Digger Goes To Parliament

Australian Workers Film Guide


Retired miner and union leader, Digger Murphy, delivers a ‘first hand’ account of the Queensland Suicide Squad’s success in abolishing the Queensland Legislative Council, or upper house of Parliament, in 1921. Along with a number of other Labor politicians, Charles McKenzie Kilpatrick was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1920 with the express purpose of abolishing the upper house, which had been an impediment to the Labor Government’s legislative agenda. Charles Kilpatrick had previously worked as a miner and union leader before entering parliament. 

His grandson, Digger Murphy, tells the story of his grandfather’s arrival in Australia from Scotland, his subsequent entry to Parliament and abolishment of the Queensland Legislative Council. 94 year old Digger Murphy, together with Labor Government MP Jo-Ann Miller, visit the Queensland Parliament and former Legislative Council to recount the momentous events. Digger talks of his affection for his grandfather and how he inspired him to become a miner’s union leader himself.

Special Notes/Achievement

Released as bonus material for DVD and online distribution, this short film is one of nine micro documentaries constructed from unused material collected for the feature documentary Blood On The Coal (2015).

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 9 mins

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Film Producer: Xanon Murphy, Sofia Madden,

Film Writer: Jeff Bird, Paddy Gorman,

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Film Executive Producer: Paddy Gorman, Piers Grove,

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Film Sound Recordist: Ben Cunningham, John Roy,

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