University of Melbourne ALP Club
The University of Melbourne Australian Labor Party Club is a political student club at the University of Melbourne. It is the oldest student political club in Australia, founded in 1925. Many members go on to be members of Parliament. It was founded to provide a means of organising students who support the Australian Labor Party. The Club has been hugely influential on the University of Melbourne Student Union, and its members have held numerous positions within it. The Club is strongly associated with the Labor Left of the Australian Labor Party.
The ALP Club was originally established as the Labour Club in 1925 by Lloyd Ross, Brian Fitzpatrick and Ralph Gibson. The Club grew to have 200 members, and in 1932 was the largest club on campus. In response to Communist influence on the Club, in 1934 B. A. Santamaria formed a more moderate Labour-aligned club, the Radical Club. Throughout the 1930s, the club produced a magazine Proletariat to distribute their ideas. In the 1950s, future Victorian Premier John Cain and future Opposition Leader Clyde Holding were involved in the organising of the Club.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ALP Club was closely involved in the Left Alliance, a group of left-wing students that opposed the union between the Labor Club (affiliated to the Labor Right) and Liberal Club.
In 2003, the Clubs & Societies Department of the Student Union, which had a Liberal Club and Labor Club majority, disaffiliated the ALP Club on a technicality. Despite lengthy attempts to overturn this decision, the student union was put into liquidation before the issue could be resolved.
The Club has been affiliated to the Melbourne University Student Union (MUSU), and more recently the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). After rebuilding throughout the early-mid 2000s, tickets for the Student Union election that had the involvement of the Club have won the majority of elections, usually under the banner of the Stand Up! ticket.
In recent history the club has been decidedly left-leaning. This is in contrast to the University of Melbourne Labor Club, who are associated with the Labor Right. The existence of two Labor/ALP Clubs simultaneously is a result of a split in the Labor Club in 1949.
Currently, the Club is aligned with the National Labor Students, the national Labor Left student faction. Prior to the formation of NLS in 2006, the club was part of Australian Labor Students (ALS), and had been part of the National Organisation of Labor Students (NOLS) prior to the split between NOLS and ALS in 1997.
In 1950, the stated goal of the club was:
The A.L.P. Club, working from the basis of the A.L.P. platform, stands for the progressive reformation of society by democratic means, so as to achieve social justice for all
This goal continues to this day. The Club has previously supported campaigns for free education and free healthcare, universal student unionism, feminism and democratic socialism among other concerns.
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- "ALP Club". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
- 1950 Orientation and Union Handbook. The University of Melbourne Student Representative Council. 1950.
- Howe, Renate. (2009). A century of influence : a history of the Australian Student Christian Movement 1896-1996. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 978-1-921410-95-6. OCLC 307419245.
- "Elections". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
- Fitzgerald, Ross, 1944- (2003). The Pope's battalions : Santamaria, Catholicism, and the Labor split. Carr, Adam (Adam James), Dealy, William J. St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3389-7. OCLC 52546293.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Barcan, Alan, 1921- (2002). Radical students : the old left at Sydney University. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-85017-0. OCLC 50431903.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Project, Reason in Revolt. "Melbourne University Labour Club - Institution - Reason in Revolt". www.reasoninrevolt.net.au. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
- "Labor warhorse Clyde Holding dies". www.heraldsun.com.au. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
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