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.

James Joseph (Jim) Long (1870–1932)

This article was published:

James Joseph (‘Big Jim’) Long (1870-1932) miner, trade union official, parliamentarian, senator and hotelier

Birth: (possibly on 16 December) 1870 at Hamilton-on-Forth, Tasmania, son of Irish-born Patrick James Long (1843-1897), farmer, and Mary (Maria), née Hannan (1834-1905). Marriage: 25 January 1893 at Zeehan, Tasmania, to native-born Rebecca Turnbull (1873-1946). They had three daughters and five sons. Death: 23 December 1932 at Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Primary school education was fragmentary with a long distance to travel; later self-educated.
  • Prospector, miner on west coast of Tasmania. Dismissed, later blacklisted by Mt Lyell Co. for becoming a member of parliament in 1903. Gained work as miner, at Primrose mine, 70 miles travel in another electoral district.
  • President of the Amalgamated Miners’ Association. President of the Federated Mining Engine Drivers Association from 1903 to 1909. Member of the Gormanston Town Board.
  • Elected member of the House of Assembly for Lyell from 1903 to 1909 (paid £100 a year honorarium), Darwin 1909 to 1910 (resigned).
  • Royal Commissioner into wage and wage earners 1906-1907, Education Department 1908-1909. Minister for Lands and Works in 1909.
  • Elected to Australian Federal Senate on 1910. Served on select committees into Fitzroy Dock 1913, Balfour post office 1915. Member, Parliamentary party to England for coronation of George V 1911. Executive member, Parliamentary Labor Party.
  • In February 1917 was appointed Federal Commissioner to inquire into trade between Australia and Java, East Indies, Singapore and Straits Settlements and departed from Australia. He and two Senate colleagues were accused of colluding with Prime Minister Hughes to extend the life of parliament during the war. Long claimed, however, that he had gone away for his health.
  • Following publication of findings of a Royal Commission on navy and defence administration he resigned from parliament on 20 December 1918.
  • Settled in Victoria. Purchased Powlett Hotel, Wonthaggi. Later owned a hotel at Temora, NSW, and later still owned business in Melbourne.

D. J. Murphy (ed.), Labor in Politics: State Labor Parties in Australia, 1880-1920 (St Lucia, Qld,1975); Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Biographical Register of the Tasmanian Parliament, 1851-1960, (Canberra, 1980); Joan Rydon (ed.), A biographical register of the Commonwealth Parliament 1901-1972 (ANU Press, 1975); L. F. Fitzhardinge, The Little Digger 1914–1952: William Morris Hughes: A Political Biography, vol. 2, (Sydney, 1979) pp 257–258; Worker, 22 March 1906 p 2, 19 Mar. 1908; Scott Bennett, ‘James Joseph Long’ in Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate:

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Long, James Joseph (Jim) (1870–1932)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Forth, Tasmania, Australia


23 December, 1932 (aged ~ 62)
Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria, 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 Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism