BA Hons. (Melbourne)

(Deceased), 1986-12-26
Political science

William Macmahon (Mac) Ball, AC  was an Australian academic and diplomat. Born in Casterton, Victoria, he was educated at Caufield Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Ball studied both psychology and Political science as a research fellow at Melbourne and the London School of Economics respectively.[1] He then traveled Europe as a Carnegie Travelling Fellow, and during the Munich crisis was the first foreigner allowed to visit Sachsenhausen concentration camp in several years.

He was a notable diplomat, working as an advisor to the Australian delegation at the San Francisco conference of the United Nations in 1945, Australian Minister to Japan, and British Commonwealth representative to the Allied Conference.

He later became a professor of political science at Melbourne University, and was a regular broadcaster on both the ABC and BBC. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1978 "for service to education and learning particularly in field of political science".

AC 1978

His publications included the volumes Japan: Enemy or Ally? (1948); Nationalism and Communism in East Asia (1952); and an edited collection of documents and readings, Australia and Japan (1969). Alan Rix was to edit the diaries Ball kept in Indonesia and Japan as Intermittent Diplomat (1988).