|Issue No 11||30 April 1999|
NSW Young Labor Turns 50!
A large dinner for Party activists to commemorate 50 years of Young Labor will be held on Friday 21st May 1999.
The guest speaker for the dinner will be the former Primer Minister of Austalia the Hon. Paul J Keating. The marking of the 50th Anniversary of one Australia's oldest youth organisations in November took many by surprise. However, the dinner will bring together a number of the labor movements key figures who had a grounding in the organisation.
In the Legislative Council on 10 November, 1998, the Hon. Brian Vaughan MLC made the following speech commencing at 10.56 pm ...
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY YOUTH COUNCIL FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
The Hon. B. H. VAUGHAN [10.56 p.m.]:
I draw to the attention of the House and the community the fiftieth anniversary of an historic day in the history of the great Australian Labor Party.
On 3 November 1948, in room 61 of the Trades Hall, the first provisional meeting of the Youth Council of the Australian Labor Party-which is now known as Young Labor-was held. It was born from an idea of Dick Klugman, subsequently the member for Prospect, and Bill Fisher, subsequently President of the Industrial Court of New South Wales.
Present at that meeting 50 years ago were: Frank Miller, J. Delaney, Ann Barnard, D. Klugman, F. Howard, Cecil Lisle, H. Hudson, J. Brassil, Marie Howell, Bill McNamara, Bruce Yuill, Alan Barcan, Bill Fisher and Douglas Sinclair, who for many years was Director of Henry Lawson Labor College.
The minutes of that first meeting state: "That this meeting form itself into a provisional Council of ALP Youth for the purpose of considering the draft constitution."
That motion was moved by Mr Yuill and seconded by Mr Miller. The following pro tem officers were elected: President, Bruce Yuill; Vice-President, Mr Miller; and secretary-Treasurer, Alan Barcan. The chairman stated at that meeting that he was pleased to accept the presidency. He outlined the background leading to the preparation of a draft constitution by a subcommittee. The objects of the provisional council, which were suggested in the constitution, were read out.
The following motion was moved by Mr Miller and seconded by Mr Hudson: That this meeting express its appreciation to Mr Sinclair for his great assistance in getting this present scheme under way.
The following motion was foreshadowed: "That all members of ALP branches under the age of 30 shall constitute the NSW Assembly of Youth."
That was later to be known officially as the Youth Council of the Australian Labor Party. Four or five years later, in 1953, the sixth annual report of the Youth Council of the Australian Labor Party, in which I took part, stated:
"Youth Council should be a hot-bed of radical ideas. Secondly, we should do everything in our power to obtain a real understanding with our near Asian neighbours ... There is no doubt that Labor is facing a supreme test and in this test the Youth Council, although still young, will play its role to the full."
The role of the youth council was not simply political. Regional assemblies ensured the interaction of young members, the chief function of which was to provide cultural, social, sporting and educational activities. All those things were achieved.
There were many marriages of ideas in those early years. The youth council produced a magazine called "Youth Call". The establishment of the Youth Council provided a seminal time in the history of the Australian Labor Party, the oldest, most constant and, I think, most successful political party in this country.
Many Youth Council members became members of this House, and a great number of people in Federal and State politics today cut their teeth in the organisation. Although I was a latecomer-I did not join until 1951- I am proud to have been part of this great organisation which has produced abundant fruit for the Australian Labor Party.
The night is gearing up to be a re-union not to be missed. If anyone has some their old Young Labor memerobilia to share, please bring it on the night.
The New South Wales Young Labor Executive extends a warm invitation to those of you who would like to attend the dinner on Friday 21st May 1999.
Details are as follows:
Date: Friday 21st May 1999
Venue: Le Montage Function Centre
38 Frazer Street, Leichhardt
Cost: $75 (including 3 Courses and Drinks)
$700 for a table of 10
RSVP: 14th May 1999
Sarah Trapla on 9724 3381 or 0419 415 496 or Peter Zangari 0414 432 406.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005