Labour Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Baratto, Ernesto (Ernie) (1902–1974)

This entry is from People Australia

Ernesto (Ernie) Baratto (1902 -1974) canecutter, communist 

Birth: 5 August 1902 in Paese, Treviso, Italy. Son of Antonio Baratto. Marriage: New Zealand, Giussepina. They had two daughters. Death: 24 November 1974 at Huntly, Waikato, New Zealand. 

  • Arrived in Fremantle from Genoa, Italy, on 17 May 1925.
  • Naturalised in Australia on 12 May 1933.
  • Cane-cutter at beginning of Weil’s Disease strike in 1935.  Joined the CPA [Communist Party of Australia] while working on Mourilyan strike committee. Received a political education at Marx classes conducted by Mourilyan Branch CPA.
  • In 1936, saved fare to fight fascism in Spain. Served with Dimitrov, Lincoln, British, Passionaria and Stakanov battalions of International Brigade, as sergeant, captain and political commissar. Family in Italy were told he had been shot as prisoner of war; asked to collect dirty clothing supposedly belonging to him.  
  • April 1939, returned to Australia as hero of Italian anti-fascists in North Queensland.  May Day 1939 addressed workers in Ingham to cries of 'Viva Baratto’; began tour of other centres including Innisfail, Babinda, Mareeba, Tully and Townsville attracting large audiences.
  • By 1940 he had moved to New Zealand.

Sources
Diane Menghetti, The Red North: The Popular Front in North Queensland, James Cook University History Department, 1981; Gianfanco Cresciani, Fascism, Anti-Fascism and Italians in Australia 1922-1945, ANU Press, Canberra, 1980.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Baratto, Ernesto (Ernie) (1902–1974)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/baratto-ernesto-ernie-32042/text39602, accessed 20 October 2021.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012