People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John (Jack) Payne (1860–1928)

This article was published:

John Payne (1860-1928) shearer, miner, blacksmith, trade union official and politician 

Birth: 9 November 1860 at Spring Valley, Goulburn, New South Wales, son of Yorkshire-born William Payne and Mary, née Brogham, who had been born in Clare, Ireland. Marriage: 2 July 1892 at Rockhampton, Queensland, to native-born Elizabeth Catherine Ahern. They had eight daughters and three sons. Death: 14 January 1928 in Brisbane. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Payne’s paternal grandfather William (c.1804-1840) was born in Leicestershire, and died in Bungonia, NSW, where he was the first sergeant of Police. Payne’s maternal grandfather, Brogan, was Irish and came to Australia as a convict.
  • Educated at private and State schools in New South Wales. Moved to Queensland in 1881 where he worked as a shearer, miner and bushworker. Failed as a blacksmith at Arrilah in 1885-86. Was a miner at Croydon in 1886, then a shearer on the Flinders, Barcoo and Thompson rivers.
  • Participated in a dispute at Portland Downs in 1890, and during the shearers’ strike of 1891 was elected a member of the strike committee which was formed after all members of the previous committee were arrested and imprisoned in context of shearers strike. He avoided arrest.
  • Worked as a blacksmith at Longreach in 1891-95 and became an organiser for the Amalgamated Workers' Union; Chairman, Public Works Committee;
  • Australian Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly for Mitchell, Queensland from 1905 until his death, when the seat was won by his previous campaign manager ‘Dick’ Bow.
  • Foundation member of Longreach branch of the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society.

Duncan B. Waterson, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament 1860-1929 (second revised edition, Sydney 2001), p.153; Stuart Svensen, The Shearers' War: the story of the 1891 shearers' strike (Brisbane, 1989), p.180 (photo); Westralian Worker, 31 Feb. 1928 p.2; Australian Worker, 11 Jan. 1928 p.1S 

Citation details

'Payne, John (Jack) (1860–1928)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


9 November, 1860
Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia


14 January, 1928 (aged 67)
Brisbane, Queensland, 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.

Key Events
Key Organisations