There is no way to overstate how much Allens Arthur Robinson has done for The Hummingfish Foundation.
Arthur Robinson & Co. began trading in Melbourne on 11 May 1914, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. Its two founding partners were Arthur Robinson and George Forrest Davies.
Robinson was born on 23 April 1872. The nephew of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, he was later to become Sir Arthur Robinson. An ancestor was Sir Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers.
Davies’ interests lay in the practice of the law and he was widely recognised for his outstanding skill and prowess as a lawyer. Enlisting in the Australian Army in 1915, he rose to the commissioned rank of Captain and was awarded the Military Cross. He died at the age of 72.
On matriculating from Melbourne’s Scotch College, Robinson began his legal career with Collins Street firm Gillott, Croker & Snowden. He left in 1890 and entered into articles for five years with Australian Test cricketer and lawyer William Bruce of McCutcheon & Bruce.
Robinson was admitted to practice in 1896 and, in the following year, entered into a decade-long partnership with Bruce. After the Bruce & Robinson business ended, Robinson opened a Collins Street office, moving in 1912 to the newly-constructed Collins House at 360 Collins Street.
Robinson’s interests lay in politics and he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly at age 28. He moved to federal politics in 1903, representing Wannon in the House of Representatives for three years. After a hiatus of several years, he was once again elected to the Victorian Parliament, this time to the Upper House, where he served from 1912 to 1924. His roles included Attorney General and Minister responsible for state electricity undertakings during planning and development of the Yallourn power scheme.
Robinson became a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1912 and was knighted in 1923 (KCMG – Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George).
Outside of law and politics, Robinson was involved with his old school, chairing its council and becoming president of the Old Scotch Collegians’ Association. His enthusiasm and outstanding work for Scotch is memorialised by the college house that bears his name.
Sir Arthur Robinson died on 17 May 1945 aged 73 years. Arthur Robinson & Co. merged with Hedderwick Fookes & Alston in 1984.
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