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Patrick (Paddy) Carroll (1912–1974)

by Rhonda Jolly

This article was published:

Patrick (Paddy) Carroll, also known as James Augustine Howatt (1912-1974) wharf labourer, trade union leader, and politician.

Birth: 4 March 1912 at Newry, County Down, Ireland, son of John Howatt (1875-1918), blacksmith, and Anne, née Carroll (1879-1957). Marriage: December 1953 at Darwin, Northern Territory, to Lorna ‘Nell’ Ackerton (1918-1997), a waitress, with a son from a previous marriage. They had two sons. Death: 27 November 1974 at Darwin, Northern Territory. 

  • Arrived in Australia aboard the Berrima on 22 November 1928 as a seaman. Jumped ship in Sydney. Within a year had arrived at Darwin, Northern Territory.
  • Though unemployed he was involved with left-wing North Australian Workers’ Union (NAWU) as a rank and file member. Refused to serve in the Australian Army during World War II as it represented British imperialism.
  • During the war worked as a miner in Alice Springs. Following the war he returned to Darwin where he was employed on wharves.
  • Foundation member of the Darwin Workers Club, secretary of the club for a period, eventually made a life member.
  • Elected secretary of Waterside Workers Section of NAWU in April 1950 and, following sudden death of Arthur Olive, elected secretary of union in July 1951. Administration marked by co-operation between unions and management.
  • Ran for Northern Territory Legislative Council in February 1957, as representative of labour movement. Elected as member for Darwin.
  • Unremarkable debater in Council, though enthusiastic supporter of Territory self-government. Member of Council which resigned en masse in 1958 over Commonwealth tardiness in promotion of Territory constitutional advancement. Defeated in January 1960 when redistribution altered two-member electorate to single member representation.
  • Returned to wharves following electoral defeat. Remained secretary of NAWU until resignation in October 1972.
  • Appointed OBE earlier that year for services to industrial relations in NT.

Information from Northern Territory News, Northern Standard, Northern Territory Registry Office, Parliamentary Debates of the Northern Territory Legislative Council; Gayle Carroll, ‘Patrick (Paddy) Carroll 1912-1974 MLC, OBE’, in Journal of Northern Territory History, issue 12, January 2001, pp 47-49:

Citation details

Rhonda Jolly, 'Carroll, Patrick (Paddy) (1912–1974)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Howatt, James Augustine

4 March, 1912
Newry, Down, Ireland


27 November, 1974 (aged 62)
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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