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Robert Herbert (Bert) Lacey (1900–1984)

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Bert Lacey, n.d.

Bert Lacey, n.d.

Robert Herbert (Bert) Lacey (1900-1984) miner, trade union official and politician

Birth: 12 January 1900 at Maryborough, Victoria, son of Herbert Edwin Lacey (or Lacy) (b.1876), labourer, and native-born Ellen Eliza (Nellie), née Finch (c.1878-1908). Marriage: 7 July 1926 at Mathinna, Tasmania, to native-born Mary Emmeline (Emme) Clark (1907-1990). They had three daughters and one son. Death: 2 November 1984 at Dynnyrne, Tasmania. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated at Ballarat State School and from 1912 at Wendouree Agricultural School.
  • Enlisted in Australian Imperial Force on 28 October 1918; not called up due to hostilities ceasing. Construction worker, bush worker, miner, blacksmith, farrier in Victoria, New Zealand and Tasmania until 1938.
  • Moved to Tasmania about 1924. District organiser for Australian Workers’ Union from 1938 to 1946. Vice-president of Federated Clerks’ Union from 1952 to 1973.
  • Secretary of Ulverstone branch of Australian Labor Party. Full-time General Secretary of ALP in Tasmania from 1947 to 1964. Tasmanian delegate to the federal Executive from 1959 to 1964; vice-president 1962.
  • He had contested Denison in 1954, 1956, 1958 and 1959, and the Australian Senate in 1955.
  • Was a member of the House of Assembly for Denison from a by-election on 27 January 1959 until defeated on 2 May 1959 – never took his seat.
  • Elected Senator for Tasmania in election in December 1964, and took his seat in July 1965. A persistent critic of Australia’s involvement in Vietnam. Was defeated in the Senate election of November 1970.
  • Appointed Justice of the Peace in 1937. Member of the Honorary Justices’ Association of Tasmania and the Royal Automobile Club (Hobart).

Joan Rydon (ed), A biographical register of the Commonwealth Parliament 1901-1972 (ANU Press, 1975); Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Biographical Register of the Tasmanian Parliament, 1851-1960, (Canberra, 1980); Michael Roe, ‘Robert Herbert Lacey’, Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate:

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Lacey, Robert Herbert (Bert) (1900–1984)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Bert Lacey, n.d.

Bert Lacey, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


12 January, 1900
Maryborough, Victoria, Australia


2 November, 1984 (aged 84)
Dynnyrne, Hobart, Tasmania, 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.

Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism