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Ernest (Ern) Wetherell (1893–1969)

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This entry is from People Australia

Ernest Wetherell, n.d.

Ernest Wetherell, n.d.

Wetherell, Ernest (1893-1969) miner, journalist and parliamentarian 

Birth: 26 March 1893 at Mt Egerton, Victoria, son of native-born parents Thomas Wetherell (1856-1906), gold miner, and Anne, née McCauley (1862-1938). Marriage: 26 April 1922 in Brisbane, Queensland, to Tasmanian-born Florence Isabel Annie Scott (1892-1969). They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 31 March 1969 in Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated at Mt Egerton Catholic preparatory school and Superior public school. His father was killed in a mining accident when Ern was 13 years old (his elder brother was also killed in a mining accident three years later).
  • Worked on gold battery at Berringa near Ballarat when 15 years old. Miner in other States including Mt Lyell, Tasmania, and at Cobar and Helensburgh, NSW. Was then a builders' labourer in Sydney.
  • Went to Broken Hill in 1911. Worked as a miner until 1917. Member, Workers’ Industrial Union of Australia and was involved in strike of 1919-20. Sent by unions to New Zealand during 1917 strike on fund-raising mission. Sub-editor, later editor 1919-37 and managing editor 1937-49 of the Barrier Daily Truth. Member of the Australian Journalists' Association. Foundation member of Barrier District Assembly.
  • Elected as Labor Party member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for seat of Cobar in a by-election on 12 March 1949. Minister for Transport 1953-56. As Minister for Conservation 1956-60 was associated with bringing the Menindee Lakes Scheme to fruition. Minister for Education 1960-65. Retired from parliament on 31 March 1965.
  • Member of the Aborigines Welfare Board 1950-53.
  • In retirement wrote Industrial History of the ‘Stormy’ Years (unpublished typescript, held by Charles Rasp Memorial Library, Broken Hill).

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979) pp 290-291; Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill), 22 March 1949, 1 April 1969 pp 1, 16.

Citation details

'Wetherell, Ernest (Ern) (1893–1969)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Ernest Wetherell, n.d.

Ernest Wetherell, n.d.