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.

Thomas (Tom) Hills (1904–1995)

This article was published:

Thomas (Tom) Hills (1904-1995) dock labourer, trade union official and Communist

Birth:  26 February 1904 at North Sydney, New South Wales, son of Albert Hills, seaman, and Emily Pearce. Marriage: 3 July 1926 at the District Registrar’s office, Melbourne, Victoria, to native-born Dorothy Marie (Dot) Cobon (1901-1978), wards maid. Death: 12 May 1995 at Port Melbourne, Victoria.

  • Ran away from home in 1917. Was a waterside worker in the 1920s.
  • Leader of the Port Melbourne Unemployed Workers Movement in the 1930s and campaigned for regular weekly food orders for the unemployed, joined in anti-eviction struggles, organised assistance with funeral for the unemployed, deserted wives and children, entertainment, clothing and housing.
  • In 1937 stood as a Communist Party candidate for Port Melbourne Council.
  • Gained casual work on wharves about 1937 and gained full-time work during World War II.
  • Union activist and union delegate for Waterside Workers’ Federation (WWF). Vice-President, WWF, Melbourne branch, in 1955. President of local Retired Waterside Workers’ Association from 1971 to 1995.
  • Founding and long-serving member of both South-Port Community Health Centre and Port Melbourne Library Advisory committees.
  • Citizen of the Year, Port Melbourne, 1984.
  • Was a pensioner at his death.
  • The Tom Hills Memorial Prize for Oral History established in June 1995.

Sources
The Australian
, 10 July 1995 p 13.

Citation details

'Hills, Thomas (Tom) (1904–1995)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hills-thomas-tom-34159/text42855, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012