister of housing and of social welfare, but the ALP narrowly lost office in the 1968 election, although Hudson retained his seat. After winning the new seat of Brighton at the 1970 general election, he became minister of education (1970–75) in the new Dunstan government. In this role he supported a very able director-general, Albert Jones, in transforming the department into one of the pacesetters of educational theory and practice in Australia. They were also fortunate that the Karmel reports of 1971 and 1973 led to increased State and Federal funding becoming available for the schools they administered.
With Des Corcoran and Geoff Virgo, Hudson became one of a triumvirate able to dominate cabinet and the ALP caucus under Dunstan’s leadership. In 1975 he was appointed minister of mines and energy, and minister for planning, where again he made his presence felt. The security of gas supplies to provide an economical source of power for the state was his paramount concern. In 1979 he introduced legislation to prevent the Cooper Basin gas reserves of Santos Ltd from being taken over by entrepreneurs such as Alan Bond. The controversial Act, which restricted private ownership of voting shares in the company, was successful, inducing Bond to sell his stake in Santos. Security of the holdings and the long-term location of a major corporate headquarters in Adelaide were achieved. Hudson’s promotion of nuclear energy was more controversial. Sympathetic to examining nuclear options and sceptical of the capacity of alternatives, he was attacked by party members and presciently contended that when wind turbines were erected around the coast, the same people would be joining environmental protests against them. As minister for planning, he played a key role in the process of converting the City of Adelaide Planning Study into a plan with statutory force.
After Dunstan’s sudden resignation in February 1979 because of ill-health, and with the deputy premier, Des Corcoran, also unwell, Hudson was a logical choice for premier. At the last moment, Corcoran decided to run, and Hudson was elected deputy premier and assigned the portfolios of economic development and of tourism. Against his advice, Corcoran sought a fresh electoral mandate in September. It resulted in the surprise defeat of the government, and Hudson lost his seat.
Quick to master his briefs and make decisions, Hudson’s visitors were often surprised to find the minister, with his feet on the desk, reading a novel. He would explain that he had despatched his dockets for the day and was waiting for his staff to catch up and give him something else to attend to. A prominent parliamentary performer, Hudson was also adept in the management of his portfolios. His confidence made him dismissive not only of the Opposition but of some on his own side. He was impatient with the ALP party machine but his views usually prevailed.
After his defeat, Hudson devoted his energy and intellect to a range of consultancies, enquiries, and directorships at State and national level, and never again sought parliamentary office. He also held a visiting fellowship at the Centre for Policy Studies, Monash University. At the behest of the Hawke government, he was appointed executive chairman of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission (1984–87), producing a report which resulted in major changes, including the establishment of centres of excellence and the abolition of the commission itself. The Bannon Labor government appointed him to the Pipelines Authority of South Australia (1982–84), and to enquire into water rating policy (1990).
A low-handicap golfer until a knee injury forced retirement, Hudson was an expert bridge player and a successful punter on the horses using his own scientific betting method. A big man with a stentorian voice and massive laugh, and a heavy smoker, his death in Canberra from cancer on 11 May 1993 curtailed a career of service still in progress. He was survived by his wife, son and two daughters, and was cremated.
Anderson, Kym and Bernard O’Neil. The Building of Economics at Adelaide, 1901–2001. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press, 2002; Gibbs, R. M. Bulls, Bears and Wildcats: A Centenary History of the Stock Exchange of Adelaide. Adelaide: Peacock Publications, 1988; Hansard, 3 August, 1993. House of Assembly, 3–5; Legislative Council, 6–9; Hudson, H.R. ‘The Integration of Cycles and Growth.’ Australian Economic Papers 3 (1963): 107–120; Hudson, H. R. Cooper Basin: Exploration, Development and Pricing Issues. Discussion Paper no. 3, Centre for Policy Studies, Monash University, 1980; Hudson, H. R. Review of the Structure of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission and Arrangements for Co-ordination and consultation with States and Institutions. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1985; Jaensch, Dean. History of South Australian Elections, 1857–2006, Rose Park, SA: State Electoral Office of South Australia, 2007, The Flinders History of South Australia: Political History. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1986; Millmow, Alex. ‘The Influence of the History of Economics on Pluralism: the Cambridge Economic Tradition and Australian Economics.’ Courvisanos, Jerry, James Doughney, and Alex Millmow (eds). Reclaiming Pluralism in Economics. Oxford: Routledge, 2016, 76–79; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Thiele, Colin. Grains of Mustard Seed. Adelaide: Education Department, 1975.
