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Gerhard Meinke

Melbourne, Australia

In January 1937 my parents arrived in Tehran; I was born in 1938, repatriated to Germany in September 1941 and I emigrated to Australia in December 1948. In January 1949 we were reunited with my father who had been captured in Tehran and interned in Australia.

Primary and secondary schooling were followed by a five-year apprentice course which qualified me as a telecommunications technician in the then Postmaster General’s Department, which became Telecom Australia and then Telstra. I remained with them in positions of Technician, Technical Instructor, Professional Engineer and Senior Company Executive.

In April 1962 I married Pauline and we sailed to Europe and via  campervan travelled around Scandinavia, Western Europe, almost all Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan and India with our return to Australia in May 1963.

Two years were spent as a technical instructor, and I resumed studies to gain professional engineer qualifications and commenced work as a professional engineer in January 1968. I managed teams of technical officers engaged on the installation and operation of the telecommunications network in Melbourne.

In April 1974 I transferred to the Telstra National Office in Melbourne. The next seven years were spent on the high level national project to modernise the Australian telecommunications network. I was constantly involved in negotiations with senior management in each capital city, staff briefings and attendance at ongoing hearings before the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Court in Melbourne to resolve industrial conflicts.

In 1981 I spent five months in the United States with the General Telephone and Electronics Corporation, GTE, in their Communications Executive Scholarship Program. Each year GTE offered one place to each of four telecommunications companies from around the world for a staff member to spend time with GTE.

On my return to Australia my work continued with Telstra and I was promoted to a senior company executive position. 

In 1988 I was appointed to a new National Manager Executive position to establish and manage an Australia-wide organisation consisting of 960 experienced professional engineers and technical staff to ensure that all telecommunications facilities performed as expected and service disruptions were quickly restored.

In 1992 I managed the introduction of a new organisation covering some 12,000 staff and developed a suitable manpower management program and standardised work practices. Those objectives were on the way to completion at my retirement.

I undertook a number of study visits to companies in the United States, Canada, Denmark, France and Germany to keep Telstra abreast of processes used elsewhere.

After retirement I continued in a Melbourne-based company to introduce internet and email use in various branches of the medical profession. International visits continued to the United States and consultancy work in Malaysia. At the end of 1999 I fully retired.


In 1967 our daughter, Angela, was born followed by Ingrid in 1969. Both hold professional degrees and work in Melbourne.

In 2007 our first grandson, Oskar, joined the family and most time in retirement years have been spent with him and in voluntary assistance to the staff at the centres and kindergarten and primary school which Oskar attended.

I am a keen photographer, work on various computer-related activities, extensive genealogy research and retain video contact with friends in Europe and America.

Gerhard Meinke (2).tif

© 2020-2023 Designed by P. KHOSRONEJAD

                     Dr. Pedram Khosronejad | Adjunct Professor

     Religion and Society Research Cluster | Western Sydney University

Fellow | Department of Anthropology | Harvard University


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