The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Hodgkinson, Hon. William Oswald
Hodgkinson, Hon. William Oswald, M.L.A., J.P., F.R.G.S., Secretary for Public Instruction, Queensland, was born at Wandsworth in 1838, and educated at Bewdley Park, Worcestershire, and Birmingham Grammar School. He went to Australia as a midshipman in the mercantile service in 1851, and remained in Australia in the position of a licence clerk at Castlemaine. In 1852 he obtained the charge of Tarnagulla goldfield, but resigned and returned to England in 1854, where he entered the War Office, London, and passed two examinations at Dean's Yard, Westminster. He returned to Victoria in 1859, and became reporter and afterwards sub-editor of the Melbourne Age, but joined the Burke and Wills exploring expedition in 1860; and was second in command of the McKinley expedition in 1861. He then settled in Queensland, where he edited several newspapers, and engaged for some time in mining. He represented the Burke district in the Legislative Assembly from 1874 to 1876. In 1875 he was appointed by the Queensland Government to head an expedition to explore the Diamentina country, and successfully accomplished that object, returning to Queensland in 1876 after an absence of sixteen months, having by his explorations on the western border of the colony, bridged the gap between the point where Captain Sturt was foiled for want of water in 1845, and the extreme point of Mr. Landsborough's explorations on the Herbert in 1862. He was warden and police magistrate on several goldfields from 1877 to 1884, when he was appointed Relieving Police Magistrate for Queensland, and in 1888 was again returned to Parliament for the Burke district. Mr. Hodgkinson (who is Back Gold Medallist of the Royal Geographical Society) was Secretary for Mines and Works in the first Griffith Ministry from Dec. 12th, 1887, till the Government resigned on June 13th, 1888. Mr. Hodgkinson accepted the post of Secretary for Public Instruction on Sir Samuel Griffith's return to power in August 1890.