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Norman John Makin (1889–1982)

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Norman John Oswald Makin (1889-1982)

Birth: 31 March 1889, Petersham, Sydney, NSW. Son of John Hulme and Elizabeth. Married: Ruby F. Jennings, 1912. They had two sons. Death: 20 July 1982. Methodist.

  • Educated Central Public School Broken Hill, NSW;
  • Started working life delivering parcels at age 13 and supplemented his meagre income by delivering newspapers;
  • Allied himself with cultural movements and gained reputation as an amateur actor and elocutionist;
  • Delegate from Shop Assistants’ Union to Barrier District Assembly, c.1908;
  • Associated with IWW (International Workers of the World) and called in trial to give evidence in defence of Tom Mann in Albury NSW;
  • Moved to South Australia and gained apprenticeship as patternmaker;
  • Officer, Australian Society of Engineers; President, SA ALP 1918-19;
  • Member of House of Representatives, Hindmarsh, 1919-46 (defeated), Sturt 1954-?, Bonython 1955-63 (retired); Contested Barossa SA 1915, Wakefield 1917; Speaker 1929-31, Minister for the Navy and for Munitions, 1941-46, for Aircraft Production, 1945-46;
  • Secretary, Parliamentary Labor Party 1928-29, 1934-41; S.A.'s representative on Federal executive, ALP; Vice-president Eight-Hour Committee in Adelaide; First Australian Ambassador to USA 1946-51; First president, UN Security Council;
  • Cornishman and Methodist lay preacher 

Joan Rydon, A Biographical Register of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1901-1972 (Canberra, 1975); Jim Moss, Sound of Trumpets: history of the labour movement in South Australia (Cowandilla, S. Aust, 1985); Australian Worker, 3 June 1915

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Citation details

'Makin, Norman John (1889–1982)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Norman Makin, n.d.

Norman Makin, n.d.

National Library of Australia, 25968633

Life Summary [details]


31 March, 1889
Petersham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


20 July, 1982 (aged 93)
Glenelg, Adelaide, South Australia, 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.

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