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McCarthy, William John Patrick [Bill] (1923 - 1987)

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Born: 22 May 1923  Subiaco, Western Australia.  Died: 25 April 1987  Armidale, New South Wales.
Bill had an itinerant lifestyle in his early years growing up during the depression with a father severely disabled during World War I. Travelling from town to town between timber areas of Western Australia he attended assorted schools.

He enlisted in the RAAF in 1942 and joined the 13th squadron in Canberra. Here he met his wife, Thelma, a sergeant in the WAAF in the Signals Office. He struck up a friendship with Gough Whitlam, a navigator in the same squadron and was thus introduced to Labor politics. Bill and Thelma married in 1945.

After the war he studied farm management at Yanco Agricultural College to obtain the qualifications to meet the requirements of War Service settlement. He was eventually allocated a block at Gostwyck Station near Armidale in June 1958.

In 1962 he helped form the New England Soldier Settlers' Association to fight for better loan repayment conditions for the settlers. He produced a report which succeeded in persuading the government to revise the loan repayments in the settlers' favour. He subsequently joined the Department of University Extension at the University of New England to organise the Radio Farm Forum.

Bill joined the local ALP branch in Armidale and in 1975, angered by the dismissal of the Whitlam government, decided to stand for Labor as a candidate in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. His campaign director was Laurie Daly, son of well known Labor politician Fred Daly. In 1978 he was elected as state ALP member for New England. He was extremely popular with voters of all persuasions and served in that office until his death in 1987.

[Brief Biography compiled by Robin Hammond, January/February 2004]


Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Sophie Patrick
Created: 26 June 2002
Modified: 7 November 2005

Published by The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, 5 April 2004
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 23 February 2010

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