An Australian Merchant Seaman’s Story In His Own Words – Arthur Casey

Australian Workers Film Guide


Part of a series of interview segments produced by the SUA/MUA in which retired Australian merchant seamen recount their working lives at sea as well as their engagement with union campaigns and activities. Each episode features a seaman, or sometimes a pair of seamen, sharing their story in a largely unstructured and extended interview. They form an important on camera collection of oral histories about Australia’s unionised merchant seamen.

In this episode seaman Arthur Casey recounts how he started work in 1956 as an 18 year old deck boy. He remembers good conditions and food, though some ships were harder than others. During rough seas they had to make sure cargo was secured.  Arthur describes how the union looked after workers and everyone was expected to attend stop work meetings.  He believes the Seaman’s Retirement Fund of 1972 was a great achievement, enabling many seaman to retire securely and comfortably.

Special Notes/Achievements

Picture and sound quality is low given low budget production.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 30 mins

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Film Director: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

Film Producer: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

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Film Cinematographer: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

Film Editor: Jennie Finch, Jamie McMechan,

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