Joy Ardill

Interviewed by
Sue Yarrow
May 31 2012
Joy Ardill, 1980
Time Summary Keywords

Sue Yarrow introduces her thesis topic and oral history recordings and reads a short biography of Joy Ardill.


Joy Ardill discusses her early years and membership of the ALP.

Richmond Town Hall

Joy Ardill discusses how she became active in the Gold Coast Central Branch of the Australian Labor Party in 1969, and describes the activities of that branch.

Gold Coast

Joy Ardill discusses the influence that senior ALP officeholders who were members of local branches had over the formation or rejection of a proposed new ALP branch on the Gold Coast. She describes how the new branch was finally formed, and its role in local ALP political life.

Jack Egerton, Queensland Central Executive, Ron McAuliffe, Tom Burns

Joy Ardill reflects on the 1974 ALP Federal Conference held at Surfers Paradise and the domination of the conference by ALP leaders.

Jack Egerton, Queensland Central Executive

Joy Ardill recalls Jack Egerton's call of the gay rights division at the 1974 ALP Federal Conference, saying 'Poofters to the right, delegates to the left'.

discrimination, gay rights, homophobia, homosexuality, Jack Egerton

Joy Ardill discusses her involvement during the 1974 ALP Federal Conference, when she crossed Jack Egerton to arrange functions that involved outside guests such as Mt Isa Mines and the Commonwealth Bank who had an opportunity to lobby conference delegates. She states that this provided her with contacts that later became useful during the ALP reform push.

Bart Lourigan, Bill Heartley, Bob McMullan, Brenda Hickson, Gough Whitlam, Jack Egerton, Lionel Murphy, Mount Isa Mines

Joy Ardill states that in 1974 the State Parliamentary Labor Party (SPLP) were reduced to a 'cricket team'. She recalls that some ALP members were elected to the QCE as branch member delegates - part of an early push for reform - but were shown total disrespect by ALP Party Officers.

1974 election, Queensland Central Executive

Joy Ardill discusses the lack of state ALP participation in the civil liberties demonstrations from the QCE despite other ALP members of parliament coming from all over Australia to participate in those marches.

conservatism, protest, Queensland Central Executive

Joy Ardill lists the specific changes she wanted  to see in the ALP including improved electoral performance and power sharing.


Joy Ardill discusses factional arrangements in the ALP including Tom Burns and the Old Guard and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) who were an Old Guard union opposed to Jack Egerton.

ETU, factions, Tom Burns

Joy Ardill discusses her active participation in street marches, Vietnam war protests, and the 1971 Springbok protest. She notes the lack of involvement by the Queensland ALP state party.

civil disobedience, protest, Springboks Rugby tour 1971, Vietnam War

Joy Ardill discusses the downfall of the federal Whitlam Labor government. 

Whitlam Government 1972-75

Joy Ardill outlines her role in the formation of Socialist Left (SL) from the mid-1970s along with Anne Warner, Sue Yarrow, Hamish Linacre, Billie Watts, Cath Rafferty and Kath Turner who formed the Left Steering Committee before the 1979 Rockhampton ALP Conference. She states that getting left unions into the SL was important but difficult.

AMIEU, AMWU, Anne Warner, Austin Vaughan, Billie Watts, Bryant Burns, BWIU, Cath Rafferty, Hamish Linacre, Harry Hauenschild, Hugh Hamilton, Joe Harris, Kath Turner, Peter Shooter, Queensland Central Executive, socialism, Sue Yarrow

Joy Ardill outlines the aims of the early Socialist Left (SL) in the ALP. She recalls meetings with Denis Murphy and Peter Beattie. She names a number of key reformers in the ALP.

Alice Cavanagh, Anne Warner, Denis Murphy, George Georges, Ian McLean, Jim Keeffe, Joan McGrath, Madeline McPherson, Manfred Cross, Peter Beattie, Rob Whiddon, Sue Yarrow, Wilf Ardill

Joy Ardill recalls her experiences from the 1979 ALP Conference held in Rockhampton and the concerted push for intervention in the ALP following the conference. She recalls the difficulty of convincing interstate unions to support this move.

Bob McMullan, Harry Hauenschild, Neal Kane, Queensland Central Executive, Rockhampton

Joy Ardill discusses the main reasons for the federal intervention into the Queensland ALP in 1980 and the role of Bill Hayden.

Bill Hayden, Queensland Central Executive

Joy Ardill discusses the problems of the period leading up to the High Court decision. She recalls the factors that led to ALP intervention and discusses interstate supporters.

Bill Pincus, Bob McMullan, Denis Murphy, George Crawford

Joy Ardill reflects on the emergence of factions in the ALP after the 1980 intervention.


Joy Ardill discusses the basis for support given to some women members of the Socialist Left in the ALP.

Alice Cavanagh, Anne Warner, Billie Watts, Sue Yarrow, women

Joy Ardill discusses working with Denis Murphy when he was ALP President.

Denis Murphy

Joy Ardill discusses the move to promote Wayne Goss to the ALP leadership.

AWU, Errol Hodder, leadership, Wayne Goss

Joy Ardill compares Ian McLean and Denis Murphy as ALP Presidents.

Denis Murphy, Ian McLean

Joy Ardill reflects on the return of the AWU to membership of the ALP. She discusses proportional representation in the ALP.


Joy Ardill reflects on current factional problems in the ALP. She discusses George Georges' comments on proportional representation in the ALP.

factions, George Georges

Joy Ardill reflects on the lessons of intervention into the Queensland ALP.


Interview ends