Robert Gardiner was born in Malvern on 8 April 1920 and educated at University High School and the Conservatorium of Music. Gardiner joined the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board in 1936 as a junior clerk and he remained there until 1958 when he left to start his own electrical store.
Gardiner was elected to the Preston Council in 1953 and served for 12 years, including one term as Mayor in 1956-7.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.