J. C. Bannon*
HUMBLE, LESLIE KEITH (1927–1995), pianist, composer, and professor of music, was born on 6 September 1927 at Geelong, Victoria, only surviving child of locally born parents Leslie James Humble, fitter and turner, and his wife Victoria, née Gowty. In 1932 the family relocated to Northcote, Melbourne, and Keith was educated at Westgarth Central School and University High School (1941–43). He learned piano from the age of five, began performing professionally as a jazz pianist while still at school, and subsequently started his own swing band. Having shifted his focus to classical piano, in 1947 he enrolled at the University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music (DipMus, 1949), where he studied piano with Roy Shepherd.
In December 1949 Humble sailed for London with an Australian Music Examinations Board scholarship to study piano performance and composition at the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM, 1950). Following a shipboard romance, he married an Australian-born music student, Ivy Grace Dommett, on 14 February 1950 at the register office, Kensington, London. She returned to Australia in May, pregnant with their son, and they would divorce in 1955. In June 1951 Humble enrolled at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. He also began work with the composer René Leibowitz, first as a private student, then as a teacher’s assistant, and eventually as his musical assistant. His String Trio (1953) exemplifies his fluency in the serial compositional language that he studied with Leibowitz. He toured Europe as a lieder accompanist and would continue to engage with the lieder tradition throughout his career, composing several song cycles.
On 2 August 1955 at the register office at Ealing, London, Humble married Jill Dobson, a secretary. Born in India to English parents, she had first met him while studying at the conservatorium in Melbourne. In 1956 he took up a position there as lecturer in piano, but he was disappointed with the lack of interest in contemporary music. He returned to Paris the next year and resumed his work with Leibowitz. In 1959, at the American Centre for Students and Artists, he established the ‘Centre de Musique’, a ‘performance workshop’ dedicated to the presentation and discussion of new music. In the early 1960s he began to experiment with theatre, working on a series of collaborative works with the French writer Marc’O (Marc-Gilbert Guillaumin) and his theatre improvisation group.
Humble returned to the University of Melbourne in 1966 to take up a senior lectureship in composition (1966–74). Bringing first-hand knowledge of the European avant-garde, he worked to raise the profile of Australian contemporary music. At the university’s neglected Grainger Museum, he established the Society for the Private Performance of New Music, and the Electronic Music Studio. He ran weekend workshops for children, recordings of which he used in his Music for Monuments (1967), a work with flexible instrumentation and prepared tape.
Between 1968 and 1971 Humble presented a series of theatre works titled Nunique at Monash University. Inspired by the avant-garde poet and dramatist Pierre Albert-Birot’s focus on ‘nowism’, the works presented contrasting events simultaneously and prompted audience participation, removing the boundary between audience and performer. He used another of Albert-Birot’s texts in his large-scale cantata La Légende (1971), which was scored for solo voice, chorus, orchestra, and electronic tape, and featured eight new paintings by Noel Counihan projected onto screens.
Humble was a frequent visitor to the United States of America and had a close association with the University of California, San Diego, a hub for electronic music and computer-based composition. He was also in contact with the leading serial and electronic music composer Milton Babbitt, whom he brought to Australia in 1971 for a seminar on electronic music. In 1974 he was appointed the foundation professor of music at La Trobe University, where his innovative new department focused on experimental and electronic music. His exploratory work helped to define what was considered avant-garde in Australian music. In addition to his work at La Trobe, he was co-founder and director (1975–78) of the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble, and he performed in the international improvisation ensemble KIVA from 1982 to 1990.
