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Donald Walter (Don) Cooley (1918–2007)

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This entry is from People Australia

Donald Cooley, n.d.

Donald Cooley, n.d.

Donald Walter (Don) Cooley (1918-2007) brewery worker and politician

Birth: 31 July 1918 in Perth, Western Australia, son of Oliver John Cooley, foreman glassmaker, and Alfreda, née Godden. Marriage: 18 January 1941 at St Paul’s church, West Perth to Elsie May Hodges. They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 18 May 2007. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated at Leederville Primary and Perth Boys School. Employed by Swan Brewery 1940 and again 1946-54.
  • Secretary, Breweries and Bottleyards Employees’ Union.
  • Served in the Australian Military forces [militia] in 1940-1942. Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 19 July 1942. Served in the 3rd Field Regiment and with the 6th Division in Papua New Guinea. Was discharged on 20 February 1946.
  • Trustee, Trade Union Industrial Council and WA Trades and Labor Council (from 1963) 1955-65. Member committee TUIC, 1956-61 and senior vice president 1962.
  • President TLC 1965-76.
  • Member, Australian Council of Trades Unions executive 1971. Delegate to International Labour Organization conference, Geneva 1969 and 1973.
  • Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in 1985 for services to union movement.
  • Joined Australian Labor Party in 1937. Delegate WA State Executive from 1955 to 1976; senior vice president 1966.
  • Elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for North-East Metropolitan Province, on 22 May 1974.  Retiring on 21 May 1980 he moved to Augusta.
  • In 1985 published Leading the way: A history of the Breweries and Bottleyard Employees Union 1910-1975.
  • He had played football and cricket as a young man and was later a first-class cricket umpire.

David Black & Geoffrey Bolton, Biographical Register of members of the parliament of Western Australia, volume 2, 1930-2010.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Cooley, Donald Walter (Don) (1918–2007)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Donald Cooley, n.d.

Donald Cooley, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


31 July, 1918
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


18 May, 2007 (aged 88)

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.

Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism