Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Hons.)


Department of History and Politics


In 1949 coal was of vital importance to the Australian economy. Its use in the production of electrical power and gas meant that it played a crucial role in almost every aspect of the nation's industry. It was crucial to the operation of the country's rail transport system, and at this time it was playing an important part in domestic life, being used for heating, lighting and cooking. With this in mind it is not difficult to imagine the devastating effect the 1949 Coal Strike had upon the nation's economy, and the hardships it created for the Australian public, this thesis examines the effect of the 1949 Coal Strike upon the Illawarra Community and the labour movement of the region, and explores the responses to it.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.