Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 19: 1991–1995 (A–Z)
KAATEN, SVERRE ANDREAS (1908–1991), skier and businessman, was born on 26 July 1908 at Kongsvinger, Norway, third of seven children of Andreas Eberhardt Kaaten, timber merchant, and his wife Olga, née Lie. Sverre began skiing at the age of five and had jumping skis by twelve. He tackled Oslo’s famous Holmenkollen ski jump as a teenager. Hopes to study architecture were dashed by family financial problems, and instead he joined a paper-making mill. Aware of the existence of Australia’s snowfields and with an uncle running a paper business in Melbourne, he sailed for Australia in March 1928.
Soon after arriving in Melbourne, Kaaten skied at Mounts Buffalo, Feathertop, Hotham, Buller, and Bogong. His prowess was soon recognised in competition victories, and photos of him ski jumping appeared in the urban press. He excelled in the Australian ski championships at Mount Kosciuszko in 1931. In 1934 he set a new Australian jump record of 43 metres. That year with George Aalberg he skied from Kiandra to Kosciuszko, a distance of approximately 65 miles (100 km), in a creditable fourteen hours and fifteen minutes. He met Ramah Shirleigh Parker at the Hotel Kosciusko during the 1931 championships; they married on 13 April 1933 at St Michael’s Church, Vaucluse, Sydney, with Church of England rites. They had no children. The couple settled in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where Kaaten launched his own paper firm, Sverre Kaaten, Collins Pty Ltd, importing, among other goods, Scandinavian paper products.
Kaaten enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 20 February 1942 and served with the 2/11th Armoured Car Regiment. In August 1944 he transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force. Commissioned in October, he worked as an equipment officer in stores and aircraft depots. He was demobilised as a flying officer in November 1945, having spent all of his World War II service in Australia. Following the war, he returned to his business, and was a regular member of the New South Wales ski team. President of the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce (1963–71), he helped found the Scandinavian Business Club and was twice its president (1975, 1979). He and Shirleigh enjoyed the good life, travelling and often appearing in the social pages of the press attending various Sydney nightspots—sometimes with overseas dignitaries—during the 1930s to the 1960s. One night in November 1935, driving home, he killed a pedestrian. He was later acquitted of manslaughter. In 1940 he was naturalised.
By the early 1950s Kaaten was competing less in ski championships and moving more into administration and resort development. He became vice president of the Ski Council of New South Wales in 1949 and was its president in 1953–54. During the 1930s and 1940s, he had complained about what he saw as the New South Wales government’s narrow policy on ski resort development. Now he actively developed the Perisher-Smiggins area. Together with a group of mostly expatriate Norwegians, he built Telemark ski lodge at Perisher in 1952—it was only the second club lodge in the valley. He established a transport service using ex-Bren-gun carriers, and formed a company to build a ski tow at North Perisher. In 1960 his firm, Perisher Valley Enterprises, built the first T-bar at Smiggins and developed the Alpine Gate Hotel; the following year he sold his Perisher interests to the developer Ken Murray and concentrated on his resort at Smiggin Holes. Frustrated by the Kosciusko State Park Trust’s tendering policies, he sold out to the consortium granted development rights at Smiggins, but sat on the new company’s board into the 1970s.
Known for his genial smile and as an energetic dancer, Kaaten was a vital man of strong opinions who left a lasting legacy in Australia’s snowfields. Though his desire to promote ski jumping in Australia was ultimately unsuccessful, his promotion of cross-country skiing bore fruit. A new triple chairlift at Smiggins was named for him in 1979, as was a shelter for cross-country skiers at Perisher in 1980. He and Shirleigh donated an annual ski trophy to raise funds for The Spastic Centre (Cerebral Palsy Alliance). In 1981 he published his memoirs, 52 Years of Skiing in Australia through Norwegian Eyes. Survived by Shirleigh, he died of bowel cancer on 23 July 1991 at Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, and was cremated.
Kaaten, Sverre. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 27 November 1979. Transcript. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Champion of the Snow Fields Dies.’ 25 July 1991, 5.
KAMENKA, EUGENE (1928–1994), philosopher and historian of ideas, was born on 4 March 1928 at Cologne, Germany, son of Serge Kamenka, engineer, and his wife Nadja, née Litvin, a botanist. Both were Russian Jewish political émigrés who had met and married in exile. Neither was welcome in the Soviet Union, Serge being a Menshevik and Nadja, an anarchist. With the consolidation of Nazi rule, the family migrated to Australia in 1937 sponsored by relatives of Eugene’s mother. In his early teens he attended Sydney Technical High School, where his precocious intellect was quickly apparent. Having mastered the language, he came first in English in the New South Wales Leaving certificate examination (1944) and appeared on the 2GB radio program, ‘Youth Speaks’. While in his teens, Kamenka tried to join a Trotskyist group but was under age.
Enrolling at the University of Sydney in 1945, he was influenced by John Anderson [q.v.7], Challis [q.v.3] professor of philosophy, who taught pluralistic theories of society, emphasising initiative and enterprise, and the centrality of free criticism. A member and secretary of the university Labor Club, Kamenka was also active in Jewish youth organisations, and became director of publications of the Zionist youth department. In 1948, attracted to the newly constituted state of Israel by his secular Zionism, he successfully applied for a Palestine scholarship offered by the Youth and Education department of the Jewish Agency to work in the country. He left university in 1949 before completing his degree.
While in Israel Kamenka married Miriam Mizrachi in 1950 (they were to divorce in 1964) and in 1951 he became cable sub-editor of the Jerusalem Post. He returned to Australia the following year, and worked as a sub-editor with the Sydney Morning Herald (1952–54). At the University of Sydney (BA, 1953) he completed his degree at night. Having been awarded first-class honours in philosophy, he secured a scholarship to The Australian National University (ANU) and in 1955, commenced postgraduate work.
The demands of writing for a living had honed Kamenka’s fluent and elegant, but nevertheless economical and precise, writing style. He interrupted his ANU studies to lecture in philosophy (1958–60) at the University of Malaya, Singapore. While there he met Alice Erh-Soon Tay, a lawyer. Their liaison created a scandal and they quit their posts. They travelled to London, intent on writing for a living, and developed the collaboration that would last virtually up to Kamenka’s death.
In 1962 Kamenka’s doctorate was conferred by the ANU. His thesis, ‘The Ethical Foundations of Marxism’, was published that year and remains his best-known work. The ANU appointed him research fellow in the Department of Social Philosophy (1961) and in the History of Ideas Unit (1962); P. H. Partridge [q.v.18] and John Passmore, like him former students of Anderson, were colleagues. Kamenka and Alice married in Canberra on 18 December 1964; the couple spent ten months on exchange at Moscow State University (1965–66) where he studied nineteenth-century Russian and modern Soviet philosophy. Returning to the ANU he was promoted to senior fellow (1966) and professorial fellow (1968). After becoming head of the unit (1969–89), he was appointed foundation chair in 1974. He viewed the ‘history of ideas’ as a cross-disciplinary endeavour combining the methods and content of both history and philosophy: the issue for him was not so much whether a set of ideas was coherent, but how and why it became socially relevant.
From the mid-1970s Kamenka made major contributions to scholarship and intellectual conversation, both at the ANU and at numerous overseas universities. Many of his articles and monographs were written jointly with Alice, who was Challis professor of jurisprudence at the University of Sydney (1975–2001); none was devoid of some input from her. Their Canberra home was frequently a lively salon of discussion over dinners.
Known for his generosity, thoughtfulness and incisive wit, Kamenka also had a capacious and accurate memory. His main intellectual focus was European social and political thought of the past two centuries—chiefly, socialism and nationalism—though his interests ranged much more widely, especially to justice and the rule of law. Work undertaken during his early career added to the emerging analysis of Marx’s thought as profoundly grounded in Hegelian philosophy. Certain themes, however, were central to his outlook. While acknowledging the complexity and diversity of the human experience, he stressed its underlying universality. He cautioned against the detrimental effects of ideological and other blinkers. Although viewing civilisation as a common project of humanity, he explored the contributions of all cultures. He comfortably identified as both an Australian and a citizen of the world. A prolific writer, he was elected to fellowships in the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (1969), and the Australian Academy of the Humanities (1973), of which he was also secretary (1976–81).
Kamenka retired in 1992 and the history of ideas unit was closed soon afterwards. He was a man of courtly manners and benign appearance. A lifetime of heavy smoking, minimum exercise and the malign effects of his rotund frame were both trumped by prostate cancer that had metastasised to his bones. Survived by his wife, and a son and daughter from his first marriage, he died at home in Canberra on 19 January 1994 and was buried in the Jewish section of Gungahlin cemetery.
Brown, Robert. ‘Eugene Kamenka: 1928–1994. Proceedings (Australian Academy of the Humanities), 1994, 60–63; Cotton, Peter. ‘From Party Reject to Marxian Theorist.’ ANU Reporter, 12 May 1993, 5; Kamenka, Eugene. ‘Australia Made Me … But Which Australia is Mine?’ John Curtin Memorial Lecture, 16 July 1993. Canberra: Australian National University, 1993; Kamenka, Eugene. ‘A Childhood in the 1930s and 1940s: The Making of a Russian-German-Jewish Australian.’ Australian Journal of Politics and History 31, no. 1 (1985): 1–9; Passmore, John. ‘Citizen of the World Whose Gift Was Liberty.’ In Special issue Australian Journal of Politics and History 40, no. s1 (1994): 3–5; Rupke, Nicolaas A., and David W. Lovell eds. ‘Ideas and Ideologies: Essays in Memory of Eugene Kamenka.’ Special issue, Australian Journal of Politics and History 40, no. s1 (1994).
David W. Lovell
KANGAN, MYER (1917–1991), public servant, educationist, and Jewish community leader, was born on 12 July 1917 in Brisbane, eldest of five children of Russian-born Froem Kangan, painter, and his wife Julia, née Sallte. Myer attended Brisbane State High School and qualified as a primary school teacher at Queensland Teachers’ Training College. From 1936 to 1941 he taught in state schools in Brisbane and the outback. He then moved to Sydney to work as an assembler with the Department of Aircraft Production. In 1941 he matriculated at the University of Queensland and was admitted as an external student (BA, 1948; BCom, 1951). Found unfit for military service, in 1943 he joined the Department of Labour and National Service as an industrial welfare officer.
Moving to the department’s central office in Melbourne in 1946, he specialised in personnel management and edited the department’s Personnel Practice Bulletin until 1958. He was promoted to assistant secretary (1959), first assistant secretary (1962) and deputy secretary (1971). These senior roles included responsibility for the Commonwealth Employment Service and Australia’s relations with the International Labour Organization. At the University of Melbourne he had lectured part time in industrial administration (1952–58) and served (1955–59) on the council of the faculty of economics and commerce. He was president (1955) of the Institute of Personnel Management (Victorian Division), and in 1958 published Australia’s first text on personnel management (Personnel Practice for Australia). In 1972 he was appointed OBE for public service.
The Whitlam government, in April 1973, appointed him chairman of the committee to advise the minister for education on the future development of technical and further education (TAFE). Kangan’s unifying concept of lifelong learning was central to the committee’s 1974 report, TAFE in Australia: Report on Needs in Technical and Further Education, which identified TAFE as a distinctive and coherent sector of Australian education. For the first time specific funds were to be earmarked to encourage the participation of women, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities. In April 1974 the minister for education, Kim Beazley senior, endorsed the Kangan report, predicting that it would revolutionise Australian technical education. The government created a statutory TAFE Commission that would administer Commonwealth financial assistance to the States and implement other recommendations of the report. The former prime minister, Paul Keating, wrote of Kangan, ‘It will become increasingly difficult for TAFE students in the 1990s and beyond to imagine how bad things often were before Kangan … The achievement of the Kangan Report was to present the Commonwealth Government with a series of principles and strategies to transform the system’ (Kearns and Hall 1994, Foreword).
A small, slightly built man, Kangan was greatly influenced by his Jewish faith, tempered by his father’s advice to ‘think Jewish’ in a Jewish context and to ‘think non-Jewish’ in more secular contexts (Kangan 1986, 30). His incisive intellect and administrative expertise earned him universal respect, although his sharp tongue could be disconcerting. Friends found him clever, energetic, and compassionate, with a lively sense of humour.
Following retirement on health grounds in July 1974, he achieved his lifelong ambition of visiting Israel. Moving to Sydney he continued to accept speaking engagements to promote his philosophy of adult education. He also chaired (1975–76) the vocational committee of the Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, and co-authored Removing Post-School Learning Barriers: Handicapped People (1977). He founded (1982) Sydney’s Jewish Centre on Ageing to provide older Jews with ethnically sensitive domiciliary care, thus alleviating the fears of many, particularly Holocaust survivors, that they would be compelled to end their lives in non-Jewish aged care institutions. He regarded this as his most satisfying achievement. In 1983 he was appointed AO for public service and service to education.
Kangan never married. He died at Bellevue Hill, Sydney, on 4 October 1991 and was buried in the Jewish section of the Toowong cemetery, Brisbane. A Commonwealth-sponsored seminar (1994) commemorated Kangan’s pivotal contribution to Australian education. The following year, Broadmeadow College of TAFE, Melbourne, was renamed Kangan Institute in honour of the founder of Australia’s TAFE system. A room at the Jewish Centre on Ageing was also named in his honour.
Australia. House of Representatives. Parliamentary Debates. 1974, 1339–43; Kangan, Myer. ‘A Comment on TAFE in Australia.’ In The TAFE Papers, edited by D. McKenzie and C. Wilkins. Melbourne: MacMillan, 1979; Kangan, Myer. ‘Jewish Ethnicity. A Personal View.’ In Jewish Ethnicity and Home Support Care for Jewish Elderly at Home. Woollahra, NSW: Sydney Jewish Centre on Ageing, 1986; Kangan, Myer. ‘Kangan on Kangan’s Philosophy.’ TAFE Teacher 16, no 2 (May 1984): 9; Kearns, Peter, and William Hall, eds. Kangan: 20 Years on: A Commemoration: TAFE 1974–1994. Leabrook, SA: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, 1994; Rushbrook, Peter, and Ross Mackinnon. ‘Technocrat or Visionary? Reflections on the Kangan Legacy.’ In Different Drums One Beat? Economic and Social Goals in Education and Training, edited by Fran Ferrier and Damon Anderson, 159–64. Adelaide: NCVER Ltd, 1998; Personal knowledge of ADB subject.
KEANEY, JOHN ANTHONY (1914–1992), Catholic priest and archivist, was born on 15 September 1914 at Flemington, Melbourne, second of three sons of Victorian-born parents Matthew Loughlin Keaney, oilskin polisher, and his wife Eileen, née O’Dea. With his twin brother Matthew, who also became a priest, Jack was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at St Brendan’s School, Flemington, and the Jesuits at St Patrick’s College, East Melbourne. He trained (1935–37) as a teacher with the Education Department then taught in various country state schools including Quambatook East and Spring Plains. On 22 March 1941 he enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces and in January 1942 began full-time duty, joining the 14th Battalion (later combined with the 32nd). Having transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in January 1943, he served with his unit in Papua and New Guinea from July that year to March 1944. Back in Australia, he was discharged on 24 March in order to pursue theological studies.
Keaney entered Corpus Christi College, Werribee, where he became head prefect. Ordained by Archbishop Daniel Mannix [q.v.10] in 1951, he served in the parish of Alexandra until his appointment as an inspector of schools (1955–68) in the Catholic Education Office. He was also a member of the State government’s Council of Public Education. While visiting schools and assisting in the training of teachers, he developed a fascination for the history of Catholic education.
In 1968 Keaney was appointed a parish priest at St Mary’s Star of the Sea, West Melbourne. In the same year Archbishop James Knox [q.v.17] invited him to be the inaugural chairman of the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission. More than a historical society, the commission was to be an official arm of diocesan governance and administration, with responsibility for collection and preservation of material relating to Catholic history. At its first meeting on 25 April, the commission outlined an ambitious vision that included the future appointment of a diocesan archivist, finding a permanent building for the collection, and establishing a foundation to secure ongoing funding. Keaney also advocated contact with civic bodies, such as the State Library of Victoria, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and local universities, in order to encourage research and publications. In 1971, with Tom Linane, he founded the commission’s journal, Footprints. His own research on the early history of Catholic education in Victoria appeared in subsequent editions.
Keaney and members of the commission worked enthusiastically to collect material and in 1976 opened the James Alipius Goold [q.v.4] Museum and Diocesan Archives in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. The museum was named after Melbourne’s first Catholic bishop, whose early diaries had been rediscovered in the cellar at St Patrick’s Cathedral Presbytery. Keaney would often make a hurried visit to a parish, school, or convent, in order to rescue historical material and artefacts destined for the tip or the incinerator. The commission’s extensive holdings are testament to his dedication to the collection and preservation of historical archives.
From 1975 Keaney served in the parishes of South Caulfield and Newport, at St Patrick’s Cathedral, and in North Caulfield. In retirement, he attended the Goold Museum daily, assisting researchers and proudly showing the collection to parish groups and schools. He died on 29 January 1992 at Kew, Melbourne, and was buried in Melbourne general cemetery.
