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Albert William Henderson (1889–1964)

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Albert William Henderson (1889-1964) electrical engineer, trade union official and State Electricity Commissioner

Birth: 17 December 1889 at Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, son of Melbourne-born parents John Henderson (1857-1931) and Mary Jane, née Levalley (1860-1959). Marriage: 24 August 1911 at Burnley Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, to Leontine Frances (Leona) Goodwin (1887-1970), born at Holborn, London, England. They had four sons and one daughter. Death: 2 April 1964 at Surrey Hills, Melbourne. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Attended Burnley state school and Melbourne Technical College.
  • Trained as electrical fitter and also worked as leading hand, electrical mechanic and plant engineer. Member, Electrical Trades Union, Victorian branch, 1912, executive member 1914.
  • President and trustee of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Victoria. Secretary, Electrical Trades Union, Victoria from 1917 to 1958. Member of the federal council of ETU, 1917-1958. Federal President, Electrical Trades Union, 1925-26, 1952-1958. General Secretary, Electrical Trades Union, 1940-1948. Editor of the Electrical Trades Journal. Director, Industrial Printing and Publicity Co. and later Chairman of Directors.
  • Commissioner, State Electricity Commission of Victoria, from 1945 to 1963. Member, Apprenticeship Commission of Victoria. Delegate to Federal Conferences from 1918 onwards. ETU delegate, ALP conferences. ETU delegate to Trades Hall Council Eight Hours Committee, the Building Trades Federation and the Electrical Supply and Electrical Installation Wages Boards.
  • Assistant Industrial Advocate up until 1940 and negotiated first Federal award of the ETU 1923.
  • Member, National Safety Council. Member, central and local committees under the Tradesmen’s Rights Regulation Act. Member, Technical Standards Division of the Standards Association; Member, Electrical Approvals’ Board to check safety standards of electrical appliances and equipment, 1934; Member, Wiring Rules Sectional Committee.
  • Member, Electrical Motor Industry and Radio Industry panels set up by the Commonwealth Government during WWII. Member, Federal Government Advisory Committee to advise on regulations affecting labour conditions, 1941. Member, Women’s Employment Board, 1942.
  • Associated with Manpower Directorate during World War II.
  • Member of committee appointed to advise Commonwealth Government on the advisability of the introduction of decimal currency in Australia. Travelled overseas in 1949. Retired in 1958.
  • Cause of death: acute pulmonary oedema, congestive cardiac failure and coronary artery sclerosis.

H. J. Gibbney and Ann G. Smith (eds), A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 1 (Canberra, 1987); Electrical Trades Journal, 30 April, 1950, ETU News, September 1958, February, 1959, April 1964; ALP Vic. Branch Executive Report, 1963-64.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne), 23 March 1928, p 31
  • photo, Age (Melbourne), 22 November 1949, p 2

Citation details

'Henderson, Albert William (1889–1964)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


17 December, 1889
Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


2 April, 1964 (aged 74)
Surrey Hills, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


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