Frank Courtnay was born in Carlton in 1903 to Samuel Courtnay and Lily Pound. Courtnay became an apprentice plumber in 1918, before moving to South Western Australia to become a dairy farmer. With the onset of the depression in 1930 Courtnay moved to Nauru where he was in charge of 80 Chinese coolies. He returned to Australia and settled in Reservoir in 1938. Courtnay became active in the Australian Labor Party, becoming organiser for the Plumbers’ Union in 1938, and later becoming State and then Federal Secretary for the Union. In 1958, Courtnay was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Darebin, being re-elected for four consecutive terms.
Death index Victoria 1921-1985 : index to deaths in Victoria [CD-ROM]. (1998). Melbourne, Australia: Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.