Advocate (Melbourne). ‘Hidden History.’ 2 May 1968, 6, ‘Historical Commission for Archdiocese.’ 2 May 1968, 7; Hazell, Tom. ‘Fr John Keaney and the Diocesan Historical Commission.’ Footprints 8, no. 2 (June 1991): 6; Keaney, Matt. ‘Homily at Funeral Mass for Father Keaney.’ Footprints 9, no. 1 (March 1992): 2–7; McCarthy, William. ‘Homily at Vigil Mass for Father Keaney.’ Footprints 9, no. 1 (March 1992), 8–11; National Archives of Australia. B883, VX131166.
KEESING, NANCY FLORENCE (1923–1993), writer, was born on 7 September 1923 at Darling Point, Sydney, elder of two daughters of New Zealand–born parents Gordon Samuel Keesing, architect, and his wife Margery Isabel Rahel, née Hart. Nancy grew up in Darling Point and was educated at Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, Darlinghurst, and Frensham, Mittagong. During World War II she was employed as a clerk in the Department of the Navy, as described in her memoir Garden Island People (1975). She then studied social work at the University of Sydney (DipSocStud, 1947) and worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (1947–51). On 2 February 1955 she married Adolphus Marcus (Mark) Hertzberg, chemical engineer, at the Great Synagogue, Sydney.
Keesing’s parents were both readers, with her mother, to whom she remained close, being interested in contemporary poetry and fiction. She inherited their love of books and wrote poems and stories from childhood. In 1951 she began work with the Sydney magazine the Bulletin, where the poet Douglas Stewart [q.v.18] had been literary editor since 1940. They had met in 1946, after Keesing had had poems published in the Bulletin and was beginning the close association with Sydney’s literary circles that continued throughout her life. Initially she worked one day a week, carrying out research for a proposed history of the Bulletin, and later assisting Stewart in the preparation of two jointly edited anthologies, Australian Bush Ballads (1955) and Old Bush Songs and Rhymes of Colonial Times (1957). From 1952 to 1956 (the year of the birth of her first child), she worked full time at the Bulletin, also writing many reviews and articles.
Through Stewart and other literary friends, Keesing became active in the Sydney branch of the English Association, publishers of the literary journal Southerly, continuing to serve on its committee until her final illness. Although joining in 1964, and therefore not a foundation member, she later also became deeply involved in the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). In 1969 she was elected to the management committee, and she edited an anthology of members’ work, Transition (1970), as well as their journal Australian Author (1971–74).
In 1973 the Whitlam government announced a reorganisation of the Australian Council for the Arts, which was now to include a literature board. Keesing was one of eleven writers and academics appointed to the new board; she chaired it from 1974 to 1977. In 1979 she was appointed AM for her services to Australian literature.
Throughout her life, Keesing continued to write and edit, publishing twenty-six books in a range of genres. Her first collection of poems, Imminent Summer, appeared in 1951; her fifth, the posthumous The Woman I Am (1995), was edited by Meg Stewart, daughter of Douglas. She also wrote a short critical monograph, Douglas Stewart (1965), and two children’s books set in nineteenth-century Australia. Edited works included collections of material on the gold rushes, the Kelly gang, and Australian motherhood, as well as Shalom (1978), an anthology of Australian Jewish stories. Her continuing interest in folklore led to Lily on the Dustbin: Slang of Australian Women and Families (1982) and a sequel, Just Look Out the Window (1985). Riding the Elephant (1988), her memoir, recalls her family life, youthful enthusiasms and ambitions, and later literary associations, giving lively portraits of friends, and the occasional foe.
Keesing also reviewed Australian fiction, poetry, and non-fiction for Southerly, the Australian Book Review, the Sydney Morning Herald, and other major newspapers, and was an early champion of the work of David Martin and Elizabeth Jolley, among others. In 1975, when critical material on recent Australian fiction was difficult to come by, she edited Australian Postwar Novelists: Selected Critical Essays.
Short-sighted since her childhood, Keesing was known for her large glasses, wide smile, and ready laugh. Friends remembered her honesty and generosity, and her lack of affectation. In addition to providing personal encouragement to many writers, in 1984 she helped establish the ASA Writers Benevolent Fund with a donation of $5,000. In 1985 she endowed the Keesing Studio in Paris in memory of her parents. This writer’s fellowship, administered by the literature board, allows holders to spend six months working in Paris.
Survived by her always supportive husband, and their daughter and son, Keesing died on 19 January 1993 at Hunters Hill and was buried in the Jewish section of Northern Suburbs cemetery. A bequest left to the ASA was used to establish the Keesing Press. Mark Hertzberg donated funds to the State Library of New South Wales for an annual Nancy Keesing Fellowship, which supports research using the library’s resources into any aspect of Australian life and culture.
Hellyer, Jill. ‘Nancy Keesing 1923–1993.’ Australian Author 25, no. 1 (Autumn 1993): 30; Keesing, Nancy. Riding the Elephant. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1988; Stewart, Meg. ‘Remembering Nancy Keesing.’ The Sydney Papers 7, no. 3 (Winter 1995): 18–29.
KELLY, KEVIN THOMAS (1910–1994), Catholic intellectual and diplomat, was born on 6 May 1910 at Ballarat, Victoria, eldest of five surviving children of John Kelly, railway fettler, and his wife Lucy Ann, née Cull, both Victorian-born. Kevin excelled as a scholar, leaving De La Salle College, Malvern, as dux in 1927. Following the death of his father he became responsible for supporting his mother and sisters. After teaching briefly at Toorak Central School, he joined the Victorian Crown Solicitor’s Office in 1928, working in the children’s welfare branch. Balancing study with full-time work, he graduated from the University of Melbourne (BA, 1932; LLB, 1940).
Although in February 1939 Kelly had enlisted in the Melbourne University Rifles, Citizen Military Force, his World War II service was with the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve. Appointed as a paymaster sub-lieutenant on 21 July 1942, promoted to lieutenant in November, and transferred to the Special Branch in January 1943, he performed intelligence duties in Australia (1943–44), Papua (1944–45), New Guinea (1945), and Netherlands New Guinea (1945). He was demobilised in Australia on 13 September 1945, remaining in the RANVR until 1958.
Kelly had joined the Campion Society in 1931, becoming a central personality among a group of Catholics keen to infuse their faith with social activism. Recruiting new members, he promoted the society by travelling throughout Australia, and established the Melbourne Catholic Evidence Guild. A disciple of Joseph Cardijn’s jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne (Young Christian Workers), he played a key role in introducing the JOC’s ideas into Australia and was equally instrumental in the formation of Catholic Action (about which he published a pamphlet in 1939). With one of the earliest Campion recruits, B. A. Santamaria, he helped establish the Catholic Worker.
There were fundamental differences of view, however, between Kelly and Santamaria. Deeply influenced by the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, who defined Catholic Action by its apostolic rather than its political ends, Kelly became increasingly convinced that Santamaria did not appreciate ‘the finer distinctions affecting the frontiers of Church–State relationships’. After Santamaria established the Catholic Social Studies Movement in 1941 to combat communist influence in trade unions and the Australian Labor Party, Kelly lamented that ‘there existed a profound break on fundamental issues of principle’ (Duncan 2001, 41).
Although deeply critical of ‘the Movement’s’ explicitly political activities, Kelly shared its strident opposition to communism. Joining the Department of External Affairs (DEA) as a third secretary in June 1946, he was unapologetically Eurocentric and convinced that Australia’s foreign policy interests were best served by cultivating relations with ‘natural’ allies, namely, western European, preferably Christian, nations with a deep antagonism to communism. He worked initially in the DEA’s Pacific section and later served as acting consul in New Caledonia (1948–49). Kelly urged the government to oppose the transfer of Netherlands New Guinea to the new Indonesian Republic, saying that it ‘occupies a position of great strategic and tactical importance’ to Australia and that it ‘should not become subject to the control of any Asiatic authority’ (NAA A1838, 309/1/1).
On 21 July 1951 at St Joseph’s Church, Malvern, Kelly married Margaret Mary O’Malley, a stenographer. Appointed first secretary to the Australian High Commission in South Africa (1952–55), he was critical of apartheid. He recognised that, as a consequence of decolonisation, the world was changing and that Australia had to change with it. A counsellor on the Australian mission to the United Nations Organization (1957–60), he represented Australia on its Trusteeship Council and was one of the first officials to warn that Australia’s claims over the Territory of Papua and New Guinea would become increasingly untenable as Afro-Asian nations ‘bend their energies … to ending European hegemony over indigenous peoples wherever they can’ (NAA A1838, 935/1/4).
After a posting to India and Nepal (1960–62) as counsellor, and a brief period in charge of the department’s intelligence coordination branch, Kelly was appointed Australia’s first ambassador to Argentina (1963–66). Returning to Canberra in 1967, he became assistant secretary of the DEA’s policy planning branch (1967–70) before being appointed Australia’s first resident ambassador to Portugal (1971–74). His persistent efforts to emphasise the similarities between the two countries at a time of growing international criticism of Portugal’s colonial policies raised eyebrows in Canberra and led to a formal instruction that ‘wherever possible, you should continue to discourage the Portuguese from attempting to associate Australia with them as a so-called bastion of European culture’ (NAA A1838, 49/1/3).
In 1975 Kelly retired. His aptitude for learning languages led him to become fluent in several European languages while developing a working knowledge of some Asian ones. Kelly’s depth of knowledge was rarely disputed, but his manner of communicating it was a cause for concern. Following the coup in Portugal in 1974, he is said to have been sent a cable asking: ‘Please inform urgently on events in Lisbon but don’t start at the Reformation’ (Griffin 1994, 9). A member of the University Club, Sydney, gardening and reading were among his recreations. He was variously described as a ‘chubby dynamo of physical and mental energy’, ‘an ardent democrat and radical Labourite’, and ‘perhaps, the best brain in the Catholic social movement’ (Duncan 2001, 15). Survived by his wife and two daughters, he died on 13 July 1994 in Canberra, and was buried in Woden lawn cemetery.
Charlesworth, Max. ‘Australian Catholic Intellectuals.’ In Intellectual Movements and Australian Society, edited by Brian Head and James Walter, 274–88. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988; Cooper, Barbara. Personal communication; Duncan, Bruce. Crusade or Conspiracy? Catholics and the Anti-Communist Struggle in Australia. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2001; Eddy, John. ‘Intellectual Turned Cultured Diplomat.’ Australian, 22 July 1994, 17; Griffin, James. ‘Kevin Thomas Kelly (1910–1994).’ Eureka Street 4, no.6 (August 1994), 9; National Archives of Australia. A1838, 49/1/3 part 5, 309/1/1 part 1, & 935/1/4 part 2.
KELSALL, GEORGE ARTHUR (1905–1994), haematologist, was born on 21 August 1905 in Perth, fourth child of Indian-born Henry Truman Kelsall, ophthalmic surgeon and later stud sheep breeder, and his Western Australian–born wife Blanche Edith, née Leake. On leaving Guildford Grammar School, where he boarded from 1917 to 1923, George planned a farming life and studied farm trades, before travelling to Bradford, England, in 1927 to learn wool-classing. Returning to Perth during the Depression, he could not find employment and decided to set up the wool-broking firm Kelsall, Oliver & Co. Ltd, registered in October 1931. He married Gertrude Monteith (Monte) Rolland, a sports mistress, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Perth, on 19 January 1932. His father’s death later that year left him with a bequest sufficient to pursue medical studies at the University of Edinburgh (MB, ChB, 1937). He returned in October 1937 to work as a resident medical officer at (Royal) Perth Hospital before setting up in general practice in West Perth.
During World War II Kelsall served in Perth as a captain in the Australian Army Medical Corps, Citizen Military Forces. He began full-time duty in December 1942 and volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force but was transferred to the Reserve of Officers in July 1943. Resuming his practice, he became acting director of the Western Australian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (1943–45). In that capacity he organised wartime blood supplies for the defence forces and civilian population, extending the work of Cyril Fortune who had established the service. Under Kelsall it grew rapidly and its technologies advanced.
In 1943 Kelsall became visiting haematologist at Perth Children’s Hospital, and the same year accepted an honorary position as resuscitation officer at (Royal) Perth Hospital with responsibilities for the blood bank, blood transfusion, and the burns unit. He was awarded a research fellowship at the University of Sydney in 1949 and studied eclampsia and the toxaemias of pregnancy with Bruce Mayes, before returning to Perth to commence a specialist practice in haematology in 1952. Throughout this period he had been honorary haematologist at King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women (KEMH), and it was in this capacity that he made his mark.
Kelsall’s developing specialisation drew him into pioneering research on blood transfusion, chiefly on the newly discovered rhesus factor that could lead to the delivery of ‘blue babies’ who did not survive. This wartime work saw the development of rhesus antisera utilising bloods from monkeys at Perth Zoo. His research on haemolytic disease of the newborn (Erythroblastosis fetalis), combining clinical observation with laboratory work, was first published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1944 and 1945, and continued after the war at KEMH in collaboration with a technical assistant, Gerard Vos. Together, between 1952 and 1962, they published at least eleven cited papers on the subject that was then engaging major international research interest.
Using the antisera he had developed, Kelsall monitored at-risk pregnant women and on 18 December 1945 at KEMH performed the first blood replacement transfusion for rhesus incompatibility in a newborn in Australia. The exchange transfusion occurred at delivery directly from the donor into the umbilical vein of the newborn, known at the time only as Marilyn, whose own blood was simultaneously drained away. The whole procedure took less than ten minutes. The donor, Max Praed, was a Sunday Times journalist and publicised the story in so far as he could, but the parents asked for privacy and Kelsall could not be named, in line with medical convention at the time. Exchange transfusions in newborns had begun earlier in 1945 in the United States of America, but the treatment was still experimental and did not begin to find its way into the international literature until 1946. Even then, because of privacy concerns surrounding Marilyn’s case, Kelsall did not report his path-breaking achievement in the scientific literature, nor was he named in the limited local publicity.
Between 1950 and 1965, when Kelsall retired from KEMH, he handled 1,229 cases and performed 806 exchange transfusions with mostly positive and improving outcomes, giving the hospital’s haematology department an international reputation. He continued his work on rhesus incompatibility and retained his honorary hospital positions and his haematology practice until 1980. A colleague described him as a man ‘of gentle and pleasant demeanour who mixed easily’ (Barter 1994, 10). His family, gardening, working in his home workshop, and acting as a medical referee for permits to cremate, occupied his retirement. He died on 21 August 1994 at Dalkeith, Perth, and was cremated; his wife and three sons survived him.
Barter, Robert. ‘Medic Made Transfusion History.’ Australian, 1 September 1994, 10; Kelsall, David. Personal communication; Kelsall, G. A. A Lecture Delivered on 12 August 1965. Subiaco, WA: King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women, 1965; Kelsall, George. Interview by Patricia Barrett-Lennard, 23 April 1983. Sound recording. Australia 1938 Oral History Project. National Library of Australia; Kelsall, Robert. Personal communication; Pearn, John H. ‘Erythroblastosis Fetalis—the Discovery and Partial Elimination of Rhesus Incompatibility—the Origins of Exchange Transfusion in Australia.’ Pathology 26 (1994): 176–82.
KEMP, CHARLES DENTON (REF) (1911–1993), economist and economic policy commentator, was born on 23 April 1911 at Malvern, Melbourne, second son of Victorian-born parents Charles Herbert Kemp, civil engineer, and his wife Alice Maude Restori, née Denton. His father was Presbyterian and his mother Catholic, and they fostered in him a tolerant and non-sectarian attitude to life. Charles’s birth three days before a constitutional referendum led to his lifelong nickname ‘Ref’. After his mother died in 1925, he and his brother were cared for by their maternal grandmother.
Educated at Toorak Preparatory Grammar School (Glamorgan) and Scotch College, Kemp started work as an office boy, later describing it as ‘the worst year of his life’ (1993, 25). He resumed his education, studying commerce at the University of Melbourne (BCom, 1933), where he won four exhibitions and represented the university in hockey, baseball, and cricket. Over the following years he worked in several jobs including as a research assistant for the economist Professor (Sir) Douglas Copland [q.v.13] and at the Farmers’ Debts Adjustment Board. In 1937 he became personal assistant to Sir Herbert Gepp [q.v.8], managing director of Australian Paper Manufacturers Ltd. On 3 August 1940 at the Littlejohn Memorial Chapel, Scotch College, he married Elizabeth Noel Wilson.
As socialist ideas gained force during World War II, Gepp, concerned about the future of private enterprise, instructed Kemp to write a report for the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures. Kemp argued that effectively combating the socialist influence required wider public economic understanding, especially among workers, unions, and business, and that this was best achieved through a new organisation. The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) was established in Victoria in 1943 to carry out this task. Many of Melbourne’s leading businessmen were founding directors including Sir Walter Massy-Greene [q.v.10], Sir Keith Murdoch [q.v.10], Harold Darling [q.v.8], Geoffrey Grimwade [q.v.14], and (Sir) Ian Potter [q.v.]. George Coles [q.v.13] was its first chairman. Kemp became economic adviser to the council of the IPA and in 1948 director of the institute.
A long-standing advocate of the English economist Alfred Marshall’s emphasis on the need for economists to understand human behaviour and society, Kemp was also an avid student of J. M. (Baron) Keynes and F. A. Hayek. He dissented, however, from the more extreme demand-management policies of some of Keynes’s Australian disciples. His views on economic planning were similar to the sceptical position of Hayek, who later wrote for the IPA Review and whose 1976 visit to Australia was sponsored by the IPA.
