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Askin joined the Liberal Party in 1947 and was elected as the member for Collaroy in 1950. He continued as member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1950 to 1975, and Premier from 1965 to 1975. Named Robin at birth, Askin changed his name to Robert before receiving a Knighthood (KCMG), on his own recommendation, in 1972. His reputation was marred by serious allegations of corruption.

Glebe connections

Robert Askin, passport photo, State Library of NSW
Robert Askin, passport photo, State Library of NSW

The NSW Premier whose vision for Glebe was its partial disappearance under a network of freeways lived for nearly 30 years in the suburb, at 29 Talfourd Street and at 11 Lyndhurst Street, and attended Forest Lodge Infants and Glebe Primary schools.

Robin Askin was born on 4 April 1907, the oldest of three sons born to Ellen Halliday and William Askin. There has been some confusion over his birth year (sometimes given as 1909) possibly because his parents did not marry until 1916 and Robin’s birth was not registered until 1922. He spent his early years near Wellington where his mother’s family worked. Robin, his mother and brother joined his father’s family living at Talford Street in about 1914 – a household of six adults and two children.

Askin joined the Liberal party in 1947 and led his party to power in 1965. His government aggressively supported industrial and commercial development. He advocated expressways cutting through Glebe (and Newtown). It was during his premiership that the Glebe Society was formed (1969) to fight the proposal to destroy the distinctive Victorian character of the suburb by demolition of terrace houses to make way for three-storey flats, cutting the suburb into three to make way for freeways, and destroying Lyndhurst, a fine Regency villa.

More information

‘Robin Askin’ in ‘Who Lived in Your Street’ and Glebe Society Bulletin, 8/2004, p6, ‘A Real Bastard?’

Australian Dictionary of Biography  

David Hickie, The Prince and the Premier, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1985

Posted on April 6, 2013 by Peter

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