Honouring the Contribution and Legacy of Communists in the NSW Teachers Federation

The SEARCH Foundation presents an evening in the Centenary Year of the NSW Teachers Federation Honouring the Contribution and Legacy of Communists in the NSW Teachers Federation Denis Fitzgerald (former Federation President) and Richard Walsham (longtime Federation and AEU official and former CPA National Committee Member) will open with contributions outlining this history. Discussion will follow. Food and refreshments will be available. No history of the NSW Teachers Federation would be complete without an examination of the contribution and legacy of members of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) for some 60 years between 1930 and 1990 when the CPA dissolved. Much of this history remained hidden from view because of the intensity of anti-communist prejudice both among teachers and in society at the time. This is borne out in the files of ASIO (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) which spied on the union activities of communists and other left-wing activists in the NSW Teachers Federation. Yet communist teachers made a significant contribution to the development of the sort of union the NSW Teachers Federation has become today and their legacy lives on. The Educational Workers' League in the 30s ... Historic affiliation with the trade union movement ... Federal funding of public education ... Democratic reforms in education ... Mass united teacher action and building community support for public education ... Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander struggles ... Union support for the peace and disarmament movement ... Union involvement in environment struggles ... Social justice unionism … Support for national liberation movements … These are all issues in which CPA teachers' role was either instrumental or initiating. In the NSW Teachers Federation's centenary year, it's time this contribution was recognised and this evening will be an opportunity for that to be done.


November 30, 2018 at 6:00pm - 9pm


NSW Teachers Federation Heritage Room

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