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Carter, James Samuel (Jim) (1922–2000)

by Ian Carter

James Carter, at Lonsdale st. Power Station, c1994

James Carter, at Lonsdale st. Power Station, c1994

photo supplied by Ian Carter

James (Jim) Samuel Carter was born on 29 December 1922 at the family estate 'Wallaloo Park', Marnoo, Wimmera, Victoria, second son of grazier William Charles Carter (1867 – 1941) and Marjorie Weatherly (1884 - 1968). He was raised on the estate with his brother Alexander James Weatherly Carter (1920 – 2011), and attended primary school at Wallaloo East. He went to Brighton Grammar (1936-39), matriculating as dux of the school and a Prefect. He was also a member of the Editorial Committee of the Brighton Grammarian, and a member of the football, cricket, and tennis teams.

In 1940 he began a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Melbourne University and on 8 October 1941 enlisted in the Melbourne University Rifles (MUR). He transferred to the Australian Infantry Forces on 24 March 1942, overstating his age to the required 21 years. He was an Artillery Gunner and after basic training at Puckapunyal was posted to Rum Jungle in the Northern Territory, and Sydney harbour heads. After demobilising, he returned to Melbourne University and completed his Engineering degree. He also rejoined MUR and rose to the rank of Captain. After graduating, he travelled to Great Britain and Europe.

Upon returning to Australia he joined the Melbourne City Council, and supervised construction of the Lonsdale street power station chimney in 1953, which was known as “Jimmy’s chimney”. He then joined P.A. as a management consultant and there he met his future wife Noelle Youngman (1927 - 1999), secretary to the managing director. They married in 1957 and moved to Berwick where Carter was working for Heinz. They bought land and intended to raise their family there. In 1958 they moved to Adelaide where Carter joined Cresco fertiliser as general manager. In the early 1970s he moved to Horwood Bagshaw agricultural machinery as general manager. In this role he travelled widely including Libya, Timor (with Noelle), Europe, USA, UK, the Middle East, and Asia.

In 1976 he established his own consulting firm, J. S. Carter and Associates, offering management advice and recruitment services. In the early 80s, Jim and Noelle divorced and he returned to academia. He studied at various universities including Flinders, Adelaide; James Cook, Townsville; Bellingham, Washington State, USA; and in Singapore and India, completing three postgraduate qualifications in statistics, sociology and psychology. He travelled across the USA by Greyhound bus, and was once stranded in Harlem, New York City, but used his natural charm to safely return to lower Manhattan.

In later life Carter resided at North Terrace, Adelaide, and worked on his Ph.D. Thesis on “subjective well-being” (happiness). A qualified glider pilot, he also played golf, tennis and squash and enjoyed music and dancing at the family home he designed on “Grenache” avenue “Wattle Park”, Adelaide, located opposite “Penfolds” Magill Estate. Noelle was an accomplished piano player and singer, and their home was built for parties. They hosted annual New Year's Eve parties, and barbecues around the swimming pool. He had 4 sons, Bruce James, Peter Robert, Ian Charles, and David William. 

A gentleman and scholar, Jim Carter was loved deeply by all his extended family and friends. He died on April 1, 2000, true to his credo “Life’s a joke and all things show it, I thought so once and now I know it”. His ashes were interred at the family memorial in Horsham, Victoria, where the Carter family first settled the Wimmera in 1842.

Original publication

  • unpublished, 2012

Citation details

Ian Carter, 'Carter, James Samuel (Jim) (1922–2000)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 October 2020.

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