A tireless advocate for new music, Humble was appointed AM in 1982, but ‘his distinctive ideas about music were more readily accepted overseas than in Australia’ (Whiteoak 2001, 822). He was a somewhat divisive figure, who met with hostility from some critics but was highly respected by colleagues, including Jean-Charles François, Felix Werder, and John McCaughey. Werder described him as ‘without question the finest all-round musician this country has produced since Percy Grainger [q.v.9]’ (1973, 19). Retiring from La Trobe as emeritus professor in 1989, he continued to compose, his notable late works including Symphony of Sorrows (1993). Survived by his wife and the son of his first marriage, he died of heart disease on 23 May 1995 at Geelong and was buried in the Eastern cemetery. In an obituary, John Whiteoak remembered him as ‘a stirrer with a wicked sense of humour and a wicked grin to match’ (1995, 12). An auditorium (2000) at Scotch College, Hawthorn, and a performing arts centre (2006) at Geelong College were named in his honour. La Trobe University holds a portrait bust by Maria Kuhn (1981).
François, Jean-Charles. ‘In Memoriam Keith Humble.’ Perspectives of New Music 33 (1995): 208–15; Harris, Laughton. ‘Keith Humble.’ In Australian Composition in the Twentieth Century, edited by Frank Callaway and David Tunley, 117–25. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978; Humble, Jill. Keith Humble, Music, and Me: Memories of a Shared Life. Healesville, Vic.: Fernmill Books, 2015; Humble, Keith. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 20 November 1969. Sound recording. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; McCaughey, John. ‘A Stimulus and Agent for Change.’ Age (Melbourne), 15 June 1995, 16; Murdoch, James. Australia’s Contemporary Composers. Melbourne: Sun Books, 1972; National Library of Australia. MS 9402, Music Scores and Papers of Keith Humble; Werder, Felix. ‘We Give Our Artists Great Farewells.’ Age (Melbourne), 21 July 1973, 19; Whiteoak, John. ‘Humble, (Leslie) Keith.’ In New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie. 2nd ed. vol. 11, 821–22. London: Grove, 2001; Whiteoak, John. ‘Interview with Keith Humble.’ NMA (New Music Articles) 7 (1989): 21–26; Whiteoak, John. ‘Keith Humble, the Music-maker with a Message.’ Context: Journal of Music Research 10 (Summer 1995): 5–9; Whiteoak, John. ‘Vale Keith Humble.’ Bulletin (Sydney), 7 June 1995, 12.
HUME, LEONARD JOHN (LEN) (1926–1993), public servant, political scientist and university teacher, was born on 2 April 1926 at Arncliffe, Sydney, elder son of Sydney-born parents Frederick Roy Hume, bank clerk (later bank manager), and his wife Alice Clare, née Stapleton. Len was educated to Leaving certificate level at Murrumburrah Intermediate High School before entering the University of Sydney (BEc, 1947; MEc, 1950), where he wrote a thesis titled ‘The Labor Movement in New South Wales and Victoria, 1830–1860’. While there he was a teaching fellow in economics (1947–49).
In 1950 he joined the Prime Minister’s Department, Canberra, as a research officer. At the London School of Economics and Political Science (PhD, 1954), he wrote a doctoral thesis, ‘The Reconstruction Committee and the Ministry of Reconstruction During the First World War’. He married English-born Angela Marguerite Burden, a speech therapist, in 1955. Returning to the Prime Minister’s Department, in 1958 he was promoted to senior economist at the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
Appointed senior lecturer in political science at The Australian National University (ANU) in 1961, in 1965 Hume was promoted to reader. He was acting head of the political science department (1970, 1974) before becoming head in 1987, a position he likened to that of chief clerk. He dissented about university life. He felt the ANU had ‘become a vast and efficient machine for the generation of distractions and interruptions in the form of meetings, circulars and questionnaires’ (NLA MS 9029). As this suggests his wit was usually dry and understated but he could also surrender to shoulder-shaking mirth, particularly when reflecting on the comedy of university life. A scholar of distinction, he published widely in the fields of Australian history, public administration, and political ideas. His book Bentham and Bureaucracy (1981) has been called ‘the classic study of Bentham’s political thought’ (Maley 2003, 2). He retired from the ANU in 1988.
