Builders’ Labourers’ History of Australia

Produced by Len Teasdale (Darce Cassidy) for 3CR 1977

This is a history of struggles for rights against Australian authorities. It calls out the myth of passive Aboriginal resistance and covers the Eureka Rebellion, the 16 month Lithgow miners strike and struggles up to 1975. Phil Court and Dan Hellier narrate this documentary they also co-wrote The Builders’ Labourers’ Songbook. In the doco they call themselves Joe and Mario (a Mario with a Scottish accent). As members of the Builders’ Labourers’ Union they wanted to avoid being blacklisted. (from Radical Radio celebrating 40 years of 3CR)

Thanks to Mark Rohde for contacting me with copies of the first two episodes. I found the third episode at the bottom of a box of old cassettes.

Episode 1 1788- 1850
Episode 2 1854 – 1890’s
Episode 3 1900’s to 1975

In the mid 1970’s Darce helped establish 3CR community radio in Melbourne. Darce broadcast at 3CR under the name of Len Teasdale. He was working as Head of Special Projects at ABC radio in Melbourne, employees were not permitted to broadcast for other organisations.

The following radio grab from 3CR in 1977 is Darce as Len Teasdale promoting the series – The Builders’ Labourer’s History of Australia. Dur: 1’03

More on 3CR Melbourne Community Radio here: 3CR

3CR Community Radio Melbourne

The Voice of Reason at 3CR

Darce Cassidy, Alan Roberts and Bill Hartley during a live roundtable debate on 3CR 1984
Photo Jan Smith

By Greg Segal, Senior Engineer 3CR

When I turned up at 3CR in 1978 the place was pretty tumultuous, with threats from the Jewish Board of Deputies complicated by the Red Maoists yelling at the Blue Maoists, etc.  For a somewhat naive 24 year old it was a bit overwhelming.

Darce was one of the voices of reason in all that noise, with a welcoming smile for a newbie.  I admired him for debating ideas, not people as individuals.  I realised he was not judging me, just listening and discussing.  After a while I also appreciated how skilled he was in trying to find common ground between rivals.  I think he deserves much of the credit for 3CR emerging from that era as a much stronger and more unified organisation.

Audio of Darce broadcasting on 3CR

Many thanks to some of the original 3CR Breakfast broadcasters John Campbell and Brian Caddell for sending these audio excerpts of Darce broadcasting on 3CR using the nom de newsroom, Len Teasedale

Early 3CR broadcaster Brian Caddell crosses to Darce broadcasting on 3CR as Len Teasedale – 20 seconds
Darce in 1977 broadcasting on 3CR as Len Teasedale reading News he prepared- 90 seconds

Here’s John Campbell 3CR former breakfast presenter reflecting on Darce at 3CR:

I was involved in the establishment of 3CR and was one of the regular breakfast show presenters shortly after the station was launched.  I can hear now Darceā€™s encouraging and very informative voice in the meetings and passing chats that occurred at the station and elsewhere.  Perhaps he did not know it, but Iā€™m sure that without him the station would have sounded far less effective.  Not just because his own on-air work was so good, but because he inspired others to aim to be as effective as they could, despite lacking the training he had taken via the ABC.

See also