Albert Barnett Facey (31 August 1894 – February 1982) was an Australian writer, whose main work was his autobiography A Fortunate Life, now considered a classic in Australian literature.
Albert Barnett Facey was born in 1894 in Maidstone, Victoria and grew up on the goldfields of Coolgardie and outback Western Australia. Before he was two years old, his father Joseph died of typhoid fever. Abandoned shortly thereafter by his mother, Albert was raised by his grandmother.
Living with his grandmother, Facey entered the workforce at the age of eight, He had little formal education but taught himself to read and write. He took a variety of jobs, including general station hand, drover, farmer, tramways employee, traveling boxer and unionist
He was badly injured at Gallipoli in August 1915 during the First World War, in which two of his brothers were killed. While recuperating he met his future wife Evelyn Gibson and they were married in August 1916. The couple had seven children - the eldest, Barney, was killed during the Second World War - and twenty-eight grandchildren.
In 1953 Albert Facey moved with his family to a property in Mount Helena. People soon found out he had been a member of Local Governments in Perth, Wanneroo and Gosnells and they asked him to stand as a candidate for the Roads Board at the next election, which he did and won easily. He enjoyed his job as a council member (he was a representative for the Chidlow Ward) as it was the kind of work he thrived on. Twelve months after he was elected to the Board he was elected as Chairman. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace.
After WW1, Bert began making notes on his life and his experiences. His children urged him to submit his notebooks for publication. In 1981, when he was 87 years old, his book was published. It was the recipient of two prestigious literary awards, and was turned into a stage production. His story was also made into a four part mini-series shown on Australian and English T.V. in 1986. Albert was also nominated "Australian of the Year" in 1981. He died in 1982.
"I have lived a very good life, it has been very rich and full. I have been very fortunate and I am thrilled by it when I look back.''
A. B. Facey