father and his brothers with their buses outside the family
home in Anderson Street, Cairns. Alan's mother Alice ran
the local Post Office next door for many years.
family pioneered tourism and mining in and around Cairns in
Far North Queensland. Alan's dad and his uncle George had
the early bus services in Cairns, and later his father started
taxis and began tours of the Atherton Tablelands to show tourists
the many attractions including where the bushranger Christie
Palmerston used to hide.
father also mined wolfram at Wolfram Camp and Alan's older
brother Norman, mined tin for many years on Smith's Creek
Alan Metcalfe's business
career began in the mid-1960s when he took on a job in Mount
Isa, North West Queensland, Australia to provide contract sports
journalist services to the North West Star newspaper. This job
taught Alan the basics of commercial writing and laid the foundations
for a career of involvement in the world of communications.
Based on his experience with the North West Star, Alan established
free weekly newspapers in Mount Isa, which he later spread throughout
North Queensland. These publications included Townsville
Woman and Foley Shield Football.
was an enthusiastic sportsman in his youth including track and
road cycling, hockey, swimming and football. He ended his playing
career in Mount Isa where he and two friends, John Edwards and
John Cargill established the Mount Isa Australian Football League.
Alan was inaugeral captain-coach of the Rovers Football Club
for three years.
He was also the instigator of the North Australian Football
Championships that involved Mount Isa, Darwin, Alice Springs,
Townsville, Cairns and Port Moresby.
working in the Underground Planning and Design Section of Mount
Isa Mines in the early 1960s, Alan started a mining business
in 1970 when he and partner Brian Speechly provided contract
mining services for the underground development of the Gunpowder
Mine. Later he explored for coal in the Bown Basin and operated
a production mining operation at Kuridala.
Kuridala is a copper-gold deposit in North West Queensland,
40 miles South of Cloncurry and about 200 miles South East of
Mount Isa. Today it is at the center is a booming mineral field.
The photo to the right is of the orginal Post Office at Kuridala
that was operated for many years by Mrs Kathleen Tunney. Click
here to see more photos from the mining days.
change of political direction in Australia in the early 1970s
prevented the Metcalfe family from completing the establishment
of their commercial mining operation at Kuridala and motivated
Alan into politics where he formed and chaired the North Australian
Development Council for three years.
this time he held various positions with the National Party
of Australia including campaign director for the National Party
of Australia (Tasmania) in the 1974 elections. In 1983 he wrote
the book "In Their Own Right" about the achievements of the
National Party in Queensland that was published by University
of Queensland Press.
retired from politics in 1983 to concentrate on business.