South Australian Branch

Horse drawn wagon and men with  banner taking part in eight hour day procession

The South Australian Branch of the Labour History Society was formed in 1987 and continues to prosper and grow. Membership is open to all those interested in the history of working life, labour movements and traditions, and social history.

Members meet bi-monthly. Gatherings focus on guest speakers and the exploration of a wide range of topics, rather than administration. The Annual General Meeting elects an Executive for the day-to-day running of the Branch. Other special events can include dinners and activities in South Australia’s annual History Festival.

We participate in the biennial national Labour History conference, with members attending and some presenting papers. Each year we produce several newsletters and welcome contributions and ideas from members.

The South Australian Branch is registered under the Associations Incorporations Act (SA). A copy of the Constitution can be found at the bottom of this page.

Jude Elton, President


Jude’s involvement in labour history began as a tutor in the ACTU Trade Union Postal Courses Scheme. She taught Labour Studies at Adelaide University and completed a PhD on union relations with Aboriginal workers at UniSA. Jude worked as a union research officer, educator and organiser. She was Director of the Working Women’s Centre and Assistant Secretary of the United Trades and Labor Council. Prior to retirement Jude conducted research for native title claims and worked as a curator at History SA.

Dr David Faber, Vice President


Dr David Faber is a Marxist labour historian interested in the local, national and international dimensions of the political culture and traditions of the labour movement. David was led to Italy and a love of the Italian language, through his research on Italian Australian migrant worker, Francesco Fantin, noted for his political activism and assassination at Loveday Internment Camp in South Australia in 1942.  David is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Education of the Flinders University of South Australia.

Secretary: vacant

Kevin Kaeding, Treasurer


Kevin is the President of the South Australian Federation of Residents and Ratepayers Associations. He works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Kevin has been a long term Treasurer of the Adelaide Branch of the Labour History Society.

Steven Acton


Steve spent most of his working life as a union official but also worked in Government. At SAFEWORK SA he worked on a project to modernise the South Australia’s Industrial Relations system. He has a BA in Politics and Economics and Graduate Diplomas in Business Administration and Industrial Relations. Steve worked as a tutor focusing on Industrial Relations in the Economics Department of Adelaide University and taught Employee Relations at TAFE (Adelaide campus). Prior to retirement  due to ill-health, Steve worked at a disability agency. He continues to have an ongoing interest in labour history.


Ralph Clarke


Ralph was the Secretary of the Federated Clerks Union before moving into politics where he represented the seat of Ross Smith for the ALP in South Australia.  He was elected to the position of Deputy Leader.  He was elected to the Adelaide City Council and now runs his own industrial relations consultancy business.


Fletcher O’Leary


Fletcher is a History research student at the University of Adelaide, where he completed a B.A. (Hons) in 2013.  As an undergraduate he served as president of the student union. In 2014/15 he completed a Master of Studies in Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford. He is currently a member of the Branch Committee of the National Tertiary Education Industrial Union at the University of Adelaide.

Sue Marks


Sue has a long union history working as an organiser for the ASU, Actors Equity and the Australian Nursing Federation. She was the first woman President of the ASU. Sue has an on-going passion for labour history and its importance and values.

Allison Murchie


Allison was a career public servant with a life-long commitment to trade unions and to the women’s movement. She is a passionate oral historian who records the life stories of the working class and activists.

Greg Stevens


Greg had a life-long association with the trade union movement. After working as an industrial officer he was appointed to the Australian and South Australian Industrial Relations Commission where he rose to the position of Deputy-President. He was very active in the Vietnam Moratorium movement.


South Australian Branch Constitution

Constitution 20 August 2017

Constitution 9 March 1998



Minutes of Executive Meetings & AGMs


A selection of President’s Reports, submissions, talks by guest speakers and papers presented at conferences