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William Edward Dickson (1893–1966)

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William Edward Dickson (1893-1966) accountant, newspaper manager, politician 

Birth: 26 April 1893 in Widnes, Lancashire (now in Cheshire), England, son of Edward Dickson, alkali labourer, and Bertha, née Stancliffe. Marriage: 22 October 1922 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Alice Cicley Cogan. They had one son and four daughters. Death: 22 May 1966 at Vaucluse, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated Farnsworth Church of England Grammar School, England. Employed in accountancy department of W. Gossage and Co., Widnes.
  • Arrived Australia 1913. Joined accountancy department of South Mine, Broken Hill. Dismissed for actively opposing conscription. Worked as labourer underground. Activist in Amalgamated Miners Association, then in Workers Industrial Union of Australia.
  • In 1919 employed as assistant manager of AMA newspaper, Barrier Daily Truth; later as general manager.
  • Appointed member of the Legislative Council of NSW 1925, retaining post until Council reconstituted in 1934. Member of R. J. Heffron's group, expelled from Australian Labor Party in 1936, later readmitted.
  • Moved to Sydney in 1938, becoming advertising manager for Labor Daily. General manager of Daily News, 1938-40.
  • Reappointed to LCNSW 1940, retaining post until 1966. President of LCNSW 1952-66.
  • General secretary NSW ALP 1940-41; campaign director 1940-52; returning officer 1944-52.
  • Assistant minister 1941-48, Minister for Building Materials 1948-52, Minister for Mines 1949-50, Minister for Secondary Industries 1950-52.
  • Owned orchard at Lower Portland. Director of Stocks and Holdings Ltd 1964-66, of Associated Rural Industries Ltd 1964-66, and Australian Rice Pty Ltd 1966. Member, Chartered Institute of Secretaries. Trustee of Ku-ring-gai Chase 1947-63 and chairman 1954-62.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt and Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979). 

Citation details

'Dickson, William Edward (1893–1966)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


26 April, 1893
Widnes, Cheshire, England


22 May, 1966 (aged 73)
Vaucluse, 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