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Walter Alan Woods

Walter Alan Woods (AOT, PH30/1/607)

Walter Alan Woods (1861–1939), journalist and politician, was born Walter Head at Mulgrave, Victoria. A labour organiser and journalist, he was involved with William Lane's New Australia movement. Renamed Woods, he moved to Launceston in 1895, becoming editor of the Tasmanian Democrat. In 1903, he became editor of the Hobart Clipper, a Labor newspaper written in the style popularised by the Bulletin.

Woods' mission was to educate his readers about the 'truths' of socialism, and during his editorship (until 1909) the Labor Party became established as a major political force. Woods was co-convenor of the first meeting of the Workers' Political League, organised workers into trade unions and lobbied for a trades and labour council. In 1906–17 and 1925–31 he was a Member of the House of Assembly, where he focused on land reform and abolition of the Legislative Council.

Further reading: ADB 12.

Wendy Rimon