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.

Frederick Gordon Harris (1907–1967)

This article was published:

Frederick Gordon William (Gordon) Harris (1907-1967) lumper, trade union official, Labor party and community activist 

Birth: 7 October 1907 at Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia, son of unmarried parents Frederick Richard Harris (1855-1933), butcher, born at London, England, and Annie Catherine Paterson (b.c.1872), born at Ballarat, Victoria. Marriage: 24 June 1934 at Kalgoorlie, WA, to Catherine Boyle. They had one daughter and three sons. Death: 18 May 1967 at Fremantle, WA. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Was a miner in Kalgoorlie in 1936. Working as a lumper at Fremantle in 1943.
  • Associated with the Communist Party of Australia during WWII. Began membership with Waterside Workers’ Federation (WWF) 1944; vigilance officer, WWF. Secretary of the Fremantle branch of the WWF from 1951 to his death and federal councillor and senior vice-president.
  • Foundation member WA Council of Trade Unions about 1947. Foundation member WA Trades & Labour Council 1963.
  • Participant in South African anti-apartheid work and, in particular he publicised injustices in South Africa following a visit to Ghana in 1964.
  • Participated in Aboriginal justice work.
  • President of the Fremantle District Council of the Australian Labor Party and a delegate to the State Executive of the ALP. Unsuccessful candidate for Senate preselection in 1951 and 1952. Resisted suggestions that he oppose Kim Beazley selection for Federal seat of Fremantle in 1955.
  • Cause of death: myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis and coronary sclerosis.

(Sydney), 31 May 1967, No. 1511.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Harris, Frederick Gordon (1907–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


7 October, 1907
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


18 May, 1967 (aged 59)
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

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