JWC 'Bill' Stephenson

Community Leader
Inducted 26 November 2008

Joseph William Charlton Stephenson was born in Northumberland, England in 1908.  He settled in Cessnock in 1926, where he was known to most people as ‘Bill’.

Bill’s working life in Cessnock area, was spent almost entirely in local government.

Beginning with Kearsley Shire Council, Bill advanced from Wages Clerk to Shire Clerk in 1953, and to Town Clerk from 1957 - 1973, staying in local government as the Cessnock municipality grew and evolved through many amalgamations, name and boundary changes.

During Bill’s period of leadership, the community experienced both good and bad times. By the time he retired, Bill had seen the building of Cessnock Airport, the Alcan Factory at Kurri Kurri and the clothing factory at Weston, as well as improvements to roads, and the growth and development of the wine industry as a new player in the tourist industry. Bill’s leadership played a key part in these developments. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Cessnock City Library Bookmobile service.

Away from local government, Bill was an active member of his community, involved with the Defence Corps, Cessnock’s Rifle, Bowling and Lions Clubs, Cessnock High School P & C and the Mineworkers’ Credit Union.

Bill was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1975 for his 46 years’ service to local government. Bill Stephenson passed away in 1984.

Plaque location

147 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)