Fitzpatrick, Brian Charles

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Fitzpatrick, Brian Charles

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Dates of existence

1905 -1965


Brian Charles Fitzpatrick, journalist, historian, socialist and defender of civil liberties, was born on 17 November 1905 at Warrnambool, Victoria. He studied at the local state school in Moonee Ponds, and attended Essendon High School where he won a scholarship to the University of Melbourne( BA Hons, 1925). In 1925 he was a founder and chief of staff of Farrago, the student newspaper, and also a founder of the Melbourne University Labor Club. From July 1926 to 1927 Fitzpatrick worked in London as a journalist and later as a journalist on the Sydney Daily Telegraph (1928-1930) . In 1931-32 he was leader-writer and assistant-editor of the short-lived Sydney Labor daily, the World. He was appointed to the Herald as a feature writer in 1933 but left the Herald in 1935 in favour of historical research, commitment to political activism and defence of civil liberties. In reaction to alarming anti-democratic legislation, in 1935 Max Meldrum, (Sir) John Barry, (Sir) Eugene Gorman and others formed the Australian Council for Civil Liberties (ACCL), with Herbert Burton as president. Fitzpatrick drafted the constitution for the ACCL. In January 1937 ACCL published The Case against the Crimes Act, written by Barry, Gorman and Fitzpatrick, which was followed by a series of powerful booklets. From 1939, for twenty years, Fitzpatrick wrote the periodical leaflet, Civil Liberty. He joined the ALP in 1942 but he (along with Maurice Blackburn) were soon expelled from the party. Fitzpatrick worked for eighteen months in 1942-44 in the Rationing Commission and the Department of War Organization of Industry. He served on the Prime Minister's Morale Committee and advised H V Evatt on his referendum proposals of 1944. He worked as a freelance political writer for Smith's Weekly (1941-49) and had a weekly broadcast on radio 3XY, and wrote in various cultural journals. Fitzpatrick died on 3 September 1965 at Tamarama, Sydney.


Melbourne, Victoria

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historian; journalist; political activist

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Entered from deposit description on 2 September 2011




Australian Dictionary of Biography: (accessed on 2 September 2011)

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