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Norman Joseph (Norm) Campbell (1922–?)

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This entry is from People Australia

Norman Joseph Campbell (1922- ?) clerk, public servant and trade union leader 

Birth: 19 October 1922 in Western Australia, son of Colin Blair Campbell (1895-1969), a railways workshop fitter born in Western Australia, and Kate, née Norman. Marriage: 8 July 1944 in Perth to Patricia Blodwen. They had two children. Death: unknown: Religion: Anglican. 

  • His father had served in Europe in World War I and – discharged unfit for active service in England in 1917 had worked in the munitions before marrying in Dartford, Kent, England in 1919 and returning to WA.
  • Norm joined the Commonwealth public service in 1937 as a messenger in the post office.
  • Served from 7 December 1941 to 8 November 1945 with the Royal Australian Air Force during WW II as a pilot of Beauforts, his service years nurturing ‘a bluff iconoclasm that would sometimes “boomerang” on him in later life’. His older brother Warrant Officer Colin Blair Campbell also enlisted in the RAAF and, missing in action on 15 August 1943, was presumed dead. He is memorialized at Runnymede, England.
  • After the war Noman returned to Perth where — with friend Don Willesee’s assistance — secured employed employment as a postman at Clermont, and later as a taxation assessor (for eleven years) and safety officer in PMG’s Department.
  • 1949 became member of the Administrative Clerical Officers’ Association [ACOA] Taxation Service Committee and Branch councillor. WA ACOA Branch vice-president and president, a self-styled militant who felt union was overcautious in regard to arbitration.
  • 1960 became Federal vice-president, though other colleagues regarded him as ‘a bull in a china shop’. 1964, full-time branch secretary in WA and Federal president, held without opposition at elections in 1965, 1968 and 1971.
  • In 1973 elected Federal Secretary. In a particularly faction ridden and cantankerous union, his rise to prominence was attributable to a ruthless streak and finely hewn political skills, though unwilling to accommodate important power groups within union. Deposed as secretary 1977.
  • Appointed Commissioner NT Public Service.
  • Retired to Perth. Appointed AM in June 1981 for service in the field of industrial relations.

Federal Public Service Journal
, March 1964; ACOA (Journal), May 1968, August 1973; Bruce Juddery, White collar power: a history of the A.C.O.A. (Sydney, 1980).

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Citation details

'Campbell, Norman Joseph (Norm) (1922–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


19 October, 1922
Western Australia, Australia

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