Trevor King OAM

Welfare Leader
Inducted 25 November 2009

Trevor King was born in Cessnock in 1930, the youngest child of a large family. Trevor attended primary school until the age of 11, when he contracted polio and rheumatic fever, which led to several months being spent in Newcastle Hospital.

While still young, Trevor started to box, which helped him to strengthen his body following the polio. He learned boxing at Taff Thomas’ boxing gym alongside Tinkler’s Hotel. In 1947, Trevor left home and went to live in Sydney to train as a professional boxer. During his career, Trevor won 60 out of 61 bouts in contests across Australia, and became Australian Featherweight Boxing Champion. In 2006, in recognition of his achievements in boxing, he was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame.

Trevor’s boxing career in itself would warrant induction into the Hall of Fame, but it is for his achievements in public service later in life that Trevor was nominated.

In the 1950s, Trevor’s life after boxing took a different path, and he focused on providing assistance to people whose lives were affected by drug or alcohol addiction. Trevor became a Salvation Army minister, and went on to study drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Europe, the UK and at the Betty Ford Clinic in the USA.

In the early 1970s, Trevor established the Westside Mission at Ebenezer, in the Hawkesbury district. Westside is a live-in rehabilitation centre which offers a 12 month program for those with drug and alcohol dependency, with a very high success rate for those who complete the program. Trevor was awarded an OAM in 2004 for his endeavours at Westside, a not-for-profit charity staffed by volunteers, and now one of the most successful operations of its type in Australia.

Throughout his life, Trevor has demonstrated enormous tenacity, and endured considerable ill health. In spite of this he has shown great commitment to others, and consequently received many accolades, including being the subject of the TV program ‘This is Your Life’, and having his work and accomplishments frequently referenced to in parliament.

For more information:

  • Listen to ABC's Conversations interview with Trevor King.
  • Read the Sydney Morning Herald article on Trevor King.
  • Read the Brisbane Times article on Trevor King.

Plaque location
89 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)