In retirement Hume wrote an essay titled ‘Another Look at the Cultural Cringe’. Discussing literature, the performing arts, universities, and the economy, and offering tart views about the quality of the arguments and evidence advanced in support of the various theses, he argued that the notion of a national cultural cringe—a sense of inferiority to foreign things—was the creation of ‘self-applauding moderns’ (Hume 1991, 31) evangelistically denouncing the cringing of others. Although largely ignored, it was a devastating critique, ‘revealing a tapestry of ignorance, selective quotation, and misreading of documents’ (Champion 2003, vi).
At the time of his death Hume was editing two volumes of Bentham’s Constitutional Code for the Bentham Project based at University College, London. He was a scrupulous scholar who reasoned carefully and did not make careless generalisations. A man of modesty and restraint, he had no desire for public renown; above all he valued independent judgment. Away from his desk, the library, and the classroom, Hume was as keenly interested in sport as he was in matters of the mind. He was president of the ANU Rugby Club, perhaps one of the few teetotallers to occupy such a position. He served as manager of the ANU fifth grade team and once, in his forties, turned out for the team when it was a player short. On 6 March 1993 he was killed in a traffic accident at Baranduda in Victoria. Survived by his wife, their two daughters, and two sons, he was cremated and his ashes scattered on the university’s North Oval where he is commemorated by a plaque near a grove of Eucalyptus benthamii.
Champion, Rafe. Foreword to L. J. Hume. ‘Another Look at the Cultural Cringe.’ the Revivalist (blog), Winter 2003. Accessed 17 April 2012. www.the-rathouse.com/Another_look_at_the_Cultural_Cringe.htm. Copy held on ADB file; Duffy, Michael. ‘Non-Fiction.’ Independent Monthly (December 1993 – January 1994): 96–97; Hume, Angela. Personal communication; Hume, Leonard J. ‘Another Look at the Cultural Cringe.’ Political Theory Newsletter 3 (1991): 1–36; Maley, William. ‘Leonard John Hume, 1926–1993.’ the Revivalist (blog), Winter 2003. Accessed 17 April 2012. Copy held on ADB file; National Library of Australia. MS 9029 and MS Acc GB. Papers of L. J. Hume; Personal knowledge of ADB subject.
HUNT, HUGH SYDNEY (1911–1993), theatre director and professor of drama, was born on 25 September 1911 at Camberley, Surrey, England, second of two sons of Cecil Edwin Hunt, army officer, and his wife Ethel Helen, née Crookshank. His father served with the 34th Sikh Pioneers, and was killed on the Western Front in 1914. Hugh and his brother, (Sir) Henry Cecil John (Baron) Hunt, who in 1953 would lead the first successful expedition to climb Mount Everest, were educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire. Hugh then studied modern languages at Magdalen College, Oxford (BA, 1934), and became president (1933–34) of the Oxford University Dramatic Society.
Although Hunt also took postgraduate courses at the Sorbonne, Paris, and the University of Heidelberg, it was his inspired direction of an Oxford student production of Shakespeare’s King John (1933) that led to offers of professional employment in theatre. He began with a modest position at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich where he scrubbed floors, painted scenery, acted for a time as acting director, and performed on stage ‘only when I had to’ (Sydney Morning Herald 1954, 2). He directed the Croydon Repertory Theatre for a year, and then moved to the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Between 1935 and 1938 he directed thirty-three Irish works, including plays by Teresa Deevy, George Shiels, and P. V. Carroll. He left Dublin to direct a Broadway production of Carroll’s The White Steed in New York, United States of America, returning to Britain to produce and direct in London.
When World War II broke out in September 1939, he joined the British Army. Commissioned on 3 August 1940, he served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and then the Special Operations Executive. On 16 November 1940 he had married Janet Mary, the daughter of the vice-chancellor of Oxford George Gordon, at the parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Oxford. Demobilised in 1946 as an honorary major, he moved to Bristol. As director of the Old Vic Company at Bristol’s Theatre Royal, he turned it into the finest provincial repertory company in the country. He also developed a reputation as an outstanding director of Shakespeare. This led to his appointment to the Old Vic Company in London, where he was administrative director and later artistic director. His 1949 version of Love’s Labour’s Lost was the high point of his directing career.
