Notes from our past: 1924 to 1933

  • AWEA classes were introduced to Mt Eden Prison in the early 1920s. During the depression, tutors in the prison were one day startled to find among the prisoners some of their usual tutorial class members. These were Marxists who had been jailed for their activities as organisers of the unemployed.
  • In 1924, at the request of AWEA, Auckland University established two annual bursaries for AWEA students. One early recipient was Lascelles Wilson a worker who after graduating went on to take leading roles in the adult education sector in Australia.
  • This was a time of  ‘dissatisfaction with a society in which advanced knowledge and ideas, learning and books were substantially denied to the mass of human kind.’ AWEA ran lunch hour workshops in factories and maintained close relationships with unions.
  • During the depression government funding to AWEA was cut, then abolished. Three organisations of the unemployed affliliated to AWEA and unemployed workers gave time and labour to AWEA where they could not give money.
Notes Our Past 1924 1933 Collage