An Australian Merchant Seaman’s Story In His Own Words – Kevin Underwood

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.

Kevin Underwood joined the RAN in the 1950s as a ticket to travel and later worked in the Naval Dockyard in shipbuilding. He recounts rigid class distinctions in which officers from English backgrounds enjoyed perks and privileges while the seaman had dunnies with no doors. Fondly remembers the pub after stop work meetings, where tales were told. During the 1970s he worked many different vessels from Newcastle.

Special Notes/Achievements

Picture and sound quality is low given low budget production.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 40 mins

Film Release Year:

Film Shooting Format:

Film Aspect Ratio:

Film Distribution Format:

Film Colour:

Film Director: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

Film Producer: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

Film Writer:

Film Key Cast:

Film Executive Producer:

Film Cinematographer: Wayne Finch, John Brittain,

Film Editor: Jennie Finch, Jamie McMechan,

Film Sound Recordist:

Film Composer:

Film Production Company: