Seamen’s Union of Australia

Identity area

Type of entity

Trade union

Authorized form of name

Seamen’s Union of Australia

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Federated Seamen's Union of Australasia; Seamen's Union of Australasia

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1872 - 1993


The first seamen’s unions in Australia were formed in Melbourne (1872) and in Sydney (1874). In 1876 the Melbourne Seamen’s Union and the Sydney Seamen’s Union amalgamated and, by 1880, there were seamen’s unions in all the eastern and south-eastern colonies of Australia as well as in several ports in New Zealand. The Federated Seamen's Union of Australasia was registered in 1906 under the Commonwealth's industrial relations legislation and, in 1907, Head Office was transferred from Melbourne to Sydney. Although the Federated Seamen's Union of Australasia was deregistered in 1925, in 1930 many of its members went on to form the Seamen's Union of Australasia which, in 1943, became the Seamen’s Union of Australia. Despite amalgamations with the Marine Cooks, Bakers and Butchers' Association of Australia in 1983, the Federated Marine Stewards and Pantrymen’s Association of Australasia in 1988 and the Professional Divers' Association in 1991, it remained the Seamen's Union of Australia until 1993 when it amalgamated with the Waterside Workers' Federation to form the Maritime Union of Australia.


Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Representation for sailors and merchant seamen.

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

Federal Secretary: WJ Daley, 1937-1940; EV Elliott, 1941-1978; P Geraghty, 1979-1991; A Papaconstuntinos, 1992-1993

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Benson, John

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

Associated with

Dates of the relationship

1967 - 1990

Description of relationship

Secretary, Sydney Branch

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description, October 2012




Fitzpatrick, Brian and Rowan J. Cahill, The Seamen's Union of Australia 1872-1972: A History. Sydney: Seamen's Union of Australia, 1981.
Australian Trade Union Archives website

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC