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Member Details

Mr Robert James HEFFRON (1890 - 1978)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 10/09/1890
Place of Birth: Thames, New Zealand
Date of Death: 27/07/1978
Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 25 Oct 1930 23 Jan 1968 37 years 2 months 30 days
Member for Botany 25 Oct 1930 18 May 1932 1 year 6 months 24 days
Member for Botany 11 Jun 1932 12 Apr 1935 2 years 10 months 2 days
Member for Botany 18 Apr 1935 24 Feb 1938 2 years 10 months 7 days
Member for Botany 26 Mar 1938 18 Apr 1941 3 years 24 days
Member for Botany 10 May 1941 24 Apr 1944 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Botany 28 Apr 1944 29 Mar 1947 2 years 11 months 2 days
Member for Botany 03 Apr 1947 22 May 1950 3 years 1 month 20 days
Member for Maroubra 17 Jun 1950 14 Jan 1953 2 years 6 months 29 days
Member for Maroubra 19 Jan 1953 06 Feb 1956 3 years 19 days
Member for Maroubra 03 Mar 1956 16 Feb 1959 2 years 11 months 14 days
Member for Maroubra 21 Mar 1959 05 Feb 1962 2 years 10 months 16 days
Member for Maroubra 03 Mar 1962 31 Mar 1965 3 years 29 days
Member for Maroubra 01 May 1965 23 Jan 1968 2 years 8 months 24 days
Minister for National Emergency Services 16 May 1941 08 Jun 1944 3 years 24 days
Minister for Education 08 Jun 1944 02 Apr 1952 7 years 9 months 26 days
Secretary for Mines 23 Feb 1953 16 Sep 1953 6 months 25 days
Acting Premier and Colonial Treasurer 06 Apr 1958 22 Jul 1958 3 months 17 days
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education 23 Feb 1953 01 Apr 1959 6 years 1 month 10 days
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education 01 Apr 1959 23 Oct 1959 6 months 23 days
Treasurer and Minister for Education 23 Oct 1959 28 Oct 1959 6 days
Minister for Education 28 Oct 1959 31 May 1960 7 months 4 days
Acting Treasurer 10 Nov 1960 08 Jan 1961 1 month 30 days
Acting Treasurer 22 Nov 1961 02 Jan 1962 1 month 12 days
Premier 23 Oct 1959 30 Apr 1964 4 years 6 months 8 days
Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP). Branch offices, expelled in August 1936 for attending Trades Hall conference critical of Lang machine, re-admitted 1937; led breakaway group 1938; deputy leader 1952 until 1959, leader 1959 until 1964.
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Labourer and union organiser. Educated at Hikotaia, New Zealand; worked in gold treating plant on leaving school, spent evenings studying metallurgy at technical college; at nineteen journeyed to the United States of America, mule driver, scaffold builder and labourer; returned to Waikino, New Zealand 1912, joined the New Zealand Socialist party, prominent in Waihi goldminers' strike; shearer and organiser for General Workers' Union Auckland; did two years' night study at Auckland University; arrival at Melbourne 1919; member Victoria Socialist party; organiser for Federation Clothing Trades' Union; moved to Sydney, secretary of New South Wales branch Marine Stewards' Union 1921-1930; arrested for alleged conspiracy over Port Lyttelton strike 1925 but discharged; hon. D Litt University of Sydney 1952, and University of New England 1956, hon.D Sc University of New South Wales 1955; hon. member Royal Australia Historical Society 1947; reared Roman Catholic, became proselytising rationalist, later self-styled Protestant.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Michael Heffron, blacksmith, and Ellen Heath, Irish migrants. Married Jessie Bjornstad on 29 December 1917 in New Zealand and had issue, 2 daughters. Funeral at Eastern Suburbs crematorium from St Stephens Uniting Church, Macquarie Street in Sydney.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: Robert James Heffron - newscuttings, 1941 - 1960 (MLMSS 2306)