John Tognolini

Tiga Bayles, a Birri Gubba Gungalu man and a Dawson River Murri has died after a long battle with cancer. When I heard that Tiga had passed away I was taken back to when I first met him at Sydney's Radio Skid Row. He felt strongly that Indigenous voices should be heard on air, and helped set up Radio Redfern, which started broadcasting for 10 hours each week on Radio Skid Row in the early 1980s. He told me at Radio Redfern in 1989: “My people have an oral history and culture so we use radio.”
Harold John (Hal) Alexander passed away on December 19 in Sydney. He was born on April 9, 1924 and was for many years an electrician, mostly in heavy industry. He joined the then-illegal Communist Party in 1941, at the age of 17, and was a member until its dissolution in 1991. He was an organiser from 1954 to 1967 in Sydney, then Adelaide. He suffered many arrests for his political activities and served three jail terms, two involving hunger strikes. He worked and lived with the Arrente people of Central Australia on and off from 1985.
Picture this scene — late April 1986, a group of a dozen builders labourers on a cold Melbourne morning. The time is about 7.30am. They were picketing a building site where they’d been sacked for refusing to resign from their union, the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF), which had recently been “deregistered” — a nice term for outlawed under Bob Hawke’s ALP federal government. The ALP premiers of New South Wales and Victoria, Neville Wran and John Cain, joined Hawke’s drive to outlaw the BLF.
A memorial for left-wing musician Alistair Hulett was held on February 14 at Sydney’s Gaelic Club.
Framework of Flesh: Builders' Labourers battle for health & Safety By Humphrey McQueen Ginninderra Press, 2009 337 pages, $30 (pb) Available from Humphrey McQueen's Framework of Flesh takes up a 1920s challenge from a militant builders labourer, Charlie Sullivan:
Music from Archie Roach
Liberation Music, 2007, $30
Bernie Banton, the widely-recognised face of the legal and political campaign to achieve compensation for the many sufferers of asbestos-related conditions, which they contracted after working for the James Hardie company, died on November 27, at the age of 61.
Les Carlyon
Macmillan, 2002
600 pages, $35 (pb) The Great War
Les Carlyon
Macmillan, 2006
880 pages, $55(hb)
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