During 1944 Kemp was the principal draftsman of an economic strategy for Australia, Looking Forward, advocating policies to strengthen the private economy and improve relations between business and unions. The Opposition leader, (Sir) Robert Menzies [q.v.15], described it as ‘the finest statement of basic political and economic problems made in Australia for many years’ (1944). Political scientist James Walter has claimed that the IPA provided ‘the ammunition’ for Menzies who then ‘carried it brilliantly into the public arena’ (1988, 265).
In 1947 Kemp commenced publication of the IPA Review to provide commentary on industrial and economic policies to readers in business, the public service, and educational institutions. While it featured articles by leading Australian and international economists, Kemp wrote most of the content. Five years later, building on the Review’s circulation of some 17,000 copies, he began publishing the information booklet Facts that was written in an accessible style to make it more appealing to workers and supervisors.
Through the Review, Kemp was one of the main critics of bank nationalisation, and he supported the trading banks’ campaign against it in the late 1940s. He also became a critic of the process of developing economic policy by the Menzies government, with its reliance on bureaucratic advice and what he judged to be inadequate understanding of the economic impact of government decisions. The effect of high levels of immigration and continuing inflation particularly troubled him. In response he advocated the formation of an expert economic advisory council and greater transparency of government economic data and thinking. He welcomed the initiation of Treasury economic papers as a step towards the IPA’s preferred policy process.
Kemp valued his independence from party politics. As his son David recalled of discussion at home, however, theirs was ‘a family coming from a liberal perspective’ (Cumming 1996, 30). ‘Ref’ was appointed CBE in 1959 and retired as director of the IPA in 1976. He remained a contributor to public debate and, in Quadrant in the early 1990s, was critical of the deregulatory approach in economic policy, expressing his distrust of simple ‘laissez faire’.
Survived by his two sons and daughter, Kemp died on 24 June 1993, three months after his wife, at Hawthorn East and was cremated. The C. D. Kemp lecture was named after him. Both of his sons had joined the Liberal Party of Australia and in 1996 became the first siblings to hold office simultaneously as Federal ministers. Rod had also served as director (1982–89) of the IPA and was later appointed chairman (2008).
Cumming, Fia. ‘Brothers in Law-Making.’ Sun-Herald (Sydney), 1 December 1996, 30–31; Kemp, C. D. Big Businessmen: Four Biographical Essays. Melbourne: Institute of Public Affairs, 1964; Kemp, D. A. ‘The Institute of Public Affairs, 1942–1947.’ Hons thesis, University of Melbourne, 1963; Kemp, David. ‘Charles Denton Kemp CBE, 1911–1993.’ Quadrant 37, no. 9 (September 1993): 24–27; Kenaelly, Shaun Patrick. ‘C. D. Kemp and the IPA’s Foundations.’ IPA Review 46, no. 3 (1993): 57–62; Menzies, R. G. Letter to C. D. Kemp, 10 October 1944. Kemp Papers. Private collection; Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, Canberra. N136, Institute of Public Affairs deposit 1; Walter, James. ‘Intellectuals and the Political Culture.’ In Intellectual Movements and Australian Society, edited by James Walter and Brian Head, 237–73. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988.
KEMP, RICHARD JOHN (1945–1995), physician and infectious-diseases specialist, was born on 2 February 1945 at Greenslopes, Brisbane, son of Queensland-born parents Gordon Arthur Kemp, bank clerk (later manager), and his wife Dorothy Betty, née Giles. At Brisbane Grammar School (1959–62), Richard acted in the school drama club and gained outstanding results in the Senior public exam. He resided at Emmanuel College, St Lucia, while studying at the University of Queensland (MB, BS, 1968). The Queensland government had awarded him a medical student’s fellowship, obliging him to work in a remote area for three years. This commitment would begin following a one-year residency, which he undertook at the Royal Brisbane Hospital (RBH) in 1969, and national service, for which he had been selected in 1965. In a Presbyterian ceremony at his old college chapel, on 23 May 1969 he married Dorothy (Dottie) Jean Cochrane, a traffic officer.
On 11 April 1970 Kemp was commissioned in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, Australian Regular Army Supplement. Following his training, he was posted to the 1st Military Hospital, Yeronga, Brisbane, which received casualties from the Vietnam War. Transferring to the Active Citizen Military Forces in November 1971, he maintained his connection with the army as a consultant, rising to lieutenant colonel (1991).
Having gained obstetric and other necessary skills, Kemp was appointed as medical superintendent of Longreach and Muttaburra hospitals at the beginning of 1972. Based at Longreach, he provided weekly clinics and emergency services at Muttaburra, driving for two hours each way on an unsealed road or flying in a light aircraft. For emergency night flights the townsfolk lit flares beside the runway to guide landings, and by day a fly-past was often required to clear the strip of kangaroos. He treasured his time in far western Queensland. His characteristic commitment to patient care made a lasting impression on the communities he served.
Back at the RBH from 1975, Kemp trained in general medicine and in 1979 qualified as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). That year he took long-service leave and carried out honorary work in Edinburgh, spending two months at the Royal Infirmary and the same period at City Hospital, before returning to the RBH. In 1980 he went to the United States of America on a Churchill fellowship that he took up at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. Home again in 1981, he chose to continue in the public hospital service, rather than go into private practice. He was a staff physician at the RBH until 1986, when he was appointed as its director of infectious diseases.
Tireless in his clinical practice, Kemp ‘was intent only on his patients and on improving medicine to benefit all’ (Kemp, D. pers. comm.). He was constantly in the wards and was prepared to take calls from colleagues at any hour. For his dedication and proficiency in instructing and mentoring junior doctors, the University of Queensland’s medical faculty awarded him the academic title of clinical associate professor in 1991 and the Walters prize for teaching in 1995.
Kemp was a leader of Australia’s response to the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic. His empathetic, even-handed approach and breadth of vision enabled him to stand on equal footing with researchers, clinicians, carers, and HIV-positive people alike. He travelled widely, informing the general public about the infection and fostering a compassionate, non-judgmental, and reasoned approach to the epidemic.
At the State level, Kemp advised the government on matters surrounding HIV/AIDS patient care, funding, anti-discrimination, and education. He developed the government-sponsored A Doctors’ Notebook on AIDS (1990), a manual for primary-care providers, which was distributed to all Queensland medical practitioners. Among several Commonwealth roles, he chaired (1989–95) the Australian National Council on AIDS’s clinical trials and treatments advisory committee, providing advice to the government and to the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research. When vaccine research in Australia appeared to be foundering, he held workshops around the country to promote discussion and debate.
The author or co-author of nineteen publications, Kemp delivered papers at scientific meetings and lectured in Australia and overseas. He was a councillor (1984–87), vice-president (1989–92), and president (1992–95) of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases; vice-president (1989–91) of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine; and a member of learned societies in Britain and America, and of numerous RACP and RBH committees.
In 1995 Kemp was appointed AM. A fellow (1986) and active member of committees of the Australian Medical Association, he had little time for interests outside his profession. He was a devout Anglican and enjoyed singing in his local church choir. In 1992 he accidentally pierced his skin with a needle containing HIV-infected blood and contracted the disease. As the condition progressed, he used the experience to increase his knowledge and enhance his teaching. Despite his own impending mortality, he sat with and comforted others who suffered. He died on 11 November 1995 in his home at Taringa and was cremated. His wife and their son and daughter survived him. People from Longreach journeyed the 1,200 kilometres to Brisbane to attend his memorial service. The RACP established an annual travelling fellowship in his name. He left a cohort of health professionals more skilled and caring than they might otherwise have been and a community better able to understand and respond to diseases such as AIDS.
Allworth, A. ‘Kemp, Richard John.’ Roll of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Last modified 30 May 2018. Accessed 2 November 2018. www.racp.edu.au/about/college-roll/college-roll-bio/kemp-richard-john. Copy held on ADB file; AMAQ Quarterly (Australian Medical Association, Queensland Branch). ‘Vale Richard Kemp.’ December 1995, 10; Kemp, Dottie. Personal communication; Lloyd, Graham. ‘Death of the Carer Who Became Victim.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 18 November 1995, 14; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Tucker, George. ‘Physician Helped Develop Reasoned AIDS Policy.’ Australian, 29 November 1995, 12.
KERR, HENRY WILLIAM (BILL) (1901–1993), sugar technologist and research institute director, was born on 18 May 1901 at Randwick, Sydney, third child of Scottish-born Gabriel Kerr, mining-engine driver, and his English-born wife Ada Frances, née Markham. The family moved to Charters Towers, Queensland, in 1905. Bill attended the city’s Central Boys’ State School and, with a Charters Towers scholarship, Ipswich Grammar School (1914–16). He joined the Queensland Public Service in February 1917 as a junior assistant in the Chemical Laboratory, Brisbane. Having matriculated (1919) by evening study, he enrolled part time at the University of Queensland (BSc, 1924; MSc, 1926) and graduated with first-class honours in chemistry. Queensland’s Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations (BSES) had just instigated a travelling research-scholar scheme in an effort to improve the scientific training of potential staff members. He was awarded the scholarship for soils.
Leaving Brisbane in November 1924, Kerr studied sugar-production in Java, the Philippines, Hawai‘i, and Cuba, before spending two years in the United States of America at the University of Wisconsin (PhD, 1927). A paper based on his thesis on soil acidity was presented at the first International Congress of Soil Science, held in Washington DC in June 1927. Later in the year he also visited islands of the British West Indies and the Rothamstead Experimental Station in Britain, where he spent several months with (Sir) Ronald Fisher, who had devised superior techniques in the design and interpretation of field experiments. On 7 June that year at Madison, Wisconsin, Kerr had married Esperance Elizabeth (Betty) Freeman (d. 1976), a librarian.
Described as ‘a brilliant young Queenslander’ (Queensland Times 1928, 7), Kerr joined the BSES as a soils chemist on his return in September 1928. In the following year he was appointed head of the division of soils and agriculture. He also lectured part time (1931–39) at the Central Technical College, Brisbane. Having acted as director of the BSES in Harry Easterby’s [q.v.Supp] absences, he formally succeeded him in April 1933. Kerr initiated field fertility trials and soil analytical procedures; originated properly designed, replicated experiments and the statistical analysis of results; and set up a much better system of evaluating the performance of new cane varieties. Expanding the BSES’s engagement with the State’s cane-growers, he began informing them about fertilisers and their use, and appropriate tillage and cultivation methods, through the Cane Growers’ Quarterly Bulletin, a new BSES-sponsored publication. He advised cane-growers on how to raise leguminous green manure crops to replace the nitrogenous fertilisers that were in short supply in World War II.
In March 1929, responding to mill-owners’ concerns about the poor performance of their factories, Kerr had invited managers, engineers, and sugar chemists to a planning meeting at Mackay. This gathering formed the Queensland Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, the organisation having as its primary goal the dissemination of technical knowledge on agricultural and milling topics. Kerr was the inaugural president and was elected a life member (1961). For the fifth triennial congress of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, held in Brisbane in 1935, he arranged a tour of Queensland by members and the erection at Ormiston of a cairn to commemorate the founding of the State’s sugar industry by Louis Hope [q.v.4]; he would also organise the society’s next Brisbane congress, in 1950.
During the war Kerr had served (1942–43) in the part-time Volunteer Defence Corps. Seconded to the Commonwealth Department of Supply and Shipping (later Commerce and Agriculture), Melbourne, in February 1943 he was appointed chief food technologist, responsible for supervising factories producing foodstuffs for the armed forces. The following year the Queensland Public Service commissioner, John McCracken [q.v.15], responding to representations from cane-growers and millers, pressed Kerr to return to the BSES. He resisted and eventually resigned from the State service in March 1945, deciding to remain in Melbourne to avoid disrupting his children’s education. Having taken a job in 1947 as an industrial chemist and technical advisor to the three Melbourne factories of the Beecham Group Ltd, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, by 1949 he had become dissatisfied with the work, the company, and its management.
In October 1949 Kerr returned to Queensland as director of the new Sugar Research Institute at Mackay. Funded by a group of millers, the organisation was devoted entirely to milling research. He ran the institute frugally and worked to gain the confidence of its financial backers. On numerous visits to member plants, he discussed problems with chief engineers, especially the performance of the milling trains and their crushing rollers. A theory he formulated influenced the design of the Donnelly feed chute which improved the crushing rate; the equipment was subsequently adopted by many Australian and overseas sugar mills. Kerr’s tenure, however, was characterised by repeated clashes with W. R. Crawford, the institute’s inaugural chief mechanical engineer; there were numerous causes, including disagreements between them over the conduct of experiments and ‘personal difficulties [that were] adversely affecting Crawford’s performance’ (Reid 1999, 74).
On retiring in March 1961, Kerr became a sugar-industry consultant, based at St Lucia, Brisbane. He supervised (1961–63) a sugar project in the Iranian province of Khuzestan; coordinated (1964) a sugar-production expansion program in Queensland; studied and reported (1965) on the feasibility of sugar-cane production in Malaysia; consulted (1966–67) on the Kenyan sugar industry; directed (1969–72) sugar-cane research in Ceylon (Sri Lanka); examined (1973) agricultural activities in Jamaica, especially the decline in the output of the island’s sugar industry; and led (1978) an international study that investigated the potential for expanded sugar production in Ghana.
Kerr published many papers in journals—such as the Cane Growers Quarterly Bulletin, the Proceedings of the Queensland Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, and the Proceedings of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists—or as BSES farm bulletins or technical communications. He and A. F. Bell [q.v.13] co-wrote The Queensland Cane Growers’ Handbook (1939), which assembled all the current cultivation and fertiliser advice recommended by the BSES.
In appearance Kerr was of slim build; he wore spectacles because of short-sightedness. Well-spoken and forthright, he delivered his point of view firmly; his official memoranda, in neat handwriting, left no doubt of his intentions. Although strict with his staff, he encouraged those with talent and assisted many people to make successful careers in the sugar industry. Family members found him a generous, humble, and quiet man, always attentive to them and interested in their activities. He played lawn bowls and sang in church and community choirs. On 9 July 1993 he died in Brisbane and, following a Uniting Church service, was cremated. His three daughters and one of his three sons survived him.
Catchpoole, Jean. Personal communication; Courier Mail (Brisbane). ‘To Be Sugar Millers’ Research Chief: Big New Post for Dr H. Kerr.’ 8 October 1949, 3; John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. M991, Henry William Kerr Papers; Kerr, John D. ‘Introduction of Statistical Design and Analysis by the Queensland Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations.’ Australian Journal of Statistics 30B, issue 1 (August 1988): 44–53; Kerr, Ruth. Personal communication; Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Queensland). ‘Extracts from Report Made by Dr H. W. Kerr, Soils Scholar, 1927.’ 13 January 1928, 6; Queensland State Archives. 934645, Personnel file, Henry William Kerr; Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld). ‘Sugar Research: Dr H. W. Kerr Returns.’ 4 September 1928, 7; Reid, Jane Ferrier. The Long View: The History of the Sugar Research Institute 1949–1999. Mackay, Qld: Sugar Research Institute, 1999.
Peter D. Griggs
KERR, Sir JOHN ROBERT (1914–1991), lawyer, judge, and governor-general, was born on 24 September 1914 at Balmain, Sydney, eldest of eight children of New South Wales–born parents Harry Kerr, boilermaker, and his wife Laura May, née Cardwell. John attended Rozelle Junior Technical and Fort Street Boys’ High Schools. At Fort Street he became vice-captain, participated in debating and drama, and won an essay prize donated by H. V. Evatt [q.v.14]. In the Leaving certificate examination in 1931 he obtained first-class honours in English, history, and chemistry and was awarded an exhibition to the University of Sydney (LLB, 1936). Doubting whether he could afford to study law without legal connections, he approached Evatt for advice. Evatt offered him a personal grant of £50 per year and he accepted for his first year, after which he supported himself with scholarships and work as an articled clerk. In addition to his law studies, he attended courses in politics, government, and philosophy, and read the works of Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and others. After a brief flirtation with Trotskyism, he became an anti-Stalinist social democrat.
The constitutional issues raised in 1932 following the dismissal of New South Wales premier Jack Lang [q.v.9] by the governor, Sir Philip Game [q.v.8], were, were intensely debated during the 1930s, especially in legal circles. From Evatt and other authorities Kerr concluded that it was consistent for a social democrat to maintain the reserve powers of the Crown, whether codified or not. He maintained this view for the rest of his life. Having completed his articles and qualified as a solicitor with Baldick, Asprey [q.v.] and Co., he was admitted to the Bar in 1938. He joined chambers at 53 Martin Place occupied by labour lawyers specialising in industrial relations law. Believing, however, that he was restricting himself by being identified solely as a labour lawyer, he moved to chambers at 182 Phillip Street that were not politically aligned. On 4 November that year, at St James’s Church, King Street, Sydney, he married Alison Worstead, a clerk.
On 1 April 1942 Kerr began full-time duty in the Citizen Military Forces, at the Base Supply Depot, Parkes. In July he was commissioned as an acting lieutenant and posted to the army’s research section in Melbourne. Headed by Alfred Conlon [q.v.13], this organisation evolved into the Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs (DORCA). Kerr’s promotion was rapid: two steps to major in 1943 and, following his transfer (November 1943) to the Australian Imperial Force, to lieutenant colonel in 1944. He was effectively Conlon’s deputy (formalised in April 1945), putting administrative flesh on the bones of the proposals of his charismatic but idiosyncratic superior and helping to dissuade him from some of his more controversial ideas.
