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Sidney Wainman (Sid) O'Flaherty (1886–1967)

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O'Flaherty, Sidney Wainman (Sid) (1886-1967) carpenter, trade union official and parliamentarian 

Birth: 2 July 1886 at Silverton, Broken Hill, New South Wales, son of native-born Michael Joseph O’Flaherty (1845-1908), a bootmaker of Irish descent, and Clara Patricia, née Moore (1851-1939), born in Yorkshire, England. Marriage: 1908 at Broken Hill, NSW, to Ada Hilda Barnard (1885-1971), born at Moonta, South Australia. They had five daughters and three sons. Death: 18 November 1967 at Royal Adelaide Hospital, usual residence Deemster Avenue, Christies Beach, Adelaide. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Arrived in South Australia at an early age. Educated in Adelaide at Model School and SA School of Mines. Qualified as an architect and accountant.
  • Mining prospector in 1900. In his early years he worked at Broken Hill, NSW, and was a member of Amalgamated Miners’ Association committee during the 1908 lockout. Worked as a carpenter and building contractor.
  • Secretary in 1909 of the Shop Assistants Association, Strathalbyn, SA, which won the condition of early closing of shops.
  • In 1911 was organiser, United Labourers' Union, which was later part of Australian Workers’ Union. Secretary and manager of Renmark Co-operative Society. Helped to win pay rise for fruit-pickers to 8 shillings a day at Renmark with the co-op supplying provisions to the strikers.
  • Secretary Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union from 1935 to 1944.
  • President of the Amalgamated Carpenters Union of South Australia in 1924-25. Secretary Federated Coopers Union 1936-1944.
  • Member, SA executive of the Australian Labor Party in 1917-19. President of the ALP 1943. Member, federal executive in 1942-1949.
  • Was member of the SA House of Assembly for Murray from 6 April 1918 until defeated in 1921. Contested Murray in 1921, Barossa in 1933 and Thebarton 1941. Contested Federal House of Representatives seat of Angas in 1917 for Labor and Hindmarsh in 1931 for Lang Labor.
  • Elected to the Australian Senate as senator for South Australia 1944-62 (retired); Opposition Whip in Senate from 1957 to 1962, when he retired from parliament.
  • Secretary of the State Bank and War Services Home Buyers Association from 1931 to 1936.
  • Author of 'A Synopsis of the Formation and the Historical Records of the Australian Labor Party, South Australian Branch', Adelaide.
  • Cause of death: myocardial infarction.

Howard Coxon, John Playford & Robert Reid, Biographical Register of the South Australian Parliament 1857-1957 (Adelaide, 1985); Jim Moss, Sound of Trumpets: History of the Labour Movement in South Australia (Netley, SA, 1985), pp 220-221; John Bannon, O'Flaherty, Sidney Wainman, in Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate: .

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Citation details

'O'Flaherty, Sidney Wainman (Sid) (1886–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Sid O'Flaherty, 194?

Sid O'Flaherty, 194?

National Library of Australia, 24152742

Life Summary [details]


2 July, 1886
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia


18 November, 1967 (aged 81)
Adelaide, South 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