John Rowland DACEY

John Dacey, born in 1854 in Cork, Ireland, was a prominent figure in Australian politics and a strong advocate for low-cost housing for the working class.

He served as the Secretary of the Wool and Basil Workers’ Federation of Australia in Sydney throughout his career.

Dacey’s political journey began with his election to the Alexandria Municipal Council, where he served for ten years and also held the position of mayor in 1888 and 1889. He later became the Returning Officer for the district of Redfern and joined the Redfern Labor Electoral League in 1891.

After an unsuccessful campaign for the district of Botany in 1894, Dacey successfully won the 1895 election. In the 1904 state election, he was chosen to represent the newly formed district of Alexandria.

In November 1912, he was appointed the Treasurer of New South Wales.

Dacey tirelessly fought for the government’s provision of affordable housing for the working class since the 1890s, advocating for creating a “Garden City” with modern and affordable homes.

Following his death in 1912, his plans were partially implemented in Southern Sydney from 1913 to 1920. Daceyville, Australia’s first public housing estate, was named in his honour and included the country’s first cul-de-sac.

Source: TROVE, National Library of Australia Newspaper Collection