Contrary to many accounts, especially after 1975, DORCA was not an intelligence unit and had no association with American or other intelligence agencies. One of its principal interests was the military government of captured or occupied territories until they could be returned to orthodox civilian administration. Working in this field, Kerr became a quasi-diplomat, liaising with civilian and military officials in London and Washington. During visits to London in 1944 and 1945 he discussed the military control of the British territories in Borneo following their liberation by Australian forces in 1945. He became the Australian link with the British Directorate of Civil Affairs, seeking to alleviate Anglo-Australian tensions over Conlon’s heavy-handed management of the joint arrangements.
In Canberra in 1945 DORCA established the School of Civil Affairs to train administrators for Australia’s territories. Subverting Kerr’s intention to return to legal practice, Conlon deviously instigated his appointment as the school’s chief instructor—succeeding (Sir) Keith Murray [q.v.15]—and promotion to temporary colonel in September. Kerr’s faith in Conlon’s integrity was undermined but he agreed to head the renamed Australian School of Pacific Administration, established as a civil institution in Sydney in 1946. On 4 April he transferred to the Reserve of Officers. While at ASOPA he was also organising secretary of a conference which led to the formation of the South Pacific Commission. He arranged the first session of the commission but declined an offer to become its inaugural secretary-general.
Kerr resumed at the Bar in 1949, developing a successful practice in industrial and constitutional law. Having joined the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1948, after a meeting with Laurie Short, national secretary of the Federated Ironworkers’ Association of Australia, he acted for unionists who were challenging communist control of Australian trade unions. He also frequently represented the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board, handling waterfront issues linked to the communist-led Waterside Workers’ Federation of Australia.
In 1951 Kerr was endorsed as the ALP candidate for the seat of Lowe, then held by (Sir) William McMahon [q.v.18]. The seat was considered unwinnable and Kerr readily agreed to stand aside when Dr John Burton, a former secretary of the Department of External Affairs, returned from a diplomatic post to contest the election. Kerr took silk in 1953.
By the 1950s Kerr was increasingly distant from Evatt, who was vacillating between the right and left wings of the ALP. After the catastrophic split in the party in 1954–55, each side approached Kerr suggesting that he become a candidate, with strong suggestions of a leadership role. Considering the predominantly Catholic right-wing group, who would later form the Democratic Labor Party, to be too sectarian, and the ALP, having lost a large section of its right wing, to have moved too far to the left, he declined. He allowed his membership of the party to lapse.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s Kerr became prominent in a number of professional and other organisations, presiding over the Industrial Relations Society (1960–63), the New South Wales Bar Association (1963–64), the Law Council of Australia (1965–66), and the Law Association for Asia and the Western Pacific (1966–70). Reflecting the breadth of his interests, he served on the New South Wales Marriage Guidance Council (president, 1961–62) and was a board member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom. He helped to found the Council on New Guinea Affairs—an independent body that encouraged policies to prepare New Guinea for independence at an early date—and served on its board (1964–71).
By 1965 Kerr signalled a change in his political persuasion when he held talks with John Carrick, a leading member of the Liberal Party, on the possibility of his standing as a Liberal candidate in the State election. In the following year the Holt [q.v.14] government appointed him to the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory where ‘he proved to be an outstanding judge … and made some mark as a civil libertarian’ (Waterford 26 March 1991, 8). The government’s intention was to fold these jurisdictions into a new Federal court. Kerr might have become chief justice of the new court had it been formed in the 1960s but it was not created until 1976. He was appointed CMG on 1 January 1966, and served (1970–72) as a judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.
While a Federal judge, Kerr undertook three inquiries for the Commonwealth government. The first, known as the ‘Kerr Committee’ (1968–71), led to a substantial revision of Federal administrative law; another (1971), on parliamentary salaries, resulted in the establishment of a remuneration tribunal for Federal parliamentarians; and the third (1970–72) brought substantial reforms and improvements to the cumbersome system of pay and conditions for the armed forces. The inquiry was initiated by the minister for defence, Malcolm Fraser, who later recorded that Kerr frequently consulted him, even after Fraser’s resignation from the ministry in March 1971. He formed the view that Kerr was anxious to be seen as having done ‘the right thing’ (Fraser and Simons 2010, 226–27). In the crisis of October–November 1975 Fraser based his tactics on this insight.
In 1972 the government of Sir Robert Askin [q.v.17] appointed Kerr as the eighteenth chief justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, a position he held until 1974. He reformed the administration of the court, appointing a chief executive officer and establishing a system of judicial committees. Like most chief justices before him, he also served as lieutenant governor and, at times, acting governor. On 1 January 1974 Kerr was appointed KCMG, on the recommendation of the Askin government.
Later in the year, after Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck [q.v.] had declined an extension of his term, Prime Minister Whitlam offered the post to Kenneth Myer [q.v.]. He too declined and Whitlam approached Kerr. When seeking advice from judicial colleagues on whether to accept the offer, Kerr rejected the idea that it was a powerless position, pointing to the vice-regal prerogatives in the constitution. He accepted the appointment, which was announced on 23 February 1974. Kerr’s wife, who had suffered a stroke in 1965, fell seriously ill again after the announcement. She recovered sufficiently to accompany Kerr to London to be received by the Queen and to attend his swearing-in on 11 July, but relapsed and died on 9 September.
A meeting of the Executive Council in December authorised the minister for minerals and energy, Rex Connor [q.v.13], to borrow an extraordinarily large capital sum for ‘temporary purposes’. Kerr was unable to attend the meeting, but he subsequently signed the relevant minute without expressing concerns to Whitlam or questioning whether the proposal was supported by officials of the departments of the treasury and attorney-general; in fact, they were deeply opposed to it. His principal expressions of concern were made months later, when the government’s attempts to borrow from unorthodox sources were arousing considerable public controversy. In February 1975 he was appointed AC and on 29 April at Scots Kirk, Mosman, Sydney, he married Annie Dorothy Robson, née Taggart, a long-time friend. Whitlam and others later accused her of having played a ‘Lady Macbeth’ role in the crisis that would develop in November, an accusation that Kerr and his wife deeply resented.
During his first year Kerr travelled abroad considerably more than previous governors-general. He relished his public and ceremonial duties but gave less attention than his predecessors, Baron Casey [q.v.13] and Sir Paul Hasluck [q.v.], to the supervision of government business through the Executive Council, with its opportunities to give discreet advice and warning. The ‘loans affair’, in which the government sought overseas borrowings up to US$4 billion, was only one of the crises afflicting the Whitlam government in 1975. A combination of its own failings and external pressures generated a strong impression of administrative and economic incompetence. Whitlam dismissed or demoted several senior ministers. Economic policy came under enormous pressure, as high unemployment and inflation generated intense policy arguments. Treasury officials were disaffected by the government’s policies and its search for loans from unconventional sources.
In Federal parliament in October, the Opposition, which outnumbered Labor in the Senate, deferred passage of supply bills until the government agreed to an election for the House of Representatives. Malcolm Fraser, leader of the Opposition, believed that if the government did not agree, the governor-general had the right, indeed the duty, to dismiss it, ensuring that an election would be held. With a skilful blend of deference and intimidation he told Kerr privately that whichever decision he made would be criticised, but he would be respected for doing ‘the right thing’. Whitlam refused to call an election and insisted that the governor-general could act only as advised by the prime minister. It seems he was unaware of Kerr’s long-standing views on the reserve powers of the Crown.
Although there were precedents for a governor-general to seek constitutional advice from the chief justice, Whitlam rejected Kerr’s request that he should consult Sir Garfield Barwick. Without Whitlam’s knowledge, Kerr discussed the developing crisis several times with another High Court judge, Sir Anthony Mason, who affirmed a governor-general’s right to dismiss the government but advised Kerr to warn Whitlam of this intention. On 10 November Kerr obtained formal advice from Barwick, confirming his right to dismiss the government. Barwick’s role was well known and vigorously debated, but the extent of Mason’s informal advice was not publicly known until decades later.
On 11 November Kerr dismissed the Whitlam government and immediately commissioned Fraser to form a caretaker government pending a general election. The dismissal was a devastating shock to Whitlam, his party, and its supporters. In the ensuing election on 13 December the coalition, led by Fraser, won a landslide victory. Despite this electoral verdict, Kerr was subjected to intense criticism from the ALP and its supporters for the rest of his term. His public appearances were marked by controversy, although violent protests received more media coverage than expressions of support. After he was evidently intoxicated at the presentation of the 1977 Melbourne Cup, he was widely mocked.
Every aspect of the 1975 crisis was subject to vigorous debate for years afterwards. Some of the most common charges against Kerr had little foundation. The reserve powers that he exercised did exist. He was not an ALP man who had betrayed his mates. He did not act at the behest of the United States government’s intelligence agencies, although he may have been aware of their concerns over some of the Whitlam government’s policies. Nor had he conspired with Buckingham Palace or the British government. Documents released in 2020 indicate that senior officials at Buckingham Palace advised him that the reserve powers existed, but should only be used as the last resort. They also confirmed his fear that, if Whitlam had sought Kerr’s dismissal in order to secure a more compliant governor-general, the Queen would have been obliged, probably after some delay, to accept that advice. For that reason, Kerr did not warn Whitlam that he might dismiss the government, and did not signal his decision to Buckingham Palace until after the event. He argued that he thus protected the Queen from involvement in an Australian political crisis, but Palace officials shared the view that, while Kerr had the constitutional right to act as he did, he should have handled it more skilfully in order to achieve a political solution and avert a constitutional crisis.
After decades of controversy, the most substantial criticism of his action remained that he ‘should have spoken frankly with his Prime Minister from the start … [and] should … have warned wherever and whenever appropriate’ (Kelly and Bramston 2015, 301). Treating the matter as constitutional rather than political, he had relied heavily on Mason’s confidential discussions, Barwick’s written advice, and the opinions of some legal authorities, instead of seeking counsel from previous governors-general or other non-judicial sources. In 1977, in discussion with the Queen’s private secretary, Hasluck said, ‘If … Kerr had been diligent and attentive to the duties of his office, [and] … had established in Whitlam’s mind some greater respect for the office of Governor-General and … greater confidence in his (Kerr’s) own trustworthiness and wisdom, there would never have been a crisis’ (Bolton 2014, 464–5).
In April 1976 Kerr was elevated to GCMG and to AK in the following month. When he had been appointed governor-general for a five-year term, Whitlam had indicated that, if he were still in office, he would consider reappointing him for another five years. Kerr, however, resigned in 1977 and soon afterwards accepted Fraser’s offer to become ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, but the widespread outcry was such that he did not take up the position. Appointed GCVO on 30 March 1977 for his service as governor-general, that year he was also made a privy councillor on the recommendation of Fraser. He spent much of his retirement in Europe but returned to Australia several times in the 1980s. Survived by his wife, and two daughters and a son of his first marriage, he died at Kirribilli, Sydney, on 24 March 1991 and was buried in Northern Suburbs lawn cemetery.
Kerr’s life and career were reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy. His rise from working-class roots to the summit of the legal profession was based on considerable legal, political, administrative, and diplomatic ability, developed with energy and dedication. By the time he became governor-general, his ambition, vanity, and search for honours had overcome his sense of duty. Caught between two ruthless practitioners of politics, Whitlam and Fraser, he failed to give the strong leadership that the situation required. Had he shown greater moral courage from the outset, he might well have averted the crisis that divided the nation, damaged the office of governor-general, and fatally undermined his own reputation.
Bolton, Geoffrey. Paul Hasluck: A Life. Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia, 2014; Canberra Times. ‘Sir John Kerr Not Reclusive: Eulogy.’ 7 April 1991, 2; Fraser, Malcolm, and Margaret Simons. Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs. Carlton, Vic: Miegunyah Press, 2010; Kelly, Paul, and Troy Bramston. The Dismissal: In the Queen’s Name. Melbourne: Penguin Random House, 2015; Kerr, John. Matters for Judgment: An Autobiography. South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1978; Lloyd, Clem, and Andrew Clark. Kerr’s King Hit! Sydney: Cassell Australia, 1976; National Archives of Australia. B883, NX164481; Waterford, Jack. ‘Class Traitor or Saviour? Votes Still Out.’ Canberra Times, 26 March 1991, 8, ‘The Other Faces of John Kerr.’ Canberra Times, 31 March 1991, 19; Whitlam, Gough. The Truth of the Matter. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin, c. 1979.
KERSHAW, ALISTER NASMYTH (1921–1995), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 19 December 1921 at Elsternwick, Melbourne, only son of Alton Cranbrook Kershaw, commercial traveller, and his wife Frances Matilda, née Thomson, both Victorian born. His father served in both world wars, rising to the rank of major, and was later camp director (1948–61) of the Bonegilla migrant reception and training centre. Alister was educated (1927–38) at Wesley College, Melbourne, where the headmaster Harold Stewart was not impressed by his satirical style and advised Kershaw’s father to withdraw him in fifth form: ‘rabid on peace society—spoiled his work—wants to write—confirmed smoker—specious humbug—exercised harmful influence on others’ (Lemon 2004, 241). Rejected for military service in World War II on medical grounds, he worked as an announcer for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) from 1941, and towards the end of the war with the Department of Information in the short-wave broadcasting service.
From the late 1930s Kershaw had begun mixing in Melbourne’s literary and bohemian circles. He became a regular contributor of poetry and reviews to literary and art magazines, including Angry Penguins, Comment, Art in Australia, and Meanjin. With Adrian Lawlor [q.v.10] in 1941 he conceived the fictional poet Mort Brandish, a literary hoax and parody of modernism that preceded the Ern Malley affair by more than two years. Kershaw’s first book of poetry, The Lonely Verge, was published in 1943, followed by Excellent Stranger (1944), featuring a striking cover design by Albert Tucker. He later wrote about these years in Heydays: Memories and Glimpses of Melbourne’s Bohemia 1937–1947 (1991). It was a far gentler account than his earlier satirical poem The Denunciad (1946), which lampooned, among others, the Heide circle of the arts patrons John and Sunday Reed [qq.v.18]:
Where Nolan, like a loony don,
Shows them the canvasses he’s painted on
Or—if his art might rightly be defined—
His blobs of paint with canvasses behind;
Or yet again, where Albert Tucker reels
Towards the blackboard of his high ideals
On which dull surface he has often placed
In crimson chalk the proof of his low taste …
(Keon 1986, 23)
Finding Australia isolated and claustrophobic, Kershaw departed for England in 1947. He soon met a number of writers, including the novelist Henry Williamson and the poet Roy Campbell, the latter assisting him to find work with the British Broadcasting Commission. During a visit to Paris he met his literary idol, Richard Aldington, and later that year he settled with Aldington and his wife Netta, taking on the role of secretary at their villa at St Clair, Le Lavandou, in the south of France. It would prove an enduring friendship. Kershaw published a bibliography of Aldington’s work in 1950, was his literary executor from 1962, and later co-edited Richard Aldington: Selected Critical Writings, 1928–1960 (1970). On 9 January 1950 at the parish church of St Marylebone, London, Kershaw married Australian-born Patricia Cornelia Wright, a receptionist. The union was short-lived and in 1957 he married English-born Sheila Sanders. In 1951 he had moved to Paris, where with the Australian artist David Strachan [q.v.16] he produced Accent and Hazard (1951), comprising a series of poems by Kershaw, reproduced as handwritten facsimiles and accompanied by twenty-two colour etchings by the artist. It was a rare example by Australians at that time of the livre d’artiste tradition. Kershaw researched and wrote several books, including Murder in France (1955) and A History of the Guillotine (1958), and from 1959 to 1966 he was Paris correspondent for the ABC. He later estimated that he broadcast approximately 1,000 news stories, a selection of which was published as A Word from Paris (1991). Geoffrey Dutton later recalled Kershaw’s ‘golden voice’ (1995, 12), while Robert J. Stove described it as ‘rich, warm, [and] mellifluous, with a soupcon of a growl’ (1991, 5). After he left the ABC, Kershaw spent more than a decade editing and translating for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. He published two further volumes of poetry, No-Man’s Land (1969) and Opéra Comique (1979), which, along with his earlier works, would be gathered in Collected Poems (1992). From his retirement in 1982 until his death he resided in a house he had originally purchased for Aldington at the hamlet Maison Sallé, near Sury-en-Vaux, Cher, in the Loire Valley. Having divorced a second time, he married Slovenian-born Jelka Kozmus in 1986. He published several memoirs and was a frequent contributor to the Australian press. For Typographeum Press in Francestown, New Hampshire, United States of America, he edited works on Campbell, Aldington, and the French journalist Léon Daudet, and authored a memoir on Lawlor and a final volume of verse, Empty Rooms (1990).
Kershaw had cut a striking figure in 1940s bohemian Melbourne. Though his politics inclined to the right, he was more a natural contrarian than a considered thinker. He refused to align himself with contemporary trends, whether modernism or social realism, instead seeking friendships with mavericks and outsiders. His memoir The Pleasure of Their Company (1986) portrays ten such figures, whom he described as nonconformists, including Max Harris [q.v.], P. R. Stephensen, Aldington, Campbell, Lawlor, and Williamson. A genuine bon vivant, he extolled the pleasures of wine, good friends, and conversation in his posthumous memoir One for the Road (2005). Survived by his wife and the son and daughter of his second marriage, he died at Maison Sallé on 27 February 1995.
