Hickey travelled from the New South Wales bush, via shearing camps, harness maker’s workshop and the election platforms of the newly-formed Australian Labour Movement to membership and later, secretary of the parliamentary Labour Party in New South Wales. He was an anti-conscriptionist in World War I; chairman of the Public Works Committee in 1920-21;  and a member of the Legislative Council in 1925-34. He was ahead of his time, holding enlightened views on the employment of youths and was well stocked with bush lore, writing many paragraphs for the Bulletin. His reminiscences, written during a visit to South America and the U.S.A., are filled with anecdotes of the Sydney political scene of the 1890s and the early years of the new century and are colourfully told.