The Past We Inherit The Future We Build – Fred Moore With Andrew Denton

Australian Workers Film Guide


Comprising mainly of an extended interview with legendary miner and unionist Fred Moore on the Andrew Denton TV Show, the piece delves into Moore’s working life underground and his role in the miners’ union.  Fred Moore’s memories are of a very claustrophobic and uncomfortable environment. He never knew what’s coming at any time. The floor could come up and meet the roof. The interview is interspersed with black & white clips of miners working underground. It was a very intense and dark environment, creaking, and with water dripping and rats everywhere, hanging around, wanting to get some scraps of food. They could not make mistakes because they could get their mates killed. They could walk out, be carried out, or blown out. Always better to get out. 

Moore talks about how they had to be 16 years and over to work in the mines and there were not many choices back then. Even the mines were closed during the Depression.  Moore feels that the women were the real heroes, the strength of the Miners’ Federation. Their faith never wavered. The union was everything because without it they were in danger. Nothing would be given to them benevolently. They had to fight for everything. 

Moore warns that these days, decisions about the industry are made by cartels in New York and London, and this foreign element has seeped into Australian industrial relations. But when the resources are gone, these cartels are gone too.

The interview content is followed by contemporary video of protesting miners.

Special Notes/Achievements

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 14 mins

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Film Key Cast: Fred Moore - Interviewee, Andrew Denton - Interviewer,

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