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Malcolm MacKinnon (1883–1959)

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Malcolm MacKinnon (1883-1959) school teacher and trade union official

Birth: 29 August 1883 at Ballina, New South Wales, son of Ewen MacKinnon (1846-1919), sugar mill manager, and Elizabeth, née Sharpe (1864-1939). Marriage: 4 January 1911 at Newtown, Sydney, NSW, to Lucy Gladys Rotton (1884-1970). They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 6 November 1959 in hospital at Gordon, Sydney; usual residence Latona Street, West Pymble, Sydney. Religion: Congregational. 

  • Founding member of the Teachers’ Federation. Member of first salaries committee which negotiated 1920 Salaries Award and was the first determination to provide teachers with a reasonably appropriate remuneration.
  • Left Sydney and became headmaster in country high schools from 1922, including Wagga Wagga, Grafton, and Maitland. Returned to Sydney in 1934 and became headmaster of Sydney Technical High School.
  • Elected vice-president of the NSW Teachers’ Federation (NSWTF) in 1934; deputy president in 1935-1936; president 1937-39; deputy president 1940-1942.
  • President of Secondary Teachers’ Association. Representative of Secondary Teachers’ Association on Board of Secondary School Studies.
  • Active life member of NSWTF 1936. Retired in 1947.
  • His term as president is said to be characterised by: “growth of education-consciousness in the community, the building of Federation House, the development of the case for a Teachers’ Certificate, considerably increased membership, and the clarifying of the Federation’s aims and purposes”.
  • Member of the Senate of University of Sydney for six years.
  • Cause of death: cerebral haemorrhage (15 days).

, 17 February 1937 p 88, 22 February 1940 p 104; 21 May 1940 p 196, 23 May 1944, 25 May 1946, 20 May 1947, 24 January 1948, 18 November 1959, 9 December 1959.

Citation details

'MacKinnon, Malcolm (1883–1959)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


29 August, 1883
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia


6 November, 1959 (aged 76)
Gordon, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

brain hemorrhage

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.

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