In 1954 Hunt was chosen to be the first executive director of the newly founded Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. Widely experienced, and having nurtured a home-grown Irish theatre culture, he seemed ideally suited to the position. The purposes of the trust were to foster high culture in Australia in the form of theatre, opera, and ballet; provide professional training and employment to local performers; and encourage the country’s composers and playwrights. As originally conceived the trust’s role was to subsidise troupes, but Hunt’s interests lay with the creative side of theatre and he turned it into an entrepreneurial body as well.
The trust made excellent initial progress. Between 1955 and 1957, it presented highly successful opera seasons, while large crowds attended performances of plays from the classical repertoire. A local play, Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, staged by John Sumner, proved a box-office hit in Australia and the United Kingdom, leading the newspaper editor J. D. Pringle to suggest that Australians had learnt that ‘their lives, too, might be the stuff of great art’ (Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust 1956, 7). With Robert Quentin [q.v.16], Hunt also helped to establish the National Institute of Dramatic Art at the University of New South Wales in 1958; it was intended to train local actors for the Australian stage.
But it was no golden era as far as Hunt was concerned, and he referred to his time at the trust as ‘Five Years Hard’ (Hunt n.d., 33). There were insufficient monies to allow the simultaneous operation of national theatre, ballet, and opera companies, and a decrease in the size of audiences—the result of hard economic times in the late 1950s and the arrival of television—further strained an already under-funded operation. The trust’s dual subsidy and entrepreneurial activities also led to criticisms from theatre practitioners who resented the authority and the competition that the trust represented. Still, when Hunt resigned in 1959 he could accurately claim that the trust had established higher theatre standards, provided outlets for Australian work, and laid the foundations for a theatre with both a classical and a local repertoire.
Hunt was not quite the perfect fit. The limited success of the trust was mostly due to financial constraints over which he had no authority, but his cultural conservatism also limited his strategy and vision. He admired Irish national theatre because it focused on issues that provided moral and aesthetic uplift. But he disliked the direction of local Australian theatre, with its emphasis on the vernacular and ‘the slums’ (Daily Mirror 1960, 6). He was critical of Australian audiences too, claiming they only wanted amusement, and did not understand that theatre’s role was to sublimate life. In seeking to present Shakespeare in a manner that fulfilled that purpose, he contributed to the disaffection of an entertainment-seeking audience.
Returning to England in 1960, the following year Hunt took up the chair of drama at the University of Manchester. During his tenure he introduced a professional practice-based curriculum that became a model for other drama departments. He also resumed his directing career on a part-time basis. In 1962 he published The Live Theatre: An Introduction to the History and Practice of the Stage; the book stretched from ancient Athens to contemporary Britain, but did not contain a single reference to Australia. He retired in 1973 and was appointed CBE in 1977.
Failing health required Hunt to lead an uncharacteristically quiet life in rural Wales, cared for by his wife. Survived by his wife, one son, and one daughter, he died on 22 April 1993 at Criccieth. He was remembered as a shy man, capable of decisiveness. He was a key figure in institutionalising legitimate theatre in Australia but remains underestimated and undervalued by the Australian theatrical community.
Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust: The First Year. [Sydney]: Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, ; Daily Mirror. ‘Our Theatre is Beginning to LIVE! … Says Hugh Hunt.’ 28 March 1960, 6; Davis, Allan. ‘Obituary: Professor Hugh Hunt.’ Independent, 1 May 1993, 33; Hunt, Hugh. ‘Audiences Provide the Magic for the Theatre.’ Age (Melbourne), 18 October 1958, 19; Hunt, Hugh. ‘Five Years Hard.’ In Australian Theatre Year, 1959/60, edited by F. R. Harvey, 33–35. Sydney: F. P. Publications, n.d.; Hunt, Hugh. The Making of Australian Theatre. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1960; National Library of Australia. MS5908, Records of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, 1955–1998, MS 1009, Papers of Sir John Latham, 1856–1964; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Hugh Hunt Will Seek Everest of Theatre.’ 26 October 1954, 2.