Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Malcolm Stewart Moore (1888–1969)

by E. F. Spreadborough

This article was published:

Malcolm Stewart Moore (1888-1969), engineer and industrialist, was born on 8 February 1888 at Milton, Brisbane, son of John James Moore, a Queensland-born ironmonger, and his wife Amelia Sarah, née Shaw, who came from Melbourne. William Moore was his uncle. Malcolm attended a Brisbane state school and Caulfield Grammar School, Melbourne; he then studied mining and civil engineering at the University of Melbourne (BME, 1911; BCE, 1912). During World War I he worked in Britain as assistant general manager (1915-16) of the National Projectile Factories, Glasgow, and director (1917-18) of the National Ordnance Factories Section, London, both of which came under the control of the Ministry of Munitions.

Back in Melbourne, he established Malcolm Moore (Industries) Ltd in 1921 and advertised his services as a manufacturer's agent and engineer. At the Presbyterian Church, Kew, on 14 November 1922 he married Anna Victoria McCowan; they were to remain childless. In 1927 he set up his firm's manufacturing centre in Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne. Branches were later opened in every State capital and several provincial centres. Appreciating the need for increased productivity in many areas of industry, he made his firm a specialist in the design and manufacture of mechanical-handling and construction equipment. In 1953 he retired to devote himself to his educational and philanthropic interests.

Moore and a number of other industrialists had asked the Education Department in 1937 to introduce courses for foremen and to hold these classes at the Melbourne Technical College. In 1939 he was a foundation member of the M.T.C. Foremanship Association: it changed its name to the Industrial Management Association of Australia in 1940, to the Institute of Industrial Management of Australia in 1941 and to the Australian Institute of Management in 1949. Moore served on the national council and was president in 1956-58. A generous benefactor to the institute and its State divisions, he gave £25,000 in 1961-64 to help to build Management House, Brisbane. In World War II he had been an engineering consultant to the Commonwealth Department of Supply and Development (Shipping) and a member of the Australian Army Mechanisation Board.

A man of integrity and compassion, Moore was active in the Australian Inland Mission's aerial medical service and in establishing (1942) the (Royal) Flying Doctor Service of Australia. He was a long-time councillor and president (1947-51) of the Victorian section of the R.F.D.S., and served on the federal council as secretary, treasurer, consultant and president (1956-58). In 1958 he was appointed C.B.E. He was awarded the Australian Institute of Management's (Sir) John Storey medal (1963), Rotary's vocational service award (1965), and the Institution of Production Engineers' Jack Finlay national award.

Moore belonged to the Athenaeum Club. He was also a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Institution of Engineers, Australia, the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, and the I.P.E., London. Survived by his wife, he died on 24 November 1969 at Toorak and was cremated. He left 30 per cent of his estate as a bequest to promote management education. His portrait by Paul Fitzgerald is held by the Australian Institute of Management, Queensland division.

Select Bibliography

  • J. Bilton, The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Syd, 1961)
  • J. Fogarty, Leaders in Management (Melb, 1991)
  • Memo to Management, Jan/Feb 1970
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Aug 1945, 1 Dec 1948, 24 Jan 1953, 12 June 1958, 20 Nov 1963
  • Age (Melbourne), 13 Apr 1949, 25 May, 4, 24 Sept 1965, 26 Nov 1969
  • membership registers, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Melbourne) and Institute of Engineers, Australia (Canberra).

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

E. F. Spreadborough, 'Moore, Malcolm Stewart (1888–1969)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 13 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (Melbourne University Press), 2000

View the front pages for Volume 15

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


8 February, 1888
Milton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


24 November, 1969 (aged 81)
Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.