Mr. Justice Henry Bourne Higgins
Born in Ireland in 1851, Higgins arrived in Australia in 1870. He was called to the Victorian Bar in 1876. In 1894 he was elected to the Victorian Parliamnent. Higgins was MHR for Northern Melbourne from 1901 to 1906 when he was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia. In 1907 he became President of the Federal Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. Higgins is remembered for his 1907 "Harvester Judgement" that established the concept of the "sufficient wage" for unskilled workers. The "sufficient wage" soon became known as the "basic wage".
Higgins was also involved in the 1920 judgement reduced working hours for the Timber Workers Union to 44 hours per week. This opened the way for other unions to win a 44 hour week.
My Union Right or Wrong.
A history of the Ship Painters and Dockers Union 1900-1932
By Issy Wyner