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David Francis (Dave) Dicker (1882–1967)

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David Dicker, n.d.

David Dicker, n.d.

David Francis Edward (Dave) Dicker (1882-1967) bush worker, trade union official, politician and farmer 

Birth: 21 April 1882 at Bellerive, Clarence district, Tasmania, son of David Dicker or Dickers, born David Davis (1825-1905), a labourer and sawyer, born in Surrey, England, and his native-born second wife Ann, late Donovan, née Hammond (1849-1890). Marriage: 7 October 1909 in St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, to Elsie Kathleen Whitton (1891-1967). They had one son. Death: 7 February 1967 at Gordon, Tasmania. Religion: Anglican marriage. 

  • Father had been a convict transported aboard the Sir Robert Peel, which reached Hobart in December 1844. Mother died in 1890. A newspaper reported in 1909 that young David was orphaned at the age of nine and until the age of fifteen was “one of Mrs Shipley’s wards at the Boys’ Home, Landsdowne Crescent”.
  • Apprenticed to a German settler at Bismarck, he later spent some time in the Port Cygnet district, then went to New South Wales, chiefly following sawmill and bush work. He later claimed to have led a strike of timber workers in 1900. Also worked in Western Australia.
  • Returned to Tasmania about 1902. Sailed to New Zealand as crew on the Barquentine La Belle and was a bush contract worker in the North Island. Back in Tasmania by 1907 he worked as a sawyer at Port Esperance, took a prominent part with W. A. Woods in organising a Federated Sawmill Workers’ Union branch at Launceston and became its secretary.
  • Australian Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for the seat of Franklin from 30 April 1909 until 10 June 1922 when, failing to secure nomination for preselection, he did not contest re-election.
  • Member of the Sawmill, Timber yards Wages Board, and of the Tasmanian Australian Labor Party executive. An active anti-conscriptionist during World War 1 he was convicted for ‘disloyal’ statement in 1917. An Act of parliament was passed to remove him from the Public Works Committee. Expelled from the ALP in 1922. Later readmitted.
  • Was a farmer and orchardist at Strathblane from about 1915.
  • Remained politically active and contested election for Denison in April 1931 as an independent, supporting Henry George League principles. Stood for Labor in the seat of Franklin in November 1946. Had retired to Gordon by 1949.

Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Biographical Register of the Tasmanian Parliament, 1851-1960, (Canberra, 1980); D. J. Murphy (ed), Labor in Politics: State Labor Parties in Australia, 1880-1920 (St Lucia, Qld, 1975).

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Citation details

'Dicker, David Francis (Dave) (1882–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

David Dicker, n.d.

David Dicker, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


21 April, 1882
Bellerive, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


7 February, 1967 (aged 84)
Gordon, Tasmania, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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