National Library of Australia

You must be logged in to Tag Records
John Baker interviewed by Edgar Waters [sound recording]
Bib ID 2439040
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Baker, John S. (John Simms), 1908-2001, Interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1993 
8 sound tape reels (ca. 240 min.) ; 7 in. 

Baker, a retired trade union official, speaks of his interest in folk songs, specifically folk songs in the trade union movement, and gives an account of their origin and evolution in Australia; his own interest in Australian cultural life; the establishment of the first little art theatre in Australia in Adelaide in 1932-33 and how Robert Helpmann had practised his dance routines there; his move to Sydney in 1939 while working with Australian Post Office, the popularity of bush music bands, his involvement in the Telegraphists and Postal Clerks Union established in 1881, one of the first national unions and covered white collar workers, having a great influence on the development of unions in Australia in the 20th century; his interest in the history of public institutions; his interest in applying arts to promoting trade unions and his attempt to write a folk opera based on the life of Ben Chifley; later the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations (ACSPA) also used the arts to promote their campaigns.

Baker speaks of his involvement with the Federal Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advancement (FCAATSI) from 1962; the relationship between trade unions and espionage carried out by national security and intelligence organisations; evidence from the 1960's onwards of interference from security intelligence networks, American and European, in unions in the southeast Asian and Pacific region, particularly among member associations of the Public Service International; how transnational corporations used intelligence services to fragment the union movement; imperialism in communications.


Recorded on Nov. 26 & 27, 1993 at Erina, N.S.W.

Also available online

Index/Finding Aid Note Transcript available (typescript, 77 leaves) 
Subjects Baker, John S. (John Simms), 1908-2001 -- Interviews.  |  Postal Telegraphists Union.  |  Labor unions and mass media -- Australia.  |  Labor unions and international relations -- Australia.  |  Labor unions and fascism -- Australia.  |  Labor unions -- Public relations -- Australia.  |  Labor unions -- Australia -- Officials and employees -- Interviews.
Occupation Trade union officials.
Other authors/contributors Waters, Edgar, 1925-2008, Interviewer

In the Library

Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

Details Collect From
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 3008 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room

Order a copy

- Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
close Can I borrow items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close What can I get online?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.