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Frank Keen Nieass (1886–1967)

This article was published:

Frank Nieass, n.d.

Frank Nieass, n.d.

Frank Keen Nieass (1886-1967) compositor, trade union official, mayor and parliamentarian

Birth: 25 October 1886 at Bowden, South Australia, son of John Nieass (1850-1921), a builder, born at Torquay, Devon, England, who arrived at Port Adelaide with his parents on 28 May 1855 aboard the John Banks, and native-born Elizabeth Prudence, née Keen (1855-1907), born at Gawler Plains, South Australia. Marriage: 23 December 1909 in the Methodist Church, Bowden, SA, to native-born Violet Gertrude Lang (1888-1972). They had two sons and one daughter. Death: 28 August 1967 at Norwood, SA. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Educated at Brompton State School. Worked as a compositor.
  • General secretary of the Australian Government Workers Association from 1914 to 1957. He had relinquished his post as a paid official in 1930 but continued to discharge his secretarial duties in an honorary capacity.
  • Alderman on Hindmarsh Council from 1913. Mayor of Hindmarsh in 1925-1927.
  • Elected Labor member of the House of Assembly for East Torrens from 5 April 1930 to 7 April 1933; and for Norwood from 19 March 1938 to 1941, and from 29 April 1944 to 7 March 1947. Was secretary of the Parliamentary Labor Party from 1930 to 1933.
  • Labor candidate for State seats of Wooroora in 1918 and Norwood in 1941 and 1947. Contested Federal House of Representatives seat of Barker for Labor in 1929.
  • Member State Council of the Boys Scouts' Association.
  • Cause of death: myocardial degeneration and aortic valve disease.

Howard Coxon, John Playford and Robert Reid, Biographical Register of the South Australian Parliament 1857-1957 (Adelaide, 1985); Labor Year Book. 1934-35 p 234; Jim Moss, Sound of trumpets: history of the labour movement in South Australia (Cowandilla, 1985), p 251.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Nieass, Frank Keen (1886–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Frank Nieass, n.d.

Frank Nieass, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


25 October, 1886
Bowden, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


28 August, 1967 (aged 80)
Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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