Deposit N324 - Pete Thomas papers

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Pete Thomas papers


  • 1954 - 1991 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

0.4m (2 type 1 boxes)

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Name of creator

(1914 - 1988)

Biographical history

Born Harvey Alfred Pete Thomas in Perth on 16 June 1914, Thomas commenced his journalistic career in 1933 as a cadet on the West Australian. After three years he was sub-editor and within a decade a leader writer. He was active in the West Australian Branch of the Australian Journalists’ Association. He joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1939. In 1940 he took a journalist position on Perth’s The Daily News, and from January 1942 served in the armed forces. In July 1946 Thomas left Perth to work on the communist weekly the Queensland Guardian, of which he was Editor in 1948. In 1954 the Queensland Guardian folded under financial pressure, but Thomas remained in Brisbane as the Queensland correspondent of the Tribune. In 1956 he transferred to Sydney as industrial writer on the Tribune. He returned to Brisbane in 1960 to restart the Queensland Guardian which he edited until it folded again in December 1966. He then worked in Sydney with the Tribune until 1972. In 1973 Thomas wrote a history of the green bans, Taming the Concrete Jungle, for the NSW Branch of the Builders Labourers’ Federation (BLF). He was a prolific pamphleteer and wrote a series of pamphlets on aspects of the Australian class struggle. In 1973 Thomas was appointed editor of the Australian Coal and Shale Employees’ Federation’s (Miners’ Federation) weekly, Common Cause, where he remained until his retirement in 1979. During this period he also wrote pamphlets for the Miners’ Federation on the Nymboida Mine. On retirement he was commissioned by the Miners’ Federation to write Miners in the 1970s: a narrative history of the Miners’ Federation (1983) and a history of the Queensland miners, the first volume of which was published in 1986. Pete Thomas died on 11 August 1988.

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Scope and content

Manuscript, correspondence, research papers, his own pamphlets and other printed material; correspondence and photographs of the North Queensland representatives on the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement, 1964; sculptures presented to Pete Thomas.
(See also his letters in the Judy Gillett Collection, N151).


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Researchers must sign an access agreement

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description on 21 August 2012; revised by Phuong Dang on 12 May 2016




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