People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

James (Jim) Cullen (1876–1951)

This article was published:

James Cullen, n.d.

James Cullen, n.d.

James (Jim) Cullen (1876-1950) lorry driver, trade union official, Communist parliamentary candidate 

Birth: 30 September 1876 at North Adelaide, South Australia, son of James Cullen, printer, and Eliza, née Brady. Marriage: 27 September 1904 at Queen of Angels Catholic church, Thebarton, SA, to native-born Helena Rose Griffiths (1879-1966). They had two daughters and three sons.  Death: 5 February 1951 at Hilton, SA. Religion: Church of Christ. 

  • Lorry driver, long serving member of Carters’ and Drivers’ Union in SA, president, representative of union on United Trades and Labor Council until withdrawn in April 1930.
  • Anti-conscriptionist during WWI. Called conference of trade unions to oppose work for rations.
  • Initially active in Australian Labor Party and president of local branch, but left ALP to join Communist Party of Australia because ‘it no longer represents the workers’ and ‘found it impossible inside that body of intriguers and opportunists to get the party to act up to the principles for which it was established’.
  • CPA librarian and candidate for seat of Adelaide in the House of Assembly in April 1930. Later that year he sued the Adelaide sub-branch of his union for expelling him on the grounds of his CPA membership.

Jim Moss, Representatives of discontent; history of the Communist Party in South Australia 1921-1981 (Melbourne, 1983) and Sound of trumpets: history of the labour movement in South Australia (Adelaide, 1985); Sixty Years of Struggle, volume 2 (1980-1981); photo and profile Workers’ Weekly (Sydney), 7 February 1930, p 4:

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Cullen, James (Jim) (1876–1951)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

James Cullen, n.d.

James Cullen, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


30 September, 1876
North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


5 February, 1951 (aged 74)
Hilton, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism