People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

William John (Jack) Baird (1901–1981)

This article was published:

William John McKinley (‘Jack’) Baird (1901-1981) rubber-worker, trade union leader 

Birth: 17 April 1901 at Coonamble, New South Wales, son of Samuel Baird (1865-1903), born Londonderry, Ireland, and NSW-born Martha Christina, née Harris; Marriage:10 November 1923 St Stephen’s Church, Newtown, Sydney to Jane Cowens Hunter.  Death: 19 January 1981 at Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • 5 feet 3 inches [152.5 cm] tall, gave occupation ‘mercer’ and falsified his age when he enlisted in AIF at Coonamble on 26 June 1917. Served in France. Returned to Australia and was discharged on 19 February 1920.
  • Employed as a rubber-worker by 1923. An organiser, Federated Rubber and Allied Workers Union of Australia NSW Branch, from about 1932 to about 1953, he was NSW Branch Secretary-Treasurer, c.1953-70 (retired), Federal Vice-President for many years and honorary Life Member.
  • Joined Australian Labor Party in 1919.  Was an ALP conference delegate for 50 years. In 1979 was made Life Member, ALP NSW Branch, nominated by Federated Rubber Workers & Allied Workers Union of Australia.
  • Unsuccessful as ALP candidate for Federal electorate of Bennelong in 1963.
  • From 1952 an alderman on Ryde Council, sometime deputy mayor.
  • “Right-wing” vice-president of the Labor Council of New South Wales 1954 to 1961.

Rubber, Plastic and Cable Industries Journal, Oct-Dec 1970 pp.1, 16; Sydney Morning Herald, 10 December 1954, p. 21, 8 February 1955, p. 15, 3 February 1961 p.22 & 15 November 1963, p.11.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Baird, William John (Jack) (1901–1981)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


17 April, 1901
Coonamble, New South Wales, Australia


19 January, 1981 (aged 79)
Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism