Reverend Alf Mathew Dickie played a leading role in the Australian peace movement. He came from among a group of Christians who believed they should act forthrightly on the Christian message calling for world peace and social justice. The objectives of the peace movement that Dickie pronounced upon publicly, which challenged government policy, were indeed many. Among the issues were: nuclear disarmament, a nuclear-free Pacific, a non-aligned Australia, recognition of China, and disengagement from Eastern Europe.
The collection contains correspondence from 1930-1978, pamphlets, sermons, circulars; photographs, publications relating to Rev. Dickie's work in the Presbyterian Church and for peace and other social issues; notebooks and scrapbooks; World Peace Council material; Christian Committee proceedings; Centre for Urban Research and Action documents; negotiations on formation of Uniting Church parishes.
Along with Reverend Alf Mathew Dickie were kindred souls in Methodist minister, Frank Hartley, and Unitarian, Victor James, who also became public figures through their peace activities. The three ministers were collectively known as the ‘peace parsons’. They spoke out publicly on peace and social justice issues throughout the Cold War years. In 1951 the Peace Parsons set up the Peace Quest Forum to provide ‘an opportunity for conflicting views upon politics that made for war and peace’. All this was happening in the early years of the Cold War when critics of government foreign policy of whatever political affiliation were vilified as ‘fellow travellers’ or ‘communist dupes’.
Companion collections of the three repose in the University of Melbourne Archives. Together they provide an invaluable record of the campaigning of the peace movement during the politically repressive Cold War years.
Reverend Frank Coaldrake was an Anglican Church minister who played a leading role in pacifist, anti-war and social justice campaigns. During World War II he campaigned for the rights of Conscientious Objectors refusing military service. He was the founder of pacifist broadsheet Peacemaker. He made positive contributions to Christian discourse on war and peace.
The collection includes correspondence, circulars, minutes, leaflets and press cuttings regarding pacifism, war and peace, conscription, alternative civilian service and civil disobedience; and correspondence and working papers to do with the publication of pacifist broadsheet Peacemaker.
Collection numbers: 2013.0054 (not listed), 2007.0049 and 1980.0156 (finding aids listed online).