Dutton, Geoffrey. ‘Man of Words and Gentle Melancholy.’ Australian, 1 March 1995, 12; Keon, Michael. ‘The Sawtooth Integrity of Alister Kershaw.’ Quadrant, September 1986, 22–26; Kershaw, Alister. Heydays: Memories and Glimpses of Melbourne’s Bohemia 1937–1947. North Ryde, NSW: Angus & Robertson, 1991; Kershaw, Alister. Interview by Diana Ritch, 25 February 1992. National Library of Australia; Lemon, Andrew. A Great Australian School: Wesley College Examined. Wahroonga, NSW: Helicon Press, 2004; Stove, Robert J. ‘The World According to Kershaw.’ Australian, 16–17 November 1991, Weekend Review 5.
KEYS, EILEEN CONSTANCE (1903–1992), potter, was born on 24 December 1903 at Christchurch, New Zealand, fourth of five children of John Martin Mitchell, Cornish-born furniture manufacturer, and his locally born wife Alice May, née Pleasance. Eileen had a Methodist upbringing, with music and craft featuring strongly in her family life. Educated at St Margaret’s College, Christchurch, from the age of sixteen she took art classes at Canterbury College School of Art and trained as a kindergarten teacher in the Montessori method. She travelled to England and Europe in 1924, then worked as an art teacher (1925–29) at Cathedral Grammar School, Christchurch, where she met a fellow schoolteacher, locally born George Eric Maxwell Keys [q.v.17]. They married on 24 January 1929 at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Christchurch, and had two daughters and a son. From 1939 to 1941, when the family was in London, Eileen furthered her studies at Chelsea School of Art and was also introduced to clay, which became a consuming passion.
In 1947 Maxwell Keys was appointed headmaster of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia. Eileen began teaching the art to the boys. Faced with postwar shortages, she encouraged her students to source clay from their farms. Experimentation with different Australian clays for her bodies, and minerals and ashes for her glazes, became the focus of Keys’s own work, an enthusiasm that she passed on to her students. She also taught art at the Kindergarten Teachers’ College, and for the Adult Education Board.
Initially Keys worked in the tradition of the French artist-potters, making figures constructed of tin-glazed earthenware. She exhibited these in 1951 in collaboration with the weaver Hilda Stephens, forming still-life groups inspired by the Cubist paintings of George Braque. She found Aboriginal art exciting and for a time decorated her pottery with Aboriginal motifs. Her second exhibition was held in 1953, with work by Stephens and the painter Elizabeth Durack. Another visit to England in 1956 prompted an interest in stoneware. This was a period of considerable development in the mineral industry in Western Australia and of a worldwide craft revival. Both influenced her work and career.
Keys placed much emphasis on capturing the spirit of the land, its ruggedness and antiquity, taking heart from D. H. Lawrence’s maxim that ‘all creative art must rise out of a specific soil, and flicker with a spirit of place’ (McDonald 1936, 334). Her work was included in a national touring exhibition of Australian and New Zealand Pottery (1963–64) and purchased for state and national galleries. In 1966 she gave a solo exhibition at Scotch College—‘Fired Clay Rocks and Ashes’—featuring stonewares with mixed clay inlays and rock and ash glazes. She wrote in the catalogue that she wanted the clay to ‘roll, curve, fall, crack and do just what it will’ (Bell 1986, 7).
Maxwell retired in 1968 and the Keyses moved to Roleystone, in the Perth hills, where they built a ‘Bush Studio’ with a gas kiln. Eileen formed the Roleystone Group, presented at symposia, and experimented with dyeing and weaving. She was prominent in the early craft movement and was a founding member (1967) of the Craft Association of Australia (Western Australia branch). She travelled in Europe and Japan in 1970 and attended the World Crafts Council general assembly and conference in Toronto in 1974. Her work toured nationally again from 1974 to 1976 in Australian Ceramics. Maxwell died in 1986, the same year the Art Gallery of Western Australia held a retrospective exhibition of Eileen’s work. Forthright, confident, energetic, and always inquiring, she influenced a generation of Western Australian potters to experiment with hand-built forms. Survived by her children, she died in Perth on 16 September 1992 and was cremated.
Bell, Robert. Eileen Keys: Ceramics, 1950–1986. Perth, WA: Art Gallery of Western Australia, 1986; Campbell, Joan. ‘Eileen Keys: Pioneer Potter.’ Pottery in Australia 8, no. 2. (Spring 1969): 4–6; Erickson, Dorothy. Inspired by Light and Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1829–1969. Welshpool, WA: Western Australian Museum, 2014; Keys, Eileen. Interview by Barbara Blackman, 6–7 February 1986. Sound recording. National Library of Australia; Letham, Teddy. ‘Eileen Keys: Vale.’ Pottery in Australia 31, no. 4 (1992): 38–39; McDonald, Edward D., ed. Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence. London: Heinemann, 1936; Newsletter (Perth Potters’ Club). ‘Eileen Keys (Obituary).’ December 1992, 3; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Wright, Mary. ‘Eileen Keys – Working from the Ground Up.’ Fremantle Arts Review 1, no. 8 (August 1986): 10–11.
KHEMLANI, TIRATH HASSARAM (1920–1991), financial broker, was born on 17 September 1920 in India (Pakistan), son of Hassaram Ganggaram, textile manufacturer, and his wife Hemibai, née Khemchand. Little is known about his education and upbringing. His first marriage to Somar, arranged by her mother, ended in 1950 after a daughter, Shanti, and two sons had been born. Khemlani went to Britain in 1950 and studied textiles in Scotland where he traded as an importer and wholesaler of shirts. On 14 November 1968, at the registrar’s office, Paisley, Scotland, using the surname Hassaram, he married Sarah Ann Lambe, a tearoom manageress. In 1971 a London merchant named Tirath Hassaram was declared an undischarged bankrupt.
Khemlani’s sudden entry into Australian politics was in 1974 when he was contracted to raise loan funds for the Australian government. He claimed to have links with merchants in Muscat, Oman, and with some minor Arab rulers. Official inquiries produced an assessment by Johnson Matthey Bankers Ltd, London, that Khemlani was the manager of Dalamal & Sons (Commodities) Ltd, London, and that the company was ‘a wealthy and respectable Indian international group with worldwide connections’ (NAA M3865) that included the Middle East, and had handled transactions of high value to their satisfaction. This endorsement was good enough for Khemlani to enter into an agreement on 8 November 1974 with Tibor Shelley, the director of Opal Exporters Pty Ltd, Adelaide; Globe Control Finance and Trade Co., Basle, Switzerland; and a number of Chinese business partners, to arrange cash loans for the Australian government, which was seeking funds for proposed development projects. Senior ministers in the Whitlam government desired to tap large and new lines of cheap credit in the Middle East as a means to finance projects such as a petrochemical industry, a trans-continental pipeline, and a uranium enrichment plant.
Clyde Cameron, then minister for labour and immigration, later claimed to have been the mastermind of the scheme, building on his contacts with Gerry Karidis, an Adelaide businessman who in turn contacted Shelley. After he became treasurer in December 1974, Jim Cairns was also closely involved with these plans. Having gained cabinet authority to raise loans, Rex Connor [q.v.13], minister for minerals and energy, proposed in his first contacts with Khemlani in Canberra to secure ‘overseas borrowings … up to a total of approximately $US4,000 million … repayable at the end of twenty years’ (NAA M3865).
Ministerial dealings with Khemlani, described as ‘a small-time Pakistani commodity dealer’ (Farquharson 1994, 4), raised the concerns of treasury officials, led by the departmental secretary, Sir Frederick Wheeler, who saw him as an opportunistic ‘funny-money’ man or ‘carpetbagger’ (Farquharson 1994, 4). They moved to discredit Khemlani, especially as it became clear that he did not have access to the sums sought. Attempts to investigate him and enlist help from Scotland Yard came to nothing. The Reserve Bank of Australia and the United States Federal Reserve System also had doubts about the origins of the money. Whitlam had been an early supporter of the scheme, but discussions of Khemlani’s role with (Sir) James Wolfensohn, the London-based investment banker and future head of the World Bank, led him to conclude that ‘he sounded like a con man’ (Wolfensohn 2010, 168). As the details of the ‘loans affair’ emerged into public debate, it became one of the central controversies engulfing the Whitlam government. In parliament, Opposition members claimed to be in pursuit of the truth about the means by which the loan was to be raised, and that it was the people responsible who were in their sights. Khemlani was a minor player in the dramatic events that were to follow.
In May 1975 cabinet confined the authority to negotiate overseas loans to the treasurer, but Connor continued to deal secretly with Khemlani, even when the prospect of a loan was reduced to US$2 billion. When his actions became public in October, he was forced to resign as minister. On an unrelated issue, but revealing of the extent to which the raising of overseas loans was becoming a matter of political sensitivity, Whitlam removed Cairns from treasury and dismissed him from the ministry in July.
Khemlani’s final involvement in the controversy was in October, when he arrived in Australia with documents confirming his role. During an interview on 20 October he claimed that Whitlam knew all along that Connor was continuing negotiations after his authority had been revoked but, instead of supporting him, had used him as a scapegoat. However, Khemlani failed to provide evidence of Whitlam’s involvement. Although the ‘loans affair’ did not lead directly to the dismissal of the Whitlam government, it seriously weakened its credibility and provided the Opposition with cause to question its integrity. After leaving Australia little is known about Khemlani’s activities. In 1981 he was arrested in New York on charges of selling stolen securities and, although convicted, was immediately pardoned. Known as Peter rather than Tirath, he died at Paisley, Scotland, on 19 May 1991, survived by his wife and daughter.
Australia. House of Representatives. Parliamentary Debates, vol. HR28, 1975, 3654; Farquharson, John. ‘Formidable Public Servant from the Old School.’ Canberra Times, 7 August 1994, 4; Fraser, Malcolm, and Margaret Simons. Malcolm Fraser The Political Memoirs. Carlton, Vic.: The Miegunyah Press, 2010; Hancock, Ian. ‘The Loans Affair: The Treasury Files.’ 1974 Treasury Records: Selected Documents. Canberra: National Archives of Australia, 2014; Knightly, Phillip. Australia: A Biography of a Nation. London: Vintage, 2001; National Archives of Australia. M1268, 309 Part 2, M3865, 173; Wolfensohn, James D. A Global Life My Journey Among Rich and Poor, from Sydney to Wall Street to the World Bank. New York: PublicAffairs, 2010.
KIKI, Sir ALBERT MAORI (1931–1993), author, politician, and trade union leader, was born on 21 September 1931 at Orokolo village, Gulf Province, Papua, first child of Erevu Kiki, village constable, and his wife Eau Ulamare, of the Parevavo tribe near the Purari River. Raised in the traditional manner by his mother, Kiki attended the London Missionary Society primary school at Orokolo and in 1946 passed Standard V. After a few briefly held jobs, he worked as a ‘doctor boy’ (orderly) at Kerema hospital under the medical assistant Albert Speer, who recognised leadership qualities in Kiki and became his mentor and a father figure.
In 1948 Speer arranged for Kiki to study at Sogeri Education Centre near Port Moresby, then at the Central Medical School in Fiji (1952–56). He failed the medical course but went on to gain a diploma in pathology. More important to Kiki than his studies were his discoveries in Fiji of the existence of trade unions and the greater racial equality in everyday life. He was inspired by these revelations to work against inequality when he returned to Port Moresby in 1957. While in Fiji, with Speer’s permission, he adopted ‘Albert’ as his first name. In 1958 he married Elizabeth Arivu Miro, a nurse, in a traditional ceremony and later a Catholic service; she came from Moripi, a village near Orokolo.
The following year, while employed as a laboratory technician at Port Moresby General Hospital, Kiki established the Kerema Welfare Society, which led to the formation in 1960 of the country’s first trade union, the Papua and New Guinea Workers’ Association. He then gained employment as a welfare assistant (1961–63) for the Hahalis Welfare Society at Buka, North Bougainville. In 1962 he was selected by the administrator, Sir Donald Cleland [q.v.13], as the official delegate for Papua and New Guinea at the independence celebrations of Western Samoa. That year, in response to the local white-dominated rugby league, he helped to form the Rugby Union Association of Papua and New Guinea which welcomed players of all races.
Kiki commenced study towards a laboratory technician diploma in 1964 at the Administrative College in Port Moresby. While there he joined an elite group of politically aware students in the ‘Bully Beef Club’ which came together to consider the country’s political future. In 1966 a committee of its members, including Kiki, caused controversy with demands for self-government and for the rapid promotion of local public servants. Mainly from this group, the Pangu Pati (Papua and New Guinea Union Party) was formed in 1967, and Kiki became its full-time secretary and treasurer. By then he was well known as an outspoken advocate of political advancement and equality for his people, and he was soon challenging opponents of early home rule with his attacks on Australian colonial policy and practice.
In 1968 Kiki unsuccessfully contested the House of Assembly elections. That year, with the assistance of the German-born academic Ulli Beier, his autobiography, Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime, was published. The book was acclaimed for its descriptions of traditional culture and for its trenchant criticism of colonialism. He was elected to the Port Moresby Town Council in 1971, remaining a member until 1973. In 1972 he was elected to the House of Assembly and was appointed minister for lands and environment (1972–75) in the administration of (Sir) Michael Somare, and then deputy prime minister (1975–77) and minister for defence and foreign relations (1975–77) in the first post-independence government, also led by Somare. In 1975 he was appointed KBE. His political career ended abruptly when he failed to be re-elected in 1977. Having purchased a farm near Port Moresby, he tried unsuccessfully to develop piggery, poultry and cattle ventures. In the late 1970s he helped to found and was a board member of Kwila Insurance Corporation Ltd, and Credit Corporation (PNG) Ltd (chairman 1980). He served on the board of a number of other companies, including the government-owned PNG Shipping Corporation Pty Ltd (chairman 1977–80), and New Guinea Motors Pty Ltd.
Sir Albert died suddenly in his Port Moresby home on 13 March 1993. His body lay in state in the Grand Hall of Parliament House and, after a service at the Boroko United Church, he was buried in the Nine Mile cemetery. His wife and their two sons and three daughters survived him. Described as being ‘perhaps too honest for a politician’ (Beier 1968, iii), and ‘a great man with great vision for PNG’ (Canberra Times 1993, 13), he was a major figure in the pantheon of his nation’s founding fathers and was its first author of note.
Beier, Ulli. ‘Preface.’ In Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime, by Albert Maori Kiki, iii–iv. Melbourne: Cheshire, 1968; Canberra Times. ‘Master-and-Boy Set-Up “Allowed in NG.”’ 30 January 1968, 1 ‘PNG Leaders Pay Tribute to a “Great Man.”’ 15 March 1993, 13; Denoon, Donald. Public Health in Papua New Guinea, Medical Possibility and Social Constraint, 1884–1984. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984; Kiki, Albert Maori. Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime. Melbourne: Cheshire, 1968; Moore, Clive, with Mary Kooyman, eds. A Papua New Guinea Political Chronicle 1967–1991. Bathurst, NSW: Crawford House, 1998; National Library of Australia. MS 8450, Papers of Albert Speer; Oram, Nigel. ‘Albert Kiki Is a Man for His Time.’ Canberra Times, 23 November 1968, 13; Steven, David. A History of Political Parties in Papua New Guinea. Melbourne: Lansdowne, 1972; Woolford, Donald. ‘He Makes Sure He Doesn’t Get Lost.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 1970, 5; Woolford, Don. Papua New Guinea: Initiation and Independence. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1976.
KING, CHARLES KEITH (DENY) (1909–1991), tin miner, naturalist, and artist, was born on 12 September 1909 at Huonville, Tasmania, the third child and only son of Queensland-born Charles George King, farmer and miner, and his Tasmanian-born wife Olive, née Skinner. He was known as Charles Denison King. After he had completed one year of formal schooling, his parents, determined to instil independence in their children, moved to an isolated holding in the Weld Valley, west of Huonville. Home schooled from 1916, Deny developed a lifelong love of nature, bushcraft, and practical skills—prospecting, track cutting, and exploring—while working on the family farm and later at local timber mills with his own bullock team. He gained a diploma in automobile mechanics from the International Correspondence School, Sydney, in 1939.
Insatiably curious about the natural environment, King developed a productive association with the Tasmanian Museum, for which he collected botanical and other specimens, including from the rarely visited Lake Pedder. In 1934, after a bushfire destroyed the family farm, he joined his father at Cox Bight, near Port Davey, where he experienced the heavy manual labour of tin mining. Unafraid of hard work, he relished the challenges of Tasmania’s remote south-west, which became his home for over fifty years.
Early in World War II, on 6 June 1940 King enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. As a sapper in the 2/9th Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, he served in the Middle East, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Papua and New Guinea. Building roads, bridges and airstrips, he discovered the potential of earthmoving equipment. While hospitalised by an accident, he met the woman he wanted to marry, Margaret Ann Cadell, an occupational therapist. He was discharged from the AIF on 15 October 1945.
After the war King built a Nissen-style house at his father’s new mining lease at Melaleuca, near Bathurst Harbour, accessible only by sea or by foot. After pursuing a four-year courtship by correspondence with Margaret, courtesy of passing fishing boats, they married at St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, on 5 November 1949.
In 1953 King initiated mechanised mining at Melaleuca, bringing in a Caterpillar D2 diesel tractor by fishing boat. Twice yearly he made the treacherous voyage in his boat Melaleuca, transporting tin to Hobart, bringing back supplies, equipment, and building materials. In 1955 he began the herculean task of building an airstrip to alleviate his family’s isolation. The first aircraft landed in 1957. Unwitting agent of change, King made south-west Tasmania, until then only visited by fishermen and bushwalkers, accessible to mining companies, photographers, journalists, and sightseers. So he built two commodious visitors’ huts.
