Sir Thomas PlayfordPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The statue commemorates Sir Thomas Playford who was Premier of South Australia from 1938 to 1965. He led his party to victory in eight successive elections, presiding for 26½ years.

He was born at Norton Summit on 5th July 1896, the son of orchardist Thomas Playford and his wife Elizabeth Annie (née Pellew). His grandfather, ‘Honest Tom’ Playford (1837 - 1915), was also a Premier of South Australia and a Federal senator.

In 1933 he entered the House of Assembly as the Liberal and Country League member for Murray. Five years later, in November 1938, he was elected leader of his party, becoming Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Immigration, portfolios that he retained until 1965.  



Address:Old Norton Summit Road & Adelaide - Lobenthal Road, Sir Thomas Playford Park, Playford Centenary Garden, Norton Summit, 5136
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.923087
Long: 138.724807
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State
Actual Event Start Date:05-November-1938
Actual Event End Date:10-March-1965


Front Inscription

Tom Playford

1896 - 1981

Orchardist, soldier, statesman

Premier of South Australia

1938 - 1965

Back Inscription

The Playford Story

Tom Playford transformed South Australia into a modern industrial State presiding over a period of unprecendented economic growth and prosperity.  Some achievements of the Playford era were :

Electricty Trust of south Australia
Leigh Creek Coalfield
A network of River Murray pipelines
BHP shipyard at Whyalla
City of Elizabeth
British Tube Mills
Actil and other textile industries
Philips Electrical Industries
Stanvac Oil Refinery
The Emergency Fire Service

Tom Playford lived with his wife Lorna and family on his nearby Norton Summit orchard.  He led the Liberal and Country League Government for 26 years and 226 days as Premier from November 5, 1938 to March 10, 1965 eclipsing all records for long political leadership in the history of the British Commonwealth.

In 1957, Mr Playford was created Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George for "unparalled service to South Australia".

His Premiership showed that strong leadership, total probity and frugal management are at the heart of good government.  In the end many people neither knew or cared to which party he belonged.  They simply trusted Tom Playford to do his best for South Australia.



Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au