MUA Idol – The MUA

Australian Workers Film Guide


Produced for the MUA’s Working Class Idol competition, this short documentary explores what it’s like to be a member of one of Australia’s most militant unions through the prism of three historical events – the 1954 Recruitment Dispute, the 1956 Margins Dispute and the 1988 Patrick Dispute. The film makes extensive use of historical footage of these events, mixed with participant interviews.

Special Notes/Achievements

Fifty years after the formation and demise of the Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit, in 2004 the Maritime Union of Australia agreed to establish the MUA Film Unit.  To recruit filmmakers for the new film unit, film competitions titled Working Class Idol were held. [1]

[1] Dare To Struggle Film Festival (n.d.), Waterside Workers Film Unit [website], viewed Jan 18, 2023 <>

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 5 mins

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