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Milton Patrick McCarney (1909–1974)

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Milton Patrick Austral McCarney (1909-1974) upholsterer, saddler and trade union official

Birth: 24 May 1909 at Junee, New South Wales, son of native-born parents Joseph Bernard McCarney (1880-1914), railway employee, and Eileen Margaret, née Newbury (1886-1948). Marriage: 1936 at Lewisham, Sydney, NSW, to Sydney-born Monica Alma Sullivan (1912-1991). They had one daughter and four sons. Death: 30 March 1974 in Lewisham Hospital, Sydney; usual residence William Street, Granville, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

  • His grandfather John Vincent McCarney (1847-1935), native-born of Irish parents, was a railway train driver, traffic inspector and writer.
  • When Milton was five-years-old his father died leaving a widow and three young children. In the early 1930s Milton was an amateur entertainer in Lewisham, Sydney.
  • McCarney was elected organiser with the Vehicle Builders Union (VBU) in April 1949. He was secretary of NSW branch of the VBU from about 1951 to about 1974. Federal president, VBU.
  • Executive member of the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party. Delegate to ALP Conference; and to NSW Labor Council. Senior vice-president, NSW Labor Council. Described in 1965 as “acknowledged Catholic church leader in the Trades Hall”
  • Union delegate to the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Delegate to International Labor Organization, Geneva, 1966.
  • Pioneered the Shop Delegate Schools in Australia.
  • Cause of death: carcinomatosis (primary undetermined).
  • His widow, who later remarried, was also active in the ALP.

Vehicle Builder
, May 1967, July 1973; May 1974 Vol. 23 No.5.

Citation details

'McCarney, Milton Patrick (1909–1974)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


24 May, 1909
Junee, New South Wales, Australia


30 March, 1974 (aged 64)
Lewisham, Sydney, New South Wales, 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
Political Activism