King’s expert knowledge of the local environment was highly regarded by academics and scientists. He contributed to research with observations about birds, marsupials, and invertebrates. He forwarded many specimens to botanist Dr Winifred Curtis at the University of Tasmania. Among these were new plants Lomatia tasmanica (known as King’s Lomatia)—believed to be the world’s oldest living plant—Euphrasia kingii, the previously considered extinct Banksia kingii, and the orchid Prasophyllum buftonianum. He guided anthropologists to sites used by the Needwonnee people; supplied daily information to the Bureau of Meteorology; and, concerned about dwindling numbers, instigated a recovery program for the orange-bellied parrot. He wrote two articles for The South-West Book: A Tasmanian Wilderness and his passion contributed to south-west Tasmania’s World Heritage listing in 1982.
Quietly spoken with a slow drawl, stocky, and immensely strong, King was renowned for his hospitality, humour, and willingness to tackle challenges. He retired from tin mining in 1985. An accomplished self-taught painter, he held a joint exhibition with daughters Mary and Janet in 1971, and a solo exhibition in 1987. Appointed AM in 1975, in 1990 he received another singular honour, a commendation from the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Phillip Bennett, ‘for his vision and outstanding efforts’ (King Family Papers). Predeceased by his wife (d. 1967) and survived by their two daughters, King died of a heart attack on 12 May 1991. His ashes were scattered in Bathurst Harbour.
King, Deny. Interviews by Jill Cassidy and Karen Alexander, 1990 and 1991. Oral History Collection, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery; King, Deny. Personal communication with author, 1991; King Family Papers. Private collection; King, Mary, and Janet Fenton. Interviewed by Christobel Mattingley, 1991–2000. Transcripts. Papers of Christobel Mattingley, National Library of Australia; Mattingley, Christobel. King of the Wilderness: The Life of Deny King. Melbourne: Text Publishing Company, 2001; National Archives of Australia. B883, TX2261.
KING, GORDON (1900–1991), professor of medicine, was born on 7 July 1900 in London, son of English-born Frederick Henry King, Baptist minister, and his Scottish-born wife Minnie Elizabeth, née Wakeham. Educated at Bristol Grammar School (1912–15) and Liverpool Institute High School for Boys (1915–18), Gordon undertook medical training at the London Hospital Medical College (MRCS, LRCP, 1924), winning prizes for anatomy, clinical pathology, pathology, clinical medicine, and diseases of children. He was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (1926), and became a foundation fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1930).
Motivated by his Christian faith and imbued with the spirit of adventure, King joined the Baptist Missionary Society and took a post in China at Peking Union Medical College. On 9 April 1927 he married Mary Ellison, a medical practitioner and missionary, at the British Consulate, Peking (Beijing). In 1931, following the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, he was appointed professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Cheloo University of Tsinan, Shantung (Shandong). With the Sino-Japanese War intensifying, he moved to the University of Hong Kong (HKU), where he held the same post (from 1938) and served (1940–49, 1951–54) as dean of the faculty of medicine.
On Christmas Day 1941 the Japanese army occupied the island. Having evacuated his family, which now included three daughters, to Melbourne, and after two months in charge of the local University Relief Hospital, he escaped to avoid internment as a prisoner of war. Wearing a shabby overcoat and with a blood-stained bandage concealing his gold watch, he made the hazardous journey ‘by foot, junk and bullock cart’ (Saint 1965, 63) to the Chinese mainland and thence to Chungking (Chongqing), the provisional capital of Chiang Kai-shek’s Free China. Appointed visiting professor at the Shanghai National Medical College—which had transferred its wartime operations to Koloshan, 20 miles (32 km) from Chungking—he continued the medical education of students who had also escaped from Hong Kong. On 20 January 1945 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Following the Japanese surrender, King returned to Hong Kong in August 1945 where, in addition to teaching at HKU, he had responsibility for reorganising the hospitals and medical services of the colony. During his tenure he consolidated the relationship between the university and the hospitals, with the 1955 opening of the new Tsun Yuk Maternity Hospital providing improved opportunities for teaching obstetrics. He acted as pro vice-chancellor between 1954 and 1955, and had been appointed OBE in 1953.
After a visit to Hong Kong by (Sir) Stanley Prescott [q.v.16], vice-chancellor of the University of Western Australia (UWA), in 1956, King was invited to become professor of obstetrics and inaugural dean of the new faculty of medicine in Perth. Taking up the post in 1957, he sought to impart into medical education in the State a ‘sympathetic humanism’, whereby the role of a doctor is ‘one of continued stimulation and study’ (King 1958, 712) founded on insights into the needs and social circumstances of patients. At Royal Perth Hospital he was a consultant in obstetrics, and he published many papers, notably on the containment of maternal and perinatal mortality, and the diagnosis of early uterine cervical cancer. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in 1958.
Retiring from UWA in 1965, King became president of the Royal College of Gynaecologists (1966–67). The Australian Department of External Affairs, on behalf of the government of Kenya, requested him to help establish a medical school at University College, Nairobi. Initially medical coordinator, he became dean of the faculty of medicine (1967–69). Following Mary’s sudden death in 1967, on 14 June 1968 at the Church of St George, Bristol, he married Bek To Chiu, a botanist, who had been a family friend for many years. Two short appointments followed: in 1972 he was invited by the World Health Organization to report on medical education in Taiwan, and in August that year he returned to Hong Kong for seven months as director of the Family Planning Association. Honorary degrees were conferred on him by UWA (MD, 1971) and HKU (LLD, 1973).
King was tall and strongly built, and exuded energy and determination. A keen hockey and tennis player when young, he was an accomplished pianist who loved the works of Chopin, and an inveterate photographer. Leonard Young praised him as ‘a scrupulous practitioner of his craft, a skilled administrator, and a resourceful medical educationalist’ (Young n.d.), while his daughter, Ellen Tulip, recalled his humour and an ability to argue his point with tact and empathy. Having suffered increasingly from dementia, he died on 4 October 1991 at South Perth and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery; his wife and the three daughters of his first marriage survived him. The annual Professor Gordon King scholarship in medical research honours his contribution to medical education at UWA, and the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences has a lecture theatre named after him.
Alexander, Fred. Campus at Crawley: A Narrative and Critical Appreciation of the First Fifty Years of the University of Western Australia. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire for University of Western Australia Press, 1963; Brockis, Gwynne, Richard Davis, and Neil Cumpston. Emeritus Consultant Biographies, Royal Perth Hospital, Volume Two. South Metropolitan Health Service, Department of Health, Government of Western Australia, n.d.; King, Gordon. ‘An Episode in the History of the University.’ In Dispersal and Renewal: Hong Kong University During the War Years, edited by Matthews, Clifford and Oswald Cheung, 85–104. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1998; King. Gordon. ‘Curriculum Vitae.’ Copy on ADB file; King, Gordon. ‘The Medical School of the University of Western Australia.’ Journal of Medical Education 33, no. 10 (October 1958): 709–716; Martin, John. ‘Obstetrics and Gynaecology.’ In The First Quarter Century, edited by Neville Stanley, 74–80. Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Perth, 1982; Saint, Eric Galton. ‘Professor Gordon King.’ Gazette of the University of Western Australia 15, no. 4 (November 1965): 63; Tulip, Ellen. Personal communication; Young, Leonard Kenneth. ‘Citations: 84th Congregation (1973): Gordon King.’ Accessed 22 July 2016. www4.hku.hk/hongrads/index.php/archive/citation_detail/66. Copy held on ADB file.
KINGSTON, MARY NORA (MOLLY) (1908–1992), barrister and solicitor, was born on 29 May 1908 at Leederville, Perth, sixth surviving child of Irish-born John Kingston, sergeant of police, and his Western Australian–born wife Theresa, née Connor. Molly received her primary and secondary education at Sacred Heart School, Highgate Hill. In 1920 she was placed fourth in a State-wide examination for secondary school scholarships, winning an annual bursary of £20 for five years. While attending the University of Western Australia (BA, 1928; LLB, 1931) she served as president of the Women’s Club and vice-president of the Guild of Undergraduates. She was on the executive of the Debating Society and was proficient in tennis and golf.
Articled to Lohrmann, Tindal, & Canny, Kingston was admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia on 16 May 1933. She was one of three women admitted that day; Margaret Battye [q.v.13] and Sheila McClemans [q.v.18] shared in the honour. Female lawyers faced particular challenges to find employment because of their gender. Reputedly, in her first appearance before the court, the male judge scrutinised Kingston before exclaiming ‘and what do we have here!’ (Byrne 1992, 40). There was also the inevitable question of marriage: ‘Do you intend to marry … and if you do, will you give up your work?’ (Daily News 1933, 6). Steadfast in her conviction that marriage should not affect women’s capacity for employment, Kingston replied that if she married (she never did) she would ‘most certainly’ (Daily News 1933, 6) continue her work. In 1934 she and McClemans set up their own legal practice in Perth. The first all-female legal firm in Western Australia, Kingston & McClemans specialised in family law. The friends did not expect to ‘do as well as a men’s firm’ (Daily News 1933, 6) but hoped they might be successful. They were not and the firm amicably disbanded in 1939. Kingston then joined Stone James [qq.v.12,9] & Co., one of the largest law firms in Perth.
Kingston, who did not consider herself ‘much of feminist … because there is no need to be now’ (Daily News 1933, 6), nevertheless valued the work of trailblazing women. In 1935 she had delivered a lecture to students at Perth Technical School on the hardships endured by women in the early years of the Swan River Colony. Speaking in Sydney at the conference of the Australian Federation of University Women in 1938, she addressed the spread of reactionary attitudes towards the higher education of women, citing as its causes the Depression and the consequent growth of unemployment, as well as the international rise of fascism. Along with Katharine Susannah Prichard [q.v.11] and Irene Greenwood [q.v.], she was invited to speak at the International Women’s Day meeting at the Perth Town Hall that year.
After World War II broke out in 1939, Kingston became a member of the State executive of the Women’s Air Training Corps. Joining the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force on 19 July 1943, she was commissioned as an acting section officer in September (substantive, 1944) and employed on administrative duties at Royal Australian Air Force Headquarters, Melbourne, until her demobilisation on 2 November 1945.
Moving to Sydney in 1946, Kingston accepted a position as executive officer of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. She was instrumental in the postwar reorganisation of the Rockefeller Foundation–funded institute and in the creation of its journal Australian Outlook, the first journal devoted exclusively to the analysis of Australia’s foreign relations. In March 1947 she became assistant editor of the journal and played an important role in its early evolution, corresponding with prominent figures and friends such as (Sir) Paul Hasluck [q.v.] to discuss material for inclusion.
After moving to Melbourne in 1949 to resume her legal career, Kingston was admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in Victoria on 3 October. She joined the Legal Women’s Association, serving as honorary secretary (1952) and president (1953–54). By 1952 she had secured a partnership with P. J. Ridgeway & Pearce. That year she represented the National Council of Women in a wages case before the Full Arbitration Court. Employers were seeking to reduce the basic wage for women from 75 to 60 per cent of the male wage. Opposing this action, Kingston argued that women workers deserved equal pay. The Arbitration Court did not agree, but neither did it agree with employers, fixing the female wage at 75 per cent of the male basic wage—a win of sorts, though not the outcome Kingston wanted.
Kingston signed the Victorian Bar roll in 1962, becoming Victoria’s seventh female barrister. She continued to specialise in family law, lecturing on the subject part time at the University of Melbourne during the 1960s. A colleague described her court style as ‘fairly pugnacious. She was very forceful and she would make a point and persist with the point’ (Teasdale 2008, 1). Uncomfortable with some of the changes that accompanied the introduction of the new family court system in 1973, especially the less formal atmosphere of the court and relative inexperience of the judges, she retired in 1978. A tall, striking woman whose dark hair turned silver in later life, Kingston had ‘a presence about her and also a dignity’ (Teasdale 2008, 8). Although she had friends, she was something of a loner. In retirement, she studied history and politics at the University of Melbourne and took several trips abroad before returning to Western Australia. She died at Claremont on 26 December 1992.
Byrne, Geraldine. ‘Death of a Pioneer’, Brief (Law Society of Western Australia), 1 February 1992, 40; Cotton, James. ‘The Institute’s Seventieth Volume: The Journal, Its Origins and Its Engagement with Foreign Policy Debate.’ Australian Journal of International Affairs 70, no. 55 (2016): 471–83; Daily News (Perth). ‘Do Men Resent “Varsity Women”?’ 8 February 1938, 8, ‘Girl Barristers’ Firm in Perth.’ 25 April 1933, 6; Davies, Lloyd. Sheila: A Biography of Sheila Mary McClemans. Perth: Desert Pea Press, 2000; National Archives of Australia. A9300, KINGSTON M C; Teasdale, Warwick. Interview by Juliette Brodsky about the late Molly Kingston, 16 September 2008. Transcript. Accessed 25 January 2019. www.foleys.com.au/content/WarwickTeasdale_re_MollyKingston.pdf. Copy held on ADB file.
KINLOCH, HECTOR GILCHRIST (1927–1993), historian, film critic, and politician, was born on 14 December 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, the son of British-born parents, Robert Kinloch and his wife Jane, née Gilchrist. The family returned to Britain when Hector was a baby, and he had a difficult childhood in England and Ireland living in foster homes, including Barnado’s, while his parents sought work, his father in ship-building and his mother as a nurse. His younger sister, who had Down syndrome, spent most of her life in care. Attending Collyer’s School at Horsham, Sussex, he was fortunate to come under the influence of the headmaster and classics teacher, Philip Tharp, who inspired him to study. He won an exhibition in history to Christ’s College, Cambridge (BA Hons, 1949), gaining first-class honours in the history tripos.
Returning to the United States, Kinloch spent three years employed in the army (1949–52). At Yale University (MA, 1954; PhD, 1959) he was a teaching assistant and instructor in European and American history, also serving as director (1958–59) of the International Student Center. He married Anne May Russell in Connecticut in 1955; they later divorced. He was visiting lecturer (1959) in North American history at the University of Alberta, Canada. He was then appointed lecturer (later senior lecturer) in history at the University of Adelaide (1960–64), also serving as vice-master (1962–64) of St Mark’s College. He was visiting Fulbright professor of American history at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (1964–66). On 24 December 1966 he married Lucy Maniam in Singapore. Kinloch became senior lecturer and then reader (1966–88) in history in the School of General Studies, The Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, and held visiting positions at the University of Hawai‘i (1968–69) and at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania (1973–74). He spent his sabbatical year (1984) at Harvard University.
His interest in caring for students from diverse backgrounds continued at the ANU as deputy warden of Burton Hall (1967–68), dean of students (1981–84), and acting warden and honorary senior fellow at Fenner Hall (1989–93).
Sometimes a controversial figure, from 1960 Kinloch had been a frequent commentator on American politics and a keen film reviewer on television, radio, and in print. His style and wit were infectious, if with the quality of innocent enthusiasm rather than critical dissection. A committed Christian, in the early 1970s he joined the Society of Friends in Canberra, and at St Mark’s National Theological Centre was an adjunct member of the faculty and council member. He became an Australian citizen in 1972. Wrestling with his own gambling habit, he was a co-founder of the National Association of Gambling Studies, and vigorously opposed a planned casino in Canberra—at one point uncharacteristically destroying a model of the proposed complex on public display.
Kinloch’s commitment to this cause, and more generally to ‘oppose big development, and promote education’ (Hull 1993, 10) encouraged him to run as a founding member (and briefly deputy leader) of the Residents Rally for Canberra, a coalition contesting the first election to the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly in May 1989. Gaining a seat, he served in the Liberal Party–led coalition government as executive deputy to the minister for education and the arts. Budget-driven school closures prompted his resignation from this position in 1990; the government’s decision in April 1991 to proceed with a casino led to his withdrawal from the coalition. Unsuited to politics, he nonetheless embodied the strains of Canberra’s lurch into self-government. He did not contest the next election.
Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1992, he died on 6 August 1993 in Canberra, survived by his wife, and their son and their two daughters. He was buried in Gungahlin cemetery following a thanksgiving at which many among the 500 people attending spoke of his good humour, integrity and decency. A road in the Canberra suburb of Bruce and a students’ residence at the ANU are named in his honour.
Australian Capital Territory. Legislative Assembly. Debates 17 August 1993, 2247–2253; Canberra Times. ‘Foster Home to ANU.’ 7 August 1993, 4, ‘University Lecturer Plans “Rethink” on Question of Discipline.’ 20 January 1977, 17; Hull, Crispin. ‘Passionate Crusader for Cherished Causes.’ Canberra Times, 9 August 1993, 10; Muse (Canberra). ‘A Life Spent Celebrating Humour and Enthusiasm.’ September 1993, 7; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Rossiter, Geoffrey. ‘Tribute. Hector Gilchrist Kinloch.’ ANU Reporter, 25 August 1993, 2.
