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Collection of eight items relating to the career of Bill Heath

Date: 1974 - 1987
Medium: Paper based material
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bill Heath
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1312

User Terms

    Description
    These eight items relate to the role of William (Bill) Heath as a member of the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee. The documents span the period 1974 - 1987.
    SignificanceThis first-hand record gives a rare insight into a little-known area of Australian maritime history - the extent to which Australian merchant seamen participated in World War II and were affected by it.
    HistoryThis series consists of one book of merchant vessel statistics compiled by Bill Heath; three books containing Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee meeting notes; one exercise book written by Bill Heath of merchant vessels attacked in wartime, and notes on applications for seamen's war pensions and allowances and two letters relating to the decision to extend Repatriation treatment benefits to former mariners who were prisoners-of-war.

    Australian merchant seaman who were involved in World War II and who suffered a disability or injury were covered by the 'Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Act 1940'. However the benefits in this Act were far less generous for merchant seaman than for other veterans or members of the Armed forces. The McGirr Inquiry into the Needs of Australian Mariners 1989 was held in order to examine their position. Its recommendations, including a repeal of the 'Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Act 1940', improved the position of merchant seamen who were affected by wartime activity. However, until the introduction of the recommendations from this enquiry and others, merchant seamen who claimed to have suffered injury as a result of wartime service were required to take their claims to the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee for compensation.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: A collection of papers and personal records of the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Committee, kept by William (Bill) Heath as nominee of the ACTU and seagoing unions, 1974 - 1987

    Web title: Collection of eight items relating to the career of Bill Heath

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