Edward (Ted) Davies


Ted Davies was born into a mining family at East Greta near Maitland, NSW on 6 January 1925 and was educated locally and at Cessnock High School. He spent 1939 in Mount Isa then returned to Maitland, gained his NSW Leaving Certificate and obtained a metallurgical cadetship at the BHP Newcastle steel works during World War II.

In 1946, Ted returned to Mount Isa working as a miner sinking the No. 2 Ore Shaft. He married Betty Russell in 1949, a remarkable woman who gave Ted great support over their 51 years of married life. Ted joined AusIMM in 1950 as a student and remained a Member, then Fellow, for 56 years. He obtained leave of absence from Julius Kruttschnitt to study mining engineering at the University of Queensland. Despite the responsibilities of married life and a young child, he graduated with First Class Honours and a University Medal in early 1954.

At Mount Isa, Ted then developed the first miners’ training school. He later became mine production engineer, mine development engineer, Underground Superintendent, Mine Manager and Research Manager. Ted was involved with the defence of the mine during the strike of 1961 and the bitter 1964-65 strike. He therefore learned much about industrial relations.

He left Mount Isa Mines in 1968 to become Manager of Operations for Peko Mines NL at Tennant Creek, with Peko becoming Australia’s largest gold producer and an important copper producer. In 1974 he joined the coal division of Peko Wallsend, working on the Bargo and Ellalong projects until 1978, then followed eight years with RW Miller, as Manager and Superintendent of the Mount Thorley coal mine.

The last 14 years of his professional life was as a consulting mining engineer and safety expert in Australia and overseas. It was perhaps the most enjoyable part of his life, as he and Betty could travel together. As a safety consultant the courses he ran were legendary, making an indelible impression on all who attended – eg ‘What is Safety? Safety is a State of Mind.’ Indeed, some in the mining industry today owe their lives, directly or indirectly, to Ted.

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