Owens, Joseph

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Owens, Joseph

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Joe Owens

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1935 - 2012


Joseph (Joe) Owens was born in Durham County in the north of England; his Welsh father was a coalminer. He arrived in Australia in 1958, having skipped ship as a seaman, then worked as a cane-cutter in Queensland before working as a dogman on Sydney building sites. He became a member of the Communist Party of Australia and an organiser in the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Building Construction Employees' and Builders' Labourers' Federation (ABCE&BLF). He was Secretary of the NSW Branch of the ABCE&BLF from 1973 to 1975 and along with the Branch leadership which included Jack Mundey and Bob Pringle, supported the BLF Green Bans. In 1975, Owens and other members of the NSW Branch leadership were expelled from the BLF by the federation's then federal secretary Norm Gallagher. Owens was also a Federated Engine Drivers' & Firemen's Association of Australasia (FEDFA) delegate and Senior Project Delegate of the Labour Council to the Darling Harbour Construction Project.


New South Wales

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

construction worker; trade union official; trade unionist

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Australian Building Construction Employees' and Builders' Labourers' Federation (1911 - 1986)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship

1973 - 1975

Description of relationship

Secretary of the New South Wales Branch

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description on 13 October 2011; revised 23 July 2014




National Library of Australia, Interview with Joe Owens, former secretary, NSW Builders' Labourers' Federation [sound recording] / interviewer, Ann Turner.
Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann, Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental activism and the New South Wales Builders' Labourers’ Federation (UNSW Press, 1998).
Obituary, The Hummer, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Sydney Branch, vol. 9, no.1, 2014, pp. 44-45.

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