May 17 Group meeting postponed one week

This is to say that since the May meeting will be about Alex Macdonald and, if held on the first Wednesday as usual, would unfortunately clash with the annual Alex Macdonald lecture to be held in the TLC Building at the same time or thereabouts, and thus diminish the likely audience of both meetings, it has been decided to postpone the 17 Group meeting till Wednesday the 8th of May.

On that night, at the usual time of 7 pm and at the usual address of unit 6 at 20 Drury St West End, Peter Cross, whom I proceed to quote briefly, will talk about this sort of thing:

1966-1969: Alexander Macdonald and Student-Union Solidarity
The political history of Queensland’s trade union movement extends far beyond its links to the ALP. Trade unions have repeatedly involved themselves in public debate. This paper will examine the brief period of close co-operation between the Queensland union movement as represented by the Trades and Labour Council Queensland (TLC), and the left-wing student movement of the 1960s. This relationship was fraught with political tension. This paper will analyse the pivotal role Alexander Macdonald played, as TLC Secretary, in overcoming these tensions. It will cover both Macdonald’s role in facilitating TLC’s industrial action in 1967 in support of student protests, and his more controversial support of the Foco Club. In doing so, I will argue that Macdonald’s strong support of worker-student co-operation can be partially explained by his links to the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). However, despite being instrumental in fostering co-operation between the union and student movements, Macdonald was unable to prevent rifts developing towards the end of his life. Following his premature death while in office in 1969, the relationship quickly deteriorated.

Leon just happened to get in touch as this notice was being drafted and says that he approves of the change in date and the motive which impels it. He also approves of our appending hereunder this fraternal advisement and told us that there may well be gained thereby a reciprocal announcement by the chair at this meeting of our own meeting which is after all about the highly respected Alex. As usual, despite his evident goodwill, Leon does not commit himself to be physically present at either of these meetings.


2013 Alex Macdonald Lecture

Labour Day: Family, freedom and a fair go

Dr. Glenn Davies

5.30pm for 6.00pm

Wednesday 1 May

Level 2 TLC Building

16 Peel St South Brisbane

*free admission

*refreshments available

The origins to Queensland’s Labour Day and the recent shift of date.
Dr Glenn Davies is Head of Social Science at Caboolture SHS and has taught modern history in Queensland state schools for over 20 years. He received his PhD in 2005 from University of New England on the history of Austral­ian republicanism, has written extensively on the topic and is currently the Queensland State Convener, Australian Republican Movement. He is his­tory editor of online journal, Independent Australia where he regularly ex­plores the historical context to contemporary Queensland political issues. Dr Davies regularly blogs at

The Alex Macdonald lecture is an annual event organised by the Brisbane Labour His­tory Association.
It commemorates former Qld TLC Secretary Alex Macdonald and the critical role unions have played in the Qld La­bour Movement.
A BLHA event with generous sponsorship by the Qld Council of Unions
For more detail contact: Dr Greg Mallory 0407 692 377.

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