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Colin Colborne (1909–1987)

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Colin Colborne, n.d.

Colin Colborne, n.d.

Colin Colborne (1909-1987) compositor, printer, trade union official, Labor politician 

Birth: 3 October 1909 at Brisbane, Queensland, son of William Parry Colborne (1859-1945), foundation member of Typographical Association of Queensland, born at Albion Hill, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, and his second wife Kathleen Mary, née Davey (1876-1946), born in Queensland. Marriage: 19 June 1937 at Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Ellen Marjorie Hindmarsh (1911-2003). They had one son and two daughters. Death: 9 August 1987 at Carlton, NSW. 

  • His father was a member of the Queensland Legislative Council, one of the “suicide club” which helped abolished the council.
  • Colin was educated at St James and Gregory Terrace Christian Brothers colleges, Brisbane. He worked as a machine compositor in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
  • From 1938 to 1952 he was assistant federal secretary of the Printing Trades Employees Union of Australia — amalgamating with Amalgamated Printing Trades Employees Union to form Printing and Kindred Industries Union (PKIU).
  • Federal Secretary of PKIU from 1952 to 1974.
  • Commissioned as Justice of the Peace in 1938.
  • Editor and publisher of the Printing Trades Journal from 1952 to 1974. Made several study trips overseas to study technological change in printing industry.
  • Delegate to Trades Labor Council and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) conferences from 1945 to 1973. Executive member of the ACTU 1969-73.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party central executive from 1944 to 1952.
  • Elected a member of the NSW Legislative Council on 23 April 1949. Held the seat until 22 April 1973.
  • Recreational interests included reading, fishing and gardening.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton (eds), Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Printing Trades Journal, June 1951, June 1959, April 1961, August 1966, May 1971, April 1973, November 1973.

Citation details

'Colborne, Colin (1909–1987)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Colin Colborne, n.d.

Colin Colborne, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


3 August, 1909
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


9 August, 1987 (aged 78)
Carlton, 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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism