Archibald StewartPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A plaque on the grave commemorates the services of Archibald Stewart to the trade union movement and the Australian Labor Party.

Archibald Stewart grew up in Creswick, Victoria where his father became caretaker of the botanical gardens. In his early working years Archibald took numerous jobs, from mining in the Creswick district to selling groceries at Ballarat. As an active member of several labour organizations, he faced an employers' blacklist which made it difficult for him to find permanent employment.  He was an early member of the Australian Workers' Union and, until 1910, its delegate on the Ballarat Trades and Labor Council.

He helped to establish the Ballarat branch of the Political Labor Council, serving as secretary in 1905-06. His considerable organizing skills were obvious to party officials during James Scullin`s unsuccessful campaign against Alfred Deakin at the 1906 election.  He stood as Labor candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat of Ballarat East in 1908, but was defeated by the Liberal R. McGregor; in 1910 he was narrowly beaten for the Federal seat of Grampians.  

After moving to Melbourne, Stewart was elected senior vice-president of the Political Labor Council in 1910 and appointed full-time secretary in 1911 and he worked in a diligent and methodical way to consolidate the Labor Party organization in Victoria and, by 1914, was acknowledged as one of the 'powers behind the throne' of the Fisher government. His influence was recognized by his appointment as secretary of the newly established Australian Labor Party federal executive in 1915, a post he held until 1925.

His staunch adherence to Labor principles led him to play a leading role in organizing opposition to W. M. Hughes`s conscriptionist policy in 1916-17. Drawing on the experience of more than twenty State and Federal conferences, he conducted some of the delicate negotiations that helped to keep the industrial and political wings of the labour movement together when they threatened to split over the issue of syndicalism and the socialist objective in 1919-21. 


Address:Bell Street, Coburg Cemetery, Coburg, 3058
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.742286
Long: 144.984325
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Erected by the Labor Movement in grateful appreciation of Arch. Stewart J.P. General Secretary australian Labor Party.

Died 29th May 1925.

Fide Et Finucine Serviet.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design