Lucy Maniam Kinloch*
KINNINMONT, JACK ROYSTON (1920–1992), air force officer, was born on 13 November 1920 in North Sydney, son of Sydney-born parents Roy Alec Kinninmont, railway surveyor, and his wife Claire Florence, née Barnes. Jack was educated at Chatswood Junior High and North Sydney Boys’ High schools. In his last year (1938) he was a prefect; captain of both the school’s and the State combined high schools’ first XV rugby teams; and, in swimming, State all schools’ backstroke champion. While not a brilliant student, he matriculated, and had athletic qualities that would shortly endear him to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), as well as quick reactions that would make him an ideal fighter pilot.
Having worked briefly as a bank clerk, he applied for an RAAF aircrew cadetship in February 1939 and began basic training at Point Cook, Victoria, on 4 September, one day after World War II began. Graduating as a pilot with a short service commission, he was posted to No. 21 Squadron at Laverton in July 1940. The unit embarked for Singapore in the following month.
Although life in the unit was relaxed and social, the Australians took every opportunity to fly, even when senior Royal Air Force officers were having their siestas. Nicknamed ‘Congo’ (‘Kongo’) because of his love of jazz harmonica music with an African beat, Kinninmont soon eased into the daily routine. On 8 December 1941 the Japanese invaded Malaya and life changed. Flying the obsolete American Brewster Buffalo, the squadron soon found it was outclassed. Mounting losses forced an amalgamation with No. 453 Squadron, and Kinninmont, who had been promoted to flight lieutenant on 1 October 1941, immediately became one of the squadron’s flight commanders.
So slow were the Buffaloes that even the Japanese bombers outpaced them and the Australians faced inevitable defeat. Despite the odds, over the next few months, Kinninmont shot down two Japanese aircraft, claimed one probable, and damaged two more. Landing in poor weather at the end of one sortie, he was almost killed when his aircraft ran off the runway, crashed into a swamp, and overturned. Fortunately, he escaped unhurt.
After the fall of Singapore in February, Kinninmont returned to Australia, and then flew Kittyhawk fighters in New Guinea with various squadrons. As an acting squadron leader, he commanded No. 75 Squadron between 1943 and 1944. For his almost continuous operational war service, in which he exhibited ‘leadership, exceptional courage and skill’ (NAA A12372), he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in May 1944. Following further postings to fighter units, he was appointed commander of No. 78 fighter wing in 1945. A Bar to his DFC soon followed, for his display of ‘outstanding leadership and keenness to destroy the enemy’ (NAA A12372). Kinninmont never shied from a fight.
Remaining in uniform after the war, Kinninmont found the peacetime air force overly bureaucratic. From February 1946 he served as an acting wing commander with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. While base commander at Bofu he was court-martialled in September on charges of failure to provide his particulars to the provost when requested, and ‘improperly and without authority firing a pistol’ (NAA A471). Found guilty on both charges, he was given a reprimand. He was repatriated in February 1947. On 13 November, at St John’s Church of England, East Malvern, Victoria, he married Joan Mary Gatliff.
Despite the Bofu misdemeanour and court-martial, both of which Kinninmont thought ridiculous, the RAAF granted him a permanent commission on 23 September 1948. He commanded No. 77 Squadron in action in Korea between July 1952 and January 1953. Flying the new Meteor jet fighter was much to his liking and the squadron served with distinction. In 1952 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for ‘his shrewd and aggressive leadership’ (NAA A12372). This was complemented by his award (1955) of the U.S. Air Medal.
Kinninmont returned to Australia and, already a substantive wing commander from 1 January 1953 and an acting group captain from 1962, he served in command and staff appointments before retiring on 14 November 1970 with the honorary rank of group captain. By the end of his RAAF service, he had flown twenty types of aircraft, from biplanes to jet fighters, and amassed nearly 2,000 flying hours. Significant postings included honorary aide-de-camp to the Governor-General (1948) and armed services attaché at the Australian embassy in Thailand (1955).
Standing 6 feet (183 cm) tall, of medium build with a fair complexion, Kinninmont was described by colleagues, friends, and family as cheerful and devoted to duty. In retirement he and his wife moved to Maroochydore, Queensland and, although only fifty, he chose not to take up other work. Survived by one of his two sons, he died of a heart attack on 28 May 1992 at Alexandra Headland and was cremated.
Gillison, Douglas. Royal Australian Air Force 1939–1942. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1962; National Archives of Australia. A12372, R/3104/H, A12372, R/3104/P, A471, 79609; O’Neill, Robert. Australia in the Korean War 1950–53, Vol. II, Combat Operations. Canberra: Australian War Memorial and Australian Government Publishing Service, 1985; Shores, Christopher. The Other Eagle. London: Grub Street, 2004; Warren, Richard. Interview by the author, 21 January 2013.
KITTO, Sir FRANK WALTERS (1903–1994), judge and university chancellor, was born on 30 July 1903 at Malvern, Victoria, eldest of six children of Ballarat-born James Walters Kitto, accountant, and his Fijian-born wife Adi Lillian (Lilian), née Carey. The family relocated to Sydney where, in 1925, his father became deputy-director of posts and telegraphs. Frank attended Mosman Primary and North Sydney Boys’ High schools. Awarded an exhibition, he enrolled in the University of Sydney (BA, 1924; LLB, 1927), where he gained first-class honours in law and supported himself by working in the Crown Solicitor’s Office.
Kitto joined the New South Wales Bar in 1927. ‘It was a bleak prospect at first, and he made ends meet by coaching students, lecturing part-time at the Law School, and by writing on law’(Connor 1994, 4). On 27 December 1928, at Mosman Methodist Church, he married Eleanor May Howard. Through hard work and self-discipline, rather than connections, he built a successful practice, notably in equity and taxation law, and High Court of Australia litigation. He was Challis [q.v.3] lecturer in bankruptcy and probate at the University of Sydney (1930–33). He took silk in 1942. Standing only 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall, and weighing 148 pounds (67 kg), he volunteered for military service that year and served part time as a private (1942–44) in Sydney with the Volunteer Defence Corps.
In 1944 Kitto was successful counsel for the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in the Dobell case, a cause célèbre over whether (Sir) William Dobell’s [q.v.14] depiction of Joshua Smith [q.v.], which had been awarded the Archibald [q.v.3] prize, constituted a portrait. Kitto’s son-in-law, Kevin Connor, would receive the Archibald prize in 1975 for his portrait of Kitto. In 1948 and 1949, Kitto was a prominent member of the team of barristers who appeared for the private banks in the Bank Nationalisation case. The finding of the High Court, affirmed by the Privy Council to which the Commonwealth had appealed, was that the Chifley government’s attempt to nationalise banking was unlawful under section 92 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. Working on this complex case, ‘Kitto was in his element’ (Connor 1994, 9). He proved ‘a principal architect’ of the winning argument (Mason 1994).
The Menzies [q.v.15] government in 1950 appointed Kitto a justice of the High Court. On the bench, he embraced the legalism that characterised the court in the 1950s, a position espoused by Chief Justice Sir Owen Dixon [q.v.14], whom he esteemed. Kitto claimed that a judge’s role ‘is not to be defined as a duty to decide fairly, but as a duty to decide correctly’ (1992, 793). Within this tradition, his written judgments were highly regarded for their expert legal analysis and literary precision. While accepting that the law was not static, he believed ‘it should be developed “by applied logic from within principles already established”, not by stating that the law is whatever the judge thinks it ought to be’ (Meagher 1994, 479). As a judge, he made a significant contribution to private law, especially equity, but also wrote with authority in public law cases, including the 1951 Communist Party case, where he formed part of the majority that invalidated the Menzies government’s ban on the party. When hearing cases, his interventions with counsel were often ‘caustic’ (Walsh 1970, 11), yet in temperament he ‘was quiet and retiring, a little shy’ (Meagher 1994, 480).
Appointed KBE in 1955 and a privy councillor in 1963, by the late 1960s he found High Court life less congenial than it had been under Dixon. He did not see eye-to-eye with new chief justice, Sir Garfield Barwick, differing from Barwick in personality and judicial outlook on key matters such as interpretation of section 92 of the constitution, which guarantees freedom of interstate trade. He retired early from the court in 1970 and became chancellor of the University of New England (1970–81). On the founding of the Australian Press Council he was appointed its chairman (1976–82). He was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of New England (1982), and an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Sydney (1982). In 1983 he was appointed AC.
Kitto was a sensitive and private individual. The death of his eldest daughter in 1969 had caused him pain that lasted throughout his remaining years. At home ‘he enjoyed the work of a small grazing property (something between a garden and a small farm) until his wife’s death’ (Australian Press Council News 1993, 8) in 1982. After that he consoled himself with travel, walking, watching television, and Rotary Club activities. Attracted to Quakerism, he ended his ties to Methodism. An avid reader, he ‘preferred the company of great minds of the past to vacuous sociality’ (Connor 1994, 6), though he also enjoyed fiction. Survived by his three remaining daughters, he died on 15 February 1994 at Armidale and was cremated. The annual Sir Frank Kitto lecture at the University of New England is named in his honour.
Australian Press Council News. ‘Profile.’ August 1993, 8; Blackshield, Tony, Michael Coper, and George Williams, eds. The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2001; Connor, Margaret. ‘The Right Honourable Sir Frank Walters Kitto.’ Unpublished manuscript, 1994. High Court of Australia Library, Canberra; Kirby, Michael. ‘Kitto and the High Court of Australia.’ Federal Law Review 27 (1999): 131–49; Kitto, Sir Frank. ‘Why Write Judgments?’ Australian Law Journal 66 (1992): 787–99; Mason, Sir Anthony. ‘The Late Sir Frank Kitto.’ Commonwealth Law Reports 178 (1994): n.p.; Meagher, R. P. ‘Sir Frank Walters Kitto AC, KBE.’ Australian Law Journal 68 (1994): 479–80; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Lawyer and Judge Who Took on the Government.’ 17 February 1994, 6; Walsh, Maximilian. ‘Chief Justice’s Rival Goes: Now What?’ Sun Herald (Sydney), 26 July 1970, 11.
KNOPFELMACHER, FRANK (1923–1995), university lecturer and political activist, was born František Knopfelmacher on 3 February 1923 in Vienna, elder son of Pavel (Paul) Knopfelmacher, lawyer and businessman, and his wife Stepanka (Stefanie), née Hollander. Raised in a German-speaking ‘Jewish bourgeois’ Czech family, his childhood was spent in the Czechoslovakian province of Moravia. From the age of seven, he later claimed, he was ‘a fierce Czech nationalist’ (Knopfelmacher 1967, 17). His family went bankrupt in 1930, subsequently moving from his father’s home town of Kromeriz to Ostrava and then Brno, where František was educated at a Jewish school. In May 1938 he visited an exhibition in Brno of ‘fascist atrocities in the Spanish Civil War’, later recalling that ‘suddenly I was saddled with the awareness of violence and death’ (Knopfelmacher 1967, 19).
After the German occupation of the Czech lands in March 1939, Knopfelmacher emigrated to Palestine alone, not as a Zionist but because of a premonition about what might befall the Jews in Nazi Europe. He served as a British policeman in Haifa before joining the Czechoslovak army-in-exile in May 1942 and seeing active service in World War II in units attached to British formations in North Africa (1942–43) and Normandy (1944–45). While in Palestine, he became a Marxist and from January 1942 a member of the Communist Party. In Britain in 1943, however, he encountered George Orwell’s Tribune column, ‘As I Please’, and then in Normandy he read Arthur Koestler’s novel on the Stalin show trials, Darkness at Noon (1940). By 1944 he was a man of the left but no longer a communist.
On 22 August 1944 at the register office in Bridlington, England, Knopfelmacher married Czechoslovakian-born Jarmila Pickova. He later recalled that ‘both my own and my wife’s family were liquidated by the Nazis, mothers, brothers and all’ (Knopfelmacher 1967, 32). At war’s end, he had to choose to settle either in Palestine or Czechoslovakia, opting for the latter. As a consequence he was able to observe, under what he later described as ‘laboratory conditions’, a gradual Communist Party takeover. This experience was his invaluable ‘political university’ (Knopfelmacher 1967, 26). He also enrolled at Charles University in Prague, where he studied psychology, philosophy, and English. After the Communist coup of February 1948, he fled Czechoslovakia for the second time. By now he was a fierce anti-communist.
Emigrating with his wife to Britain, Knopfelmacher studied philosophy and psychology at Bristol University (BA, 1950) with financial support from a refugee trust fund, and then experimental psychology at University College, London (PhD, 1953). Having adopted Frank as his first name, in 1955 he became a lecturer in psychology at the University of Melbourne. Almost immediately, he came to believe that his new university and new country were in danger of the kind of gradual communist takeover he had witnessed in Prague. An unfeigned double fear—of a Soviet Cold War victory over the United States of America and a communist victory in Australia—determined almost everything he did for the remainder of his life. When once he was described as a ‘threat expert’ (Knopfelmacher 1967, 30) he embraced the label with pride.
Knopfelmacher became the most significant intellectual influence on the university’s Australian Labor Party Club, where democratic socialism and fervent East European-inflected anti-communism combined. His frequent lunchtime lectures were rowdy affairs but well-attended. During the 1960s he was the university’s dominant political personality. He also conducted highly praised courses in social and political theory. David Armstrong, subsequently a professor of philosophy at the University of Sydney, attended a Knopfelmacher postgraduate seminar in 1963, remarking that it consisted of ‘some of the best lectures he had ever heard’ (Armstrong and Spann 1965, 540–41).
In the late 1950s a bitter conflict broke out inside the small social studies department at the University of Melbourne, between its head, Ruth Hoban, and Geoff Sharp, a member of the Communist Party of Australia. Knopfelmacher interpreted the conflict as part of a larger communist conspiracy. A dossier was compiled, most likely with the assistance of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and entrusted to Knopfelmacher. He sent it to Richard Krygier [q.v.17], the chairman of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, and James McAuley [q.v.15], the editor of its magazine, Quadrant, who in turn presented it to the Bulletin editor, Donald Horne. On 12 April 1961 the Bulletin published a letter written by Hoban’s husband, the influential professor of history, , Max Crawford [q.v.], who argued that he was now ‘unable to reject’ (Crawford 1961, 44) Knopfelmacher’s case about the communist threat at the university. A week later the Bulletin published a detailed article outlining the supposed conspiracy. The university conducted a quasi-judicial investigation and found the accusation baseless. Years later, in 1969, the Bulletin apologised to Sharp.
In 1964 the department of philosophy at the University of Sydney sought a political philosopher. The selection committee, which included Armstrong, chose Knopfelmacher in March 1965, but the professorial board rejected the committee’s recommendation after one of his enemies, the chair of electrical engineering Professor Wilbur Christiansen, read out passages from an inflammatory article Knopfelmacher had written on the communist conspiracy at the University of Melbourne. At a second meeting of the board on 12 April 1965, the numbers opposing Knopfelmacher’s appointment had grown. ‘The Knopfelmacher Case’ became a prominent, left–right, Cold War conflict.
Remaining at the University of Melbourne, Knopfelmacher worked closely with B. A. Santamaria’s National Civic Council during the 1960s and beyond. In 1966 he became deeply involved in a group called ‘Peace with Freedom’, an organisation of Australia’s most significant anti-communists, chaired by McAuley and largely organised by the NCC, whose purpose was to defend Australian involvement in the Vietnam War and to contest the anti-war movement on university campuses. Knopfelmacher engaged left-wing speakers in debates about the Vietnam War at many university ‘teach-ins’. His reputation as an expert on the threat of communism was enhanced in 1968, when he predicted the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1970 he visited the United States of America and was appalled by what he considered to be the capitulation of the anti-communist intelligentsia to student revolutionaries. The scathing articles he wrote on America for the Australian delighted his enemies and angered his friends.
Knopfelmacher had been naturalised in 1967. Widowed in 1969, he married Susan Joy Robinson, a teacher, in 1970. In the early 1970s he discovered another talent, as the free-wheeling, unpredictable, right-wing columnist for the left-liberal weekly Nation Review. With Orwell in mind, he wrote a column for Quadrant in the mid-1980s called ‘As I Please’. He believed that student revolutionaries and their cowardly teachers were primarily responsible for America’s Vietnam defeat in what had been a just and winnable war. He became an uncompromising enemy of the diplomacy of détente, in particular the Nixon–Kissinger version. Although his conceptual framework might have allowed him to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union and its East European ‘satellites’—time and again he argued, presciently, that the Soviet system was unreformable and entirely lacked legitimacy—almost until the end he clung to the conviction that the Soviet Union would win the Cold War and that Australia was doomed. When the Soviet empire collapsed between 1989 and 1991, it afforded him little joy. Loneliness enveloped him, amplified by his retirement from the university in 1988.
Although Knopfelmacher wrote many hundreds of often brilliant and original magazine and newspaper articles, to his regret late in life he failed to produce any substantial work of scholarship. His only book, Intellectuals and Politics (1968), was an essay collection. Over four decades he spent almost every evening on the telephone trying to rouse and inform, with savage wit and unfailing intelligence, his often-exasperated political friends. His greatest legacy was as a teacher, including as a lecturer on political theory for the Council of Adult Education. Among those he influenced were the politician Michael Danby, the publicist Gerard Henderson, the journalist Greg Sheridan, the ideology-maker Ray Evans, the legal academic Martin Krygier, the philosopher Raimond Gaita, and the political historian and public intellectual Robert Manne.
