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Frank Rowe (public servant)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Rowe
Director-General of the Department of Social Services
In office
9 April 1941 – 24 May 1958
Personal details
Francis Harry Rowe

(1895-10-20)20 October 1895
Bright, Victoria
Died24 May 1958(1958-05-24) (aged 62)
East Melbourne, Victoria
NationalityAustralia Australian
OccupationPublic servant

Francis Harry "Frank" Rowe CBE (20 October 1895 – 24 May 1958) was a senior Australian public servant, best known for his time as Director-General of the Department of Social Services.

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Life and career

Frank Rowe was born in Bright, Victoria on 20 October 1895.[1]

In March 1917, Rowe enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force and was assigned to a position in the Army Medical Corps.[1] He was discharged in September that year.

In 1918 he joined the Commonwealth Public Service in the Repatriation Department, as a clerk.[1]

Between April 1941 and his death in May 1958, Rowe was head of the Department of Social Services.[2] He took over from Jim Brigden who had held the position only nominally since the idea of national insurance had been considered two years before, but the Department had never functioned. For this reason, Rowe's first act as Director-General was to engage staff.[3]

In 1945, Rowe traveled to Canada, representing Australia, to advise the Canadian Ministry of National Health and Welfare on Australia's social services.[4] While in the country, Rowe explored the possibility of a reciprocity of social services, like the arrangement in place between Australia and New Zealand.[5]

Rowe died in a Melbourne hospital on 24 May 1958 after a short illness.[6]

Awards and honours

In June 1953 Rowe was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his service as Director-General of the Social Services department.[7]

In November 1958 Howard A. Rusk from the World Rehabilitation Fund announced the Fund had established the Frank Rowe Memorial Fellowship to honour Rowe as one of the pioneer leaders of rehabilitation.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Boxall, Helen. Rowe, Francis Harry (1895–1958). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015.
  2. ^ CA 32: Department of Social Services, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 19 February 2015
  3. ^ "Social Services: Staffing of New Department". The Canberra Times. 10 April 1941. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Social services: "Advice" to Canada". Townsville Daily Bulletin. 13 December 1945. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Australia Lagging In Social Welfare". The Canberra Times. 23 August 1946. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Social Services Head Dies". The Canberra Times. 26 May 1958. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Search Australian Honours: ROWE, Francis Harry, Award: The Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil)",, Australian Government, archived from the original on 19 February 2015
  8. ^ "Rehabilitation Pioneer: Memorial Fellowship". The Biz. Fairfield, New South Wales. 19 November 1958. p. 20.
Government offices
Preceded by Director-General of the Department of Social Services
1941 – 1958
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 27 July 2021, at 01:06
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