Skip to main content

Members’ biographical register

John Winthrop Hackett

Principal Honours
Knight (Kt) (1911) Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) (1913)
Date: 4 February 1848 (possibly 1847)
Place: near Bray, Wicklow, Ireland, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
To WA June 1882
Son of Rev John Winthrop, Church of Ireland minister, and Jane Sophia Monck (nee Mason)
Marriage and Family
Married 3 August 1905, St Mary’s Church, Busselton to Deborah Vernon Drake-Brockman (born circa August 1887 and died circa April 1965), daughter of Frederick Slade and Grace Vernon Bussell (Lady Hackett also married Sir Frank Beaumont Moulden in 1918 and Basil Buller Murphy in 1936)
Children: one son and four daughters
Date: 19 February 1916
Place: Perth, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Church of England
Educated Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; BA 1871, MA 1874, Irish bar 1874, Hon LL D (1902)
Editor, farmer and manager
Employment History
In Melbourne 1876 as Vice-Principal (sub-warden) Trinity College, University of Melbourne
Contributed to
Age and Melbourne Review
To WA June 1882, managed sheep station in Gascoyne
1883 with
Charles Harper, partner and business manager at West Australian, editor 1887, full owner from 1912
Date Elected
29 December 1890
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by John Hackett
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
State (WA)

  • Nominated MLC 29 December 1890–June 1894
  • MLC South-West Province 16 July 1894–19 February 1916

  • Delegate to Federation Council of Australasia 1895, 1897, 1899
  • Delegate to Federal Convention 1897–1898

Historical Notes
  • Father of the House 22 May 1906–19 February 1916

State (Victoria)

  • Contested Normanby, February 1880
To Sydney 1875
Member Zoological Gardens committee
Chairman Perth Public Library 1893-1913
1909 delegate to Empire Press Conference London
Foundation member Empire Press Union
1910 Chairman Royal Commission on Establishment of University, 1912–1916 first Chancellor
1913 first president Guild of Undergraduates, University of WA
Benefactor of University of WA founding Hackett scholarships, leaving sum for building of permanent buildings and St George’s residential college
Chancellor Church of England diocese of Perth
Governor and chairman Perth High School
President Museum and Art Council 1904–1916
Grand Master Grand Lodge of Freemasons of WA 1901–1903
Chairman Kings Park Board, Karrakatta Cemetery Board 1901–1916
A foundation vice-president Western Australian Cricket Association
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2001, p. 87.
Further Information
JS Battye, ed, The Cyclopedia of Western Australia, Hussey and Gillingham, Adelaide, 1912-1913, p. 327, 583–584 (port.)
Lyall Hunt, 'Hackett, Sir John Winthrop (1848–1916)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 22 December 2015.
Kimberly, p. 21–23.
Russell, p. 221–222.
Twentieth Century Impressions, 24, 171–72.
West Australian, 21 February 1916.