Deposit E158 - Australian Workers' Union deposit 2

Identity area

Reference code



Australian Workers' Union deposit 2


  • 1958 - 1969 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

.9 m

Context area

Name of creator

(1905 -)

Biographical history

The Australian Workers' Union, registered federally in 1905, initially sought to serve unskilled rural workers such as shearers and general labourers and eventually grew to be politically influential within the Australian Labor Party. Increasing in size as members from deregistered unions such as the South Australian United Laborers' Union and the Australian Carriers' Union were absorbed into the fold, the AWU postured itself as the 'One Big Union' of Australian trade unionism. In 1976 the union was reregistered following an amalgamation with the Wool and Basil Workers' Federation of Australia. The Union was again reregistered in 1988 when it merged with the Undertakers' Assistants and Cemetery Employees' Union. A final amalgamation in 1993 with Federation of Industrial Manufacturing and Engineering Employees brought about the AWU-FIME Amalgamated Union but it continues to be known as the Australian Workers' Union.

Name of creator

(1910 - 1965)

Administrative history

Labor Papers Limited published the Australian Workers' Union newspaper, The Australian Worker. It formed in 1910 with John Christian Watson, former prime minister, as its initial chairman of directors and from 1914 its Managing Director. He resigned in 1916 over his support for conscription. The company was deregistered in 1965 as Labor Newspapers Limited.

Name of creator

(1910 - 1968)

Administrative history

The People's Printing and Publishing Company of Western Australia published the union newspaper 'The Westralian Worker'. John Curtin, a future prime minister, was editor of the newspaper from 1917 to 1928. By 1958, the company was known as the Westland Broadcasting Company.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Minutes of Executive Council (1965), rules, conference reports (1958-1968), reports and financial records for AWU Head Office, Labor Papers Ltd, Westland Broadcasting Company, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria-Riverina, South Australia, Tasmanian and Westralian Branches, arbitration material and printed material.


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Conditions governing access

Archives staff will need to request permission from the owner of the records before access can be given

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description 10 October 2012




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