The Hunter Press is Newcastle's independent publisher. We publish books and stories with relevance and/or connection to the Newcastle and Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia.

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A TOPPLED LABOR GIANT

Arthur Griffith: NSW's Revolutionary Minister for Public Works & Education

BY MORRIS GRAHAM

Arthur Griffith's successful political career, built over 20 years, took only two years to collapse in ruins. He had lost his sense of destiny as a significant public figure in his family's Irish tradition. The switch from industrial to political muscle by the Australian Labor Party to gain reforms was life-changing. Physically and mentally fearless, the Tory became a Laborite. Griffith's first lucky political break was winning a seat in the New South Wales Parliament against the odds in 1894. He strengthened his position in the Party and Parliament with clear well-argued definite opinions, freely given, on all matters national or state. Public Works and Education were ideal positions in the first Labor governments for the unconventional Griffith with his intellect, vision and drive but his public career was shattered by his support for conscription in 1916. However, his unconventional private life continued.

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