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Laurence Elwyn (Laurie) Short (1915–2009)

This article was published:

Laurie Short, n.d.

Laurie Short, n.d.

Laurence Elwyn (Laurie) Short (1915-2009) ironworker and trade union leader 

Birth: 18 December 1915 at Rockhampton, Queensland, son of storekeeper parents Alexander Eason Short (1884-1965), previously a shearer and wharf labourer born in Victoria of Irish ancestry, and Amelia Lillian, née McDonald (1895-1988), born in Inverness, Scotland. Marriage: 1941 in Victoria to Nancy Wilmot Borlase (1911-2006), a New Zealand-born artist. They had one daughter. Death: 24 March 2009 in Sydney, New South Wales. 

  • Worked in shipyards and steel fabrication workshop in Sydney and Melbourne for fourteen years including working at Cockatoo Island shipyard department for nine years.
  • Joined Federated Ironworkers’ Association (FIA) in 1937. Job delegate on most jobs and at Cockatoo Island was chair of ironworkshop delegates and secretary of shop stewards committee. Member, branch committee of management of Balmain Branch of the FIA. Delegate to NSW Labor Council and to Australian Labor Party conferences.
  • Attended FIA Annual Conference in 1946, summoned to appear and expelled from union. In 1951 again summoned to appear and expelled. He said that he had been framed-up.
  • Member of Sydney FIA Industrial Group and ALP Industrial Group. National Secretary FIA 1951-1982. Member of central executive of the FIA 1953-56, 1959-71. National chairman of Metal Trades Federation of Unions.
  • Joined Balmain branch of ALP in 1942. Life member of NSW branch of ALP in 1983, nominated by the FIA.
  • Vice-chairman of Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Labor Year Book 1973; Labor News, July-Aug-Sept 1981.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Short, Laurence Elwyn (Laurie) (1915–2009)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 March 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Laurie Short, n.d.

Laurie Short, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


18 December, 1915
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


24 March, 2009 (aged 93)
Sydney, New South Wales, 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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism