Finlay Crisp

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Finlay Crisp
Secretary of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction
In office
25 August 1949 – 16 March 1950
Personal details
Born Leslie Finlay Crisp
19 January 1917
Sandringham, Victoria
Died 21 December 1984(1984-12-21) (aged 67)
Nationality Australia Australian
Spouse(s) Helen Crisp (née Wighton)
Occupation Academic, political scientist and public servant

Leslie Finlay "Fin" Crisp (19 January 1917 – 21 December 1984) was an Australian academic and political scientist.

Fin Crisp was born in Sandringham, Victoria. Educated at Black Rock State School, Caulfield Grammar School and St Peter's College, Adelaide, where he graduated in 1934, Crisp earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from the University of Adelaide. While at university, he and his wife Helen (née Wighton; 26 September 1916 – 25 May 2002) formed the National Union of Australian University Students. In 1938 he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to study at Balliol College in Oxford University, although his studies were disrupted while he worked for the Australian Public Service during World War II. His work included positions with the Shortwave Broadcasting Service, the Department of Labour and National Service, and the Department of Post-War Reconstruction.[1] In 1945 he was also a member of the Australian Delegation to form the United Nations. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Oxford in 1948, and then became Director-General of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction.[2]

From 1950 he was a professor of political science at the Australian National University in Canberra, serving as head of the department from 1950 to 1970. He continued teaching until retirement in 1977. He was appointed a director of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation in 1974, and served as chairman of the board from 1975 to 1984. He died in December 1984 in Canberra.

In 2005, Crisp and his wife were two of the first 17 inductees in the Australian Capital Territory Honour Walk, recognising their contribution to Canberra's development.[3]

Crisp Circuit in the Canberra suburb of Bruce was dedicated in his name.[4]


  1. ^ MS 5243: Papers of Leslie Finlay Crisp, National Library of Australia, retrieved 1 March 2014 
  2. ^ CA 49: Department of Post-War Reconstruction, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 1 March 2014 
  3. ^ Chief Minister, Australian Capital Territory. New ACT Honour Walk. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  4. ^ ACT Planning and Land Authority. "Street and Suburb Names - Crisp Circuit, Bruce". Retrieved 8 July 2013. 

References and further reading[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Allen Brown
Secretary of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction
Department abolished