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Albert Kersten (1891–1960)

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This entry is from People Australia

Albert Kersten (1891‑1960) mining engine-driver and trade union official 

Birth; 21 March 1891 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, son of Theodore Kersten (1862-1945), born at Hurl, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, and native-born Mary Ann, née Sullivan (1865-1927). Marriage: 3 April 1914 at Broken Hill to Alesia Florine Mary Rafferty (1897-1952), born in Broken Hill. They had three daughters and six sons. Death: 9 October 1960 at Broken Hill. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated in Broken Hill. At 13 worked for Broken Hill Pty Ltd as an office boy, then in 1908 took position as cleaner in winding engine‑house. For twenty-two years was employed by BHP as an engine-driver on various plants and was a driver in the power plant when the mine closed down.
  • Joined the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Association (FEDFA). Elected to local FEDFA management committee in 1928; became branch secretary in 1933, retaining position until death.
  • Australian Labor Party candidate for Federal seat of Darling in 1939.
  • Vice‑president of Barrier Industrial Council (BIC), working closely with E. P O'Neill. A key player in the BIC securing the removal of the earnings cap on the Broken Hill lead bonus in the 1943 mines agreement.
  • Succeeded O'Neill as BIC president 1949, resigning due to ill-health in 1956.
  • Took an active part in friendly society work.

photo and profile, Barrier Daily Truth, 7 September 1933, p 5.

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Citation details

'Kersten, Albert (1891–1960)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


21 March, 1891
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia


9 October, 1960 (aged 69)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, 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 Organisations
Political Activism