Labour History

The Australian Capital Territory Preselection of 1968–69: A Study of Class and Generational Change in the ALP

Labour History (2014), 107, (1), 167–179.


Changes in the composition of the Australian Labor Party’s membership during the late 1960s and 1970s have been much discussed; however this discussion has taken place primarily with reference to class, occupation and level of education. The ALP’s Canberra branches, which developed an atypically white collar character prior to the 1960s, provide an opportunity to focus on other aspects of this period of change in the ALP. These issues were publicly and viscerally canvassed during the course of a debate surrounding the preselection for the Federal seat of the Australian Capital Territory held in 1968. While anxieties about, and opposition to, the participation of tertiary educated members in the ALP were much in evidence during the course of this debate, the most discussed division was that between generations.

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*The author would like to thank the two anonymous referees ofLabour Historyfor their comments and suggestions. Google Scholar

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Author details

Monnox, Chris