Knopfelmacher never overcame the shock of the Holocaust and was critical of those who decades later sought to profit from it, either financially or politically, by peddling or commodifying guilt or victimhood: ‘The chase of superannuated German SS murderers by equally old, but not yet superannuated, Jewish Holocaust-profiteers, is an unedifying and futile enterprise. … Let my people sleep’ (Knopfelmacher 1985, 39). Survived by his wife and their two children, he died at Parkville on 17 May 1995 and was cremated. A few weeks earlier he had suffered injuries in a road accident after a meeting with the great Czech writer and statesman Vaclav Havel. His final days were rage-filled, and very dark.
Anderson, Fay. ‘Into the Night: Max Crawford, the Labyrinth of the Social Studies Enquiry and ASIO’s “Spoiling Operations.”’ Australian Historical Studies 36, no. 125 (2005): 60–80; Armstrong, D. M., and R. N. Spann. ‘Chronicle.’ Minerva 3, no. 4 (Summer 1965): 530–609; Buckley, Vincent. Cutting Green Hay: Friendships, Movements and Cultural Conflicts in Australia’s Great Decades. Melbourne: Penguin Books, 1983; Crawford, R. M. ‘Communism in Universities.’ Bulletin (Sydney), 12 April 1961, 44; Knopfelmacher, Frank. ‘Bitburg (A Very Personal Comment).’ Quadrant, June 1985, 38–39, ‘My Political Education.’ July–August 1967, 17–33; Santamaria, B. A. ‘Frank Knopfelmacher.’ Quadrant, July–August 1995, 32–33; Scoble, Robert M. ‘The Knopfelmacher Case.’ Quadrant, October 1971, 72–82; Sharp, Nonie. ‘A Spoiling Operation: Cold War at the University of Melbourne.’ Arena Journal 47/48 (2017): 57–75.
KNOX, DAVID BROUGHTON (1916–1994), clergyman and theological college principal, was born on 26 December 1916 in Adelaide, eldest of ten children of David James Knox, an evangelical Anglican clergyman, and his wife Doris Emily Broughton, née Young. His father’s family had emigrated from rural County Fermanagh in (Northern) Ireland; his mother came from a well-to-do English family with a strong record of Christian work and missionary service. The Knoxes moved from Adelaide to New South Wales in 1922, living successively at Wollongong, Chatswood, and Gladesville, where Knox senior was rector. Broughton was educated first by a tutor at home, then at Chatswood Public School, and finally at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga. His extracurricular interests were intellectual: the chess club, the debating club, and the editorial committee for the school magazine.
For a year Knox worked as a jackeroo for his formidable uncle, Herbert (Bill) Young, at his property near Orange. His decision to become a clergyman preceded his entry to the University of Sydney (1935–37). After graduating (BA, 1938), he spent a year as his father’s catechist at Gladesville. He had come under the influence of (Sir) Marcus Loane, his father’s curate, who had married his sister Patricia, and who would later become archbishop of Sydney.
Travelling to England in March 1939, Knox studied theology at the London College of Divinity (Associate, 1941), obtaining a bachelor of divinity (1941) from the University of London. He was made deacon by the bishop of Ely in 1941, and ordained priest in 1942; he served as a curate at St Andrew the Less, a branch church of Christ Church, Cambridge. At Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, he studied for the theological tripos—which he did not complete—under such luminaries as C. H. Dodd and Wilfred Knox. He was appointed a temporary chaplain, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, on 12 December 1943 and was present off the Normandy coast just after D-Day, 6 June 1944. In April 1947 he was demobilised. His experiences in England had widened his theological perspective and his experience in World War II had deepened his pastoral skills.
In February 1947 Knox had begun work as a lecturer at Moore [q.v.2] Theological College, Sydney. The same year he appeared as the expert witness for the attorney-general and the relators in the ‘Red Book’ case, a suit brought in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against the bishop of Bathurst for his use of an alternative prayer book. Knox acquitted himself well but as a result was a marked man: in the eyes of Anglo-Catholics and non-evangelicals he was seen to be dangerously litigious. Evangelicals had a history of resorting to litigation in the secular courts in order to protect their Reformation heritage against rising Anglo-Catholic ritualism. Knox’s success in giving his evidence meant that he was a man to be feared by non-evangelicals as this might well signal more successful litigation in future. T. C. Hammond [q.v.14], the principal of Moore College at the time, was thrilled at the quality of his evidence.
In 1950 Knox gained a master of theology from the University of London. He married Ailsa Musgrave Lane, a physiotherapist, on 2 September 1950 at St Swithun’s Church of England, Pymble. Later that year the couple travelled to Oxford, England, where he taught at Wycliffe Hall and read for a DPhil (1954) at St Catherine’s College; the topic of his thesis was ‘The Doctrine of Justification in the English Reformers’. He returned to Sydney in 1954 as vice-principal of Moore College, and became principal in 1959.
Knox turned the college into a bastion of evangelical instruction. He raised academic standards by introducing the external bachelor of divinity of the University of London, created a fourth year of study, inaugurated an annual college mission, expanded the library, and encouraged members of the college faculty to go overseas to read for their doctorates. His goal was for the college to award its own degrees, which it would eventually do. By the time he retired in 1985, enrolments had doubled, the college property holdings had quadrupled, and the library held 90,000 books. He continued to lecture in theology until 1988.
Within the diocese of Sydney, Knox was influential not only through training its clergy, but also in the establishment of student hostels. In 1960 he succeeded his father as a canon of St Andrew’s Cathedral. He was president (1969–75) of the Anglican Church League and a member of many Anglican bodies, including the Sydney synod and its standing committee, and the general synod and its doctrine and canon law commissions. In a minority report in 1977 he dissented from the doctrine commission’s conclusion that there were no theological barriers to the ordination of women. He was a major contributor to the evangelical newspaper the Australian Church Record, spoke weekly on radio 2CH, and wrote a number of theological books.
While he was quintessentially an evangelical who, with profound respect for Scripture, taught that it is the final authority in matters of faith and doctrine, and while, during his tenure, ordinands with Anglo-Catholic leanings would no longer train at Moore College, Knox was no hard-line, exclusive Low Churchman. His time in England had ensured this, and his many friends and guests included both Anglo-Catholics, such as Gabriel Hebert, and theological Liberals like Bishop J. A. T. Robinson, author of Honest to God.
After leaving Moore College, in 1988 Knox founded George Whitefield College, South Africa, to train men and women for ministry in the Church of England in South Africa; he remained there until 1992. In 1988 he had received an honorary doctorate of theology from the Australian College of Theology. Returning to Australia, he died on 15 January 1994 at Camperdown, survived by his wife, four daughters, and two sons; after a funeral at St Andrew’s Cathedral, he was buried in Northern Suburbs cemetery.
‘Never afraid of controversy’, Knox was tenacious and ‘sometimes provocative’ (Loane 1994, 10–11), but also ‘shy and diffident’, and ‘at home and among his friends … the soul of graciousness and wit’ (Robinson 1986, xvii). His influence lies in the number of men and women he taught and his particular emphasis on ‘preaching the word of God’ (Birkett 2003, 240). In 2005 the archbishop of Sydney and all his assistant bishops had been trained by Knox, as had at least six other bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia, his two successors at Moore College and numerous college faculty members, and other college principals in the evangelical world. He was the single most important influence on Sydney Anglicanism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Birkett, Kirsten, ed. D. Broughton Knox: Selected Works. Vol. 2, Church and Ministry. Kingsford, NSW: Matthias Media, 2003; Cameron, Marcia. An Enigmatic Life: David Broughton Knox, Father of Contemporary Sydney Anglicanism. Brunswick East, Vic.: Acorn Press, 2006; Chadwick, Owen. The Victorian Church Part II 1860–1901. London: A. and C. Black, 1970; Knox, David Broughton. Diaries. Knox Papers. Private collection; Loane, Marcus. ‘David Broughton Knox.’ In Broughton Knox: Principal of Moore College, 1959–1985, by Marcus L. Loane and Peter F. Jensen, 1–12. Newtown, NSW: Moore Theological College, 1994; Robinson, D. W. B. ‘David Broughton Knox: An Appreciation.’ In God Who Is Rich in Mercy: Essays Presented to Dr. D. B. Knox, edited by Peter T. O’Brien and David G. Peterson, xi–xvii. Homebush West, NSW: Anzea Publishers, 1986.
KNOX, HORACE EVERARD ARNOLD (1918–1994), airman and farmer, was born on 2 September 1918 at Bundaberg, Queensland, second son of ten children of Irish-born David James Knox, Church of England clergyman, and his Queensland-born wife Doris Emily Broughton, née Young. He was named after Horace Young, his maternal grandfather; Everard Digges La Touche, a charismatic Church of England clergyman whom David admired and who had perished at Gallipoli; and Arnold Young, Doris’s brother, who was killed at Passchendaele, Belgium, six months before Horace’s birth.
The family moved from South Australia to New South Wales in 1922 when David was appointed to parishes at Wollongong and later Chatswood. Horace was educated at Barker College, Hornsby, and left in 1935 with an Intermediate certificate. Standing 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) tall and sturdily built, he became a jackeroo at Kyogle. On 3 February 1941 Knox enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as aircrew. After training as an air gunner, he was promoted to sergeant in July and embarked for Britain in August. Promoted to flight sergeant in January 1942, on 9 May he was posted to No. 460 squadron, Bomber Command, based at Breighton, Yorkshire. There he volunteered as a rear gunner—a function requiring constant alertness and a position in the aircraft noted for cramped conditions, loneliness, and danger.
Between May 1942 and January 1943 Knox undertook his first operational tour, comprising twenty-five sorties in Wellington and Lancaster bombers. He was promoted to temporary warrant officer on 25 January. In a letter to his father he laconically described his role: ‘Well there’s nothing much in it actually. Whether you do your job and return home really depends on the ratio of your skill and the enemy gunner’s skill’ (Cameron 2006, 77). On one occasion he was outbound on a mission to bomb Turin, Italy, flying at about 12,000 feet (3,600 m), when his turret became unserviceable. Despite technical difficulties, he was able to repair it and render it operational again. On 12 March he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for ‘consistent skill and courage … and devotion to duty’ (London Gazette 1943, 1189).
Knox’s second operational tour lasted from September 1943 to November 1944. His ability as an air gunner was recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross on 18 August for ‘efficiency and courage … vigilant search for enemy aircraft and by his coolness in times of stress’ (London Gazette 1944, 3828). At year’s end, having flown over 300 operational hours, he was assigned to instructional duties. Returning to Australia in March 1945, he transferred to the RAAF Reserve on 30 November.
Knox became a dairy farmer at Moss Vale, New South Wales. On 9 March 1957 at St Andrew’s Church, Wahroonga, with his father officiating, he married Christina Emmeline Mocatta, a nursing sister. In 1961, under Western Australia’s War Service Land Settlement Scheme, he secured a bush block of 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) at Scaddan near Esperance, and later acquired a further 2,500 acres (1,012 ha) nearby. He bred merino sheep, sowed crops, and developed a successful egg and poultry business. With a passion for the land, he was an avid environmentalist. However, in the late 1970s Knox had a nervous breakdown that possibly resulted from post-traumatic stress. It led to the failure of his marriage and the sale of his property. Following hospitalisation in Perth, he worked at a remote grazing property on the Nullarbor Plain. A calm, quiet countryman, he moved to Byng, near Orange, New South Wales, to live with relatives. Survived by his two sons and one daughter, he died on 16 December 1994 at Orange and was cremated.
Braga, Stuart. All His Benefits: The Young and Deck Families in Australia. Sydney: Stuart Braga, 2013; Cameron, Marcia Helen. An Enigmatic Life: David Broughton Knox: Father of Contemporary Sydney Anglicanism. Brunswick East, Vic.: Acorn Press, 2006; Firkins, Peter. Strike and Return: The Story of the Exploits of No. 460 R.A.A.F. Heavy Bomber Squadron R.A.F. Bomber Command in the World War. Perth: Westward Ho, 1985; London Gazette. 12 March 1943, 1189, 18 August 1944, 3828; Maton, Michael. The Distinguished Flying Cross to Australians. St Ives, NSW: Michael Maton, 2000; Morcombe, Jennifer. Personal communication; National Archives of Australia. A9301, 405223, AWM65, 3059.
KOOWARTA, JOHN PAMPEYA (1940–1991), Wik elder and land rights claimant, was born on 21 November 1940 at Aurukun Presbyterian Mission on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, eldest child of Henry Massey Pampeya Koowarta, boatman, and his wife Oompippa Yunkatippin. John’s Aboriginal names were Ku’-waat and Pa’ampong, references to his leech and palm tree totems respectively. He grew up under the strict regime of Rev. William MacKenzie [q.v.15] at Aurukun and attended the mission school. Having trained as an engineer’s assistant, he would later work as a motor mechanic. On 16 December 1960 at the mission church, he married Martha Koorpellembinna Peinyekka; the couple had two daughters and a son. The marriage later broke down and he formed a relationship with Kathleen Shortjoe.
In 1974 the Whitlam Federal government established the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission to assist communities to acquire land outside reserves. The traditional lands of Koowarta’s family lie south of the Archer River and extend over Running Creek; they are focused particularly on Tea Tree Lagoon and extend northwards to Lake Archer. At the time this estate formed part of the Archer River Pastoral Holding, occupied by non-Aboriginal graziers under a Queensland government lease. Koowarta and his fellow traditional owners, known as the Winychanam group, approached the commission, which, in February 1976, entered into a contract with the lessees to buy their rights in the land. The sale required the consent of the Queensland minister for lands, forestry, national parks, and wildlife, Kenneth Tomkins, but he refused to give it, citing a Cabinet decision of 1972 that the government did not favour the acquisition of large areas of land by Aborigines ‘in isolation’ (Qld Parliament 1976, 2008).
Koowarta was not a prominent political activist; he was motivated only by a desire to return to his ancestral lands and graze cattle on them. The government’s public and summary rejection of his plan ‘shamed’ him (in Aboriginal English, to be humiliated and belittled). Lawyers for Koowarta lodged a writ in the Supreme Court of Queensland claiming that the minister’s decision contravened the Commonwealth’s Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 (RDA). The case of Koowarta v. Bjelke-Petersen, Tomkins, Glasson, and the State of Queensland began in 1981. As plaintiff, Koowarta sought an injunction preventing the minister from blocking the sale. He also claimed damages as a person aggrieved by the minister’s actions. The State government asserted that Koowarta had not suffered as a result of the minister’s decision. Additionally, the government attempted to obtain a declaration by the High Court of Australia that the RDA was invalid.
In 1982 both matters were argued in the High Court, which, in May, decided by a majority of four to three that the RDA was valid and that Koowarta was an aggrieved person under the Act. The question of the minister’s refusal to approve the transfer of the pastoral lease was remitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland but the lease had been surrendered, and in 1977 the Queensland government had gazetted most of the holding as a national park (later named Archer Bend National Park). As a consequence, even though Koowarta had won his case, he would never occupy his land.
The coherence of traditional Wik society came under increasing pressure in the late 1970s from the Queensland government’s assimilationist programs. Koowarta became a marginalised figure at Aurukun. Although bitter, he was fatalistic about the government’s actions against him. At a conference in 1990 entitled ‘Two Laws and Two Cultures’, he surprised land rights activists by declaring of Australians: ‘We are all one’ (Brennan 2008, 3). Professor Marcia Langton described him as ‘short, slight, but ruggedly tough, with a glint in his eyes that telegraphed his determination’ (2014, 16). The anthropologist David Martin portrayed him as a handsome, compact, engaging man, who was good company. He died suddenly on 29 August 1991 in an aircraft transporting him from Aurukun to hospital at Cairns and was buried in Aurukun community cemetery.
In 1994 the Law Council of Australia, using Federal government funds, established the John Koowarta reconciliation law scholarship for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undertaking tertiary studies leading to admission as legal practitioners. That year Archer Bend was amalgamated with the Rokeby National Park as the Mungkan Kandju National Park. In 2012 the Queensland government transferred all but one portion of the estate to Aboriginal ownership as the jointly managed Oyala Thumotang National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land). The remaining segment, comprising 75,000 hectares of the former Archer Bend section, was returned to the Wik-Mungkan people as Aboriginal freehold land.
The landmark Koowarta v. Bjelke-Petersen case had extended the Commonwealth’s external affairs power over ‘a matter of international concern’, such as racial discrimination (Lane 1982, 523), and thus became a precedent for later land rights litigation, including Mabo v. Queensland [No. 1], 1988. Without Koowarta, Prime Minister Paul Keating commented, ‘there would have been no Mabo case, no native title legislation’ (Courier Mail 1993, 14).
Brennan, Frank. ‘Confessions of an Erstwhile Land Rights Advocate.’ Newcastle Law Review 10, no. 1 (2008): 1–36; Courier Mail (Brisbane). ‘Aurukun Marks Land Win.’ 10 November 1993, 14; Koowarta, John. Answers to Interrogatories, Damages Claim. Unpublished manuscript, 14 August 1990. Copy held on ADB file; Lane, P. H. ‘The Federal Parliament’s External Affairs Power: Koowarta’s Case.’ Australian Law Journal 56 (October 1982): 519–23; Langton, M. ‘Koowarta: A Warrior for Justice.’ Griffith Law Review 23, no. 1 (2014): 16–34; Martin, David. Interview by Malcolm Allbrook, 17 September 2015, MP3 recording. Australian Dictionary of Biography; Queensland. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates, 8 December 1976, 2008; Queensland State Archives. Item ID 727506, Personal File – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Sutton, Peter. Personal communication; Woodley, John. ‘Mabo of the Mainland.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 23 December 1997, 13.