• Andrew Fisher Letters

  • Letters of the first Queenslander to become Prime Minister.

    This document was ranked #54 in the Top 150 exhibition.

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    State Library Qld
Andrew Fisher letter to Frank Tennison

Scottish-born Andrew Fisher arrived in Queensland in 1885 with extensive mining and industrial relations experience. He was first employed by the Queensland Colliery Company at Torbanlea before moving to the Gympie goldfield. In 1890 Fisher was appointed Secretary of the Amalgamated Miners’ Association and became President the following year, when he also joined the newly-established branch of the Australian Labor Party. In 1893 he won the seat of Gympie in the Queensland elections, and although defeated three years later Fisher remained an influential figure in the party. In 1901 he won the Federal seat of Wide Bay and became Minister for Trade and Customs when Labor briefly held power in 1903. Following Christian Watson’s resignation as Labor Leader in 1907 he was succeeded by Fisher, and when Labor withheld support for Alfred Deakin in 1908, Fisher became Prime Minister. Defeated by Joseph Cook’s Fusion Party in 1909 he regained the Prime Ministership in 1910-1913 and introduced a number of important social reforms and legislation greatly accelerating national development. When Labor was defeated in 1913, Joseph Cook’s winning margin was so slight that Fisher was able to regain power in July 1914 and remained Prime Minister until resigning the following year to take up the post of Australian High Commissioner in London. His political career had been heavily dependent on the strong support he received from his Wide Bay electorate, and when Fisher again attempted to enter Federal parliament on his return to Australia in 1921, he was unsuccessful. Fisher, who was Queensland’s first Prime Minister, returned to London where he died in 1928.


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