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Thomas Henry (Tom) Jones (1924–2014)

This article was published:

Thomas Jones, n.d.

Thomas Jones, n.d.

Thomas Henry (Tom) Jones (1924-2014) railway employee, coal miner, trade union official and parliamentarian

Birth: 2 March 1924 at West Midland Junction, Western Australia, son of Thomas Henry Jones (1887-1950), a railway guard born in Wales, who arrived in Australia in about 1812, and native-born Ellen Jane, née Thomas (1888-1972). Marriage: 15 February 1965 in District Registry Office, Perth, to native-born Winifred Grace, née Butcher, late McAuliffe (1930-1995). They had one daughter and one son. Death: 26 March 2014 at Collie, WA. Religion: Uniting Church. 

  • Family moved to Donnybrook, WA, in 1924. Educated at Donnybrook State School. Tom took casual work about 1934. Left school in 1939 and was employed in Donnybrook Co-operative.
  • Joined locomotive section of Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) in Collie as a call boy in 1939. Later worked as a cleaner and fireman.
  • Resigned from WAGR in 1947 and worked as a wheeler at Griffin Coal Mine, Collie. Became wheelers’ representative in Coalminers’ Industrial Union, then worked on the coal face. President of Griffin branch of the union, then was full-time general district secretary of Collie Miners' Union (WA) from 1951 to 1968.
  • Joined the Australian Labor Party in 1951. President of Collie branch from 1954 for many years. Became first advocate in Australia to win 35-hour week as award condition for workers, in 1967. Delegate to South West Regional Council then to Forrest Electorate Council; Delegate to numerous State conferences and was on National Conference.
  • Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly of WA for Collie from 23 March 1968 to 4 February 1989.Opposition spokesman for Police, Transport and Traffic Safety 1974-1977; for Police and Traffic, Mines and Fuel and Energy 1977-1978; for Fuel and Energy, and Police and Traffic (the latter from 1980) 1978-1981; chairman, Parliamentary Labor Party, 1971-1977 (except between 1973-74) and 1986-1989. Represented WA on CPA study tour 1975.
  • Justice of the Peace. Vice Chairman of WA Coal Industry Council from 1986. Chairman, Standing Committee, 1987, Leader, overseas delegation for Collie Coalfields to USA, Germany and UK. Life member of Collie Coal Miners Industrial Union, Collie Mineworkers Institute and Collie Agricultural Society. Consultant to State Electorate Council of ALP in Collie from 1989.
  • Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on 26 January 1990 for services to Parliament, the trade union movement and the community of Collie.
  • Vice-president of Collie St John Ambulance Association. President Riverview Frail Aged Home (sometime chairman) and fund raising co-ordinator. Life member of Western Collieries Social Club. Executive member at various times of Collie River Rowing Club, Collie Cricket Association and Collie Football Club and life member of the latter. Chairman of combined Football Carnival Committee, Collie, in 1988. Member, Collie Bowling Club.
  • In his youth he represented Collie at football, rowing and cricket. In retirement he spent time fishing at Busselton.

Pete Thomas, Miners in the 1970s: a narrative history of the Miners’ Federation (Sydney [1983]); David Black and Geoffrey Bolton, Biographical register of members of the Parliament of Western Australia: vol. 2 1930-2010,

Citation details

'Jones, Thomas Henry (Tom) (1924–2014)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Thomas Jones, n.d.

Thomas Jones, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


2 March, 1924
Midland, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


26 March, 2014 (aged 90)
Collie, Western Australia, 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.

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