Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Ted Docker (1894–1983)

The last of the founding members of the Communist Party of Australia, Ted Docker, died recently.

Ted came from a working class family and was a carpenter by trade. In his early years he was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

In 1920, aged 26, Ted helped found the CPA and, during his long period of membership, held many responsible and important posts.

These included the offices of NSW state secretary and Central Committee and Political Committee member. Ted helped develop the CPA from an organisation mainly composed of unemployed workers to one powerful in the trade union and workers' movement.

In 1930, Ted was sent by the party to organise during the lockout on the northern NSW coalfields. Some years later, in 1934, he played a big role in uniting Yugoslav and Australian workers in Kalgoorlie after the attacks on Yugoslavs by Australian workers. He was the only Australian present at the funeral of one of those killed.

One of the most memorable events in his life was his attendance at the 1935 Congress of the Third International which broadened the outlook of communist parties and urged them to lead the struggle against fascism.

In 1938, he alerted the trade unions, particularly the Waterside Workers at Port Kembla, to the plan to ship pig iron to Japan on the Dalfram, and urged the communist wharfies to campaign for a ban on the loading.

His two greatest concerns were the working class in Australia and its political organisation, and the 1917 revolution and the development of socialism in the Soviet Union.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Docker, Ted (1894–1983)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 4 March 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 November, 1894
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


18 March, 1983 (aged 88)
Bondi, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

fracture (femur)

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 Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism