Joseph McKenna

Joseph McKenna

Name: Joseph McKenna

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the \'Long Early Twentieth Century\')

Grouping Field: Humanities (Ideas Formatted as Ideas) and Social Science (Models)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°28\'22.1\"S 153°01\'27.9\"E

Years At Location: 1923-1936

One Historical Setting: Mr. Bernard (Joseph) McKenna, Under-Secretary of Education, Queensland Department of Public Instruction, Brisbane City (1923)

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Joseph McKenna was the Under-Secretary of the Queensland Department of Public Instruction from 1923 to 1936.

Impact On Brisbane Society

Joseph McKenna is a troubling figure in Queensland education. As Greg Logan explains, although, as a teacher, McKenna had been inculcated in the utilitarian, child-centred ‘New Education’ trends in the early twentieth century (a progressivist position for its time), McKenna resisted educational reforms for Queensland, holding the state back in the 1930s with a mission for a ‘a sturdy and intelligent rural peasantry’.


G. N. Logan, ‘McKenna, Bernard (Joseph) (1870–1937)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 18 December 2017.

Image Citation

Portrait of Mr BJ McKenna. Archive: Queensland State Archives 4084, Agriculture And Stock Department, Publicity Branch