|00:00:00||Wilf Ardill discusses his first contact with the union movement while working for the Postmaster General's Department.||unions|
|00:01:37||Wilf Ardill describes the various unions he was a member of during his working life. He relates how he became a member of the Australian Labor Party and describes the formation of the Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads branches of the party.||Gold Coast, Queensland Rail, Tom Burns|
|00:04:17||Wilf Ardill recalls his early experiences as a member of the ALP and discusses the basis of factions in the ALP.||factions, Gold Coast, Jack Egerton, Tom Burns|
|00:05:27||Wilf Ardill outlines his early contact with socialism and the influence of the 1930s Economic Depression and World War II on Australian politics.|
|00:07:48||Wilf Ardill relates his views on the 1957 split in the Queensland ALP and describes the different motivating factors for the splits in Queensland and Victoria.||Jack Egerton, Vincent Gair|
|00:09:20||Wilf Ardill discusses ideological differences in the trade union movement.||unions|
|00:10:36||Wilf Ardill discusses the impacts of the split on the Queensland ALP.||Jack Egerton|
|00:12:39||Wilf Ardill comments on the role of Jack Egerton in the Queensland ALP. He comments on attempts to democratise Labour Day celebrations.||Jack Egerton, unions, women|
|00:15:05||Wilf Ardill discusses the election of Russell Hinze who won his seat on Labor preferences.||electoral redistribution, Jack Egerton, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Russ Hinze|
|00:17:55||Wilf Ardill discusses the electability of the Labor Party in the period after the 1957 split.|
|00:18:46||Wilf Ardill comments on the desire for greater internal democracy in the ALP.|
|00:19:40||Wilf Ardill outlines his involvement in a Federal Labor Party conference in the 1970s and other party functions during the Whitlam years.||Gough Whitlam, Jack Egerton|
|00:22:31||Wilf Ardill comments on his involvement in several social movements and the lack of support such movements generally received from the Queensland ALP hierarchy.||Bob Hawke, Springboks Rugby tour 1971|
|00:23:56||Wilf Ardill recalls the role of unions in the major social movements during the 1960s and 1970s.||unions|
|00:24:32||Wilf Ardill discusses the difficulties unions faced during the Bjelke-Petersen era.||Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, unions|
|00:25:20||Wilf Ardill discusses the poor electoral showing of the ALP in Queensland during the Whitlam years.||Whitlam Government 1972-75|
|00:26:00||Wilf Ardill outlines the lead up to intervention. He shares his memories of the Rockhampton conference and recalls the support within unions for party reform, but states that there were internal divisions within unions over the issue. He states that his union decided to disaffiliate from the ALP to avoid splitting the union.||Bill Hayden, George Georges, Joe Harris, unions|
|00:28:07||Wilf Ardill relates the origins of the Reform Group and the Socialist Left faction which was formed in the wake of the emergence of the Reform Group. He discusses the divide between unions and branch members.||Denis Murphy, factions, Peter Beattie, unions|
|00:30:22||Wilf Ardill discusses the Rockhampton conference and the internal divisions within the party.|
|00:31:22||Wilf Ardill outlines the attitude of some in the party who prioritised having the numbers over the party rules.|
|00:32:51||Wilf Ardill outlines the growing involvement of women in unions. He states that some unions had few women representatives even though a large proportion of the general membership were women.||unions, women|
|00:33:55||Wilf Ardill discusses the intervention into the Queensland branch of the ALP. He describes the push for intervention as coming from the general membership as opposed to single individuals.||Denis Murphy, Peter Beattie, unions|
|00:37:07||Wilf Ardill comments on the factional alliances of unions and the importance of personalities. He discusses the importance of societal changes in the formation of factions.||factions, unions|
|00:39:25||Wilf Ardill discusses the formation of the Socialist Left faction.||factions|
|00:40:22||Wilf Ardill speculates on what he might do differently if he had the time over again and suggests that some of the confrontations could have been avoided but stresses the electability of the ALP after the intervention.||1989 election|
|00:41:25||Wilf Ardill examines the impacts of the Fraser Government's Trade Practices Act and the banning of sympatric action from other unions.||Trades and Labor Council, unions|
|00:43:33||Wilf Ardill recalls some of the major industrial disputes of the 1980s, including the SEQEB strike and the 38 hour week dispute.||1989 election, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, SEQEB dispute, strikes|
|00:46:56||Wilf Ardill describes the evolution of the union movement.||unions|
|00:47:26||Wilf Ardill outlines the reaffiliation of the AWU to the ALP. He discusses the differences between craft and general unions.||unions|
|00:49:11||Wilf Ardill outlines the benefits and outcomes of the intervention. He argues that without intervention the party would not have returned to electoral dominance.||Fitzgerald Inquiry, Peter Beattie|
|00:50:12||Wilf Ardill addresses factions.||Catholics, factions|
|00:50:46||Wilf Ardill discusses the lessons of intervention and the importance of internal democracy.|
|00:51:33||Wilf Ardill stresses the importance of having an effective opposition as a check on the executive. He suggests that had the ALP been a more effective opposition the corruption exposed in the Fitzgerald Inquiry may not have taken place.||Fitzgerald Inquiry, Opposition|
Starting out as a telegraph boy and then a railway worker, Wilf Ardill became a key union leader and Labor Party activist.
Wilf Ardill was born on 30 July 1932 and grew up on the Gold Coast. In 1949, at the age of 16, he joined the Postmaster General’s Department (PMG), working as a telegram delivery boy and night shift telephone operator at Burleigh Heads, and was soon a member of the Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union.
From about 1952 he worked with Queensland Railways in Brisbane, Mackay and South West Queensland and became a member of the Australian Railways’ Union (ARU). For a few years, while he worked in the sand-mining industry on the Gold Coast, Ardill was a member of the Australian Workers Union (AWU). In 1968 he joined the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (FMWU) – Queensland Branch, and became an organiser with that union the following year. The FMWU changed its name in 1991 to Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (LHMWU), and a further change in 2011 sees it called United Voice.
From 1982, Ardill was Queensland Branch Secretary of the FMWU until the amalgamation in 1991 with the Liquor Trades Union when he became Joint Secretary. He took on the role of Union President in 1992 until his retirement in June 1994. He served as a Federal Councillor, Federal Executive member and Vice President of the FMWU national body from 1974-94.
Ardill was the Honorary Secretary of the South Coast Trades and Labor Council from 1965 until 1979. Also from 1965 he was an FMWU delegate to the Queensland Trades and Labor Council. From 1982 until 1992, he served on the Executive of the Queensland Trades and Labor Council and was a delegate to ACTU Congress and various committees of the Council. He played an important role in the formation of the Queensland Socialist Left faction of the Labor Party.
Ardill is a life member of the Labor Party and received a Medal of the Order of Australia on 13 June 2011 in recognition of his service to industrial relations in Queensland and also to the community.
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