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Welcome to the Canberra Region Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History.

The ASSLH aims to encourage the study, teaching and research of labour history and to encourage the preservation of labour archives.

This website was designed by Webtrax with the assistance of the Bede Nairn Fund. It aims to present a selection of articles and publications that can easily be accessed by students, teachers and others wanting to know more about labour history and politics.

The ASSLH encourages open debate on questions relating to labour history and politics. The articles published on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSLH and its officers. New contributions welcome. Links to other websites do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the content of those websites.

For news about our activities over the past year, click to read our Branch President’s report to the 2018 Annual General Meeting.  Branch president’s Annual Report 2017-18

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Coming events

Labour History Lab

Our next event will be Labour History Lab on Monday 17 June 2019.

Rather than a tightly structured event, this will be a chance to catch up in an informal setting and share what’s engaging you right now. It might be something you are researching, a recently discovered story, a project in planning, or perhaps one you already have underway. Whatever you’re up to, please come along and provide a five minute snapshot of your latest thoughts, themes or theories.

We will be holding this event at Badger and Co., the new pub in the ANU’s Kambri precinct. We will be getting underway from 5:30 pm, on 17 June 2019. All are welcome, and welcome to stick around for a drink and a bite to eat afterward. Please note, however, that Badger and Co. does not take payments in cash.

RSVP is not essential, but it is useful if we have a rough idea of who is coming, so please let our Secretary Chris Monnox know if you intend on being there.

You can email Chris at asslh@labourhistorycanberra.org

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Recent articles

Here are some of our recent articles. To search the complete list, click on the Articles and Publications menu.

  • Clarrie O’Shea – The trade union leader who went to gaol May 10, 2019- by John Merritt This month (May 2019) marks the 50th anniversary of the gaoling of Victorian Tramways Union leader Clarrie O’Shea (1905-1988).  O’ Shea was gaoled in 1969 by the notorious Sir John Kerr for refusing to hand over the union’s financial records. His imprisonment sparked a massive strike wave across the country and effectively […]
  • Why did Australia go to the great war? April 14, 2019- We gratefully acknowledge permission from the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW to publish this excellent collection of seminar papers on Australia’s involvement in World War 1. Click here to access the papers.                         ______________________________________________________ ACSACS Occasional Paper Series No. 8 Why did Australia go to the great war? […]
  • Our Forgotten Prime Minister October 8, 2018- Stephen Holt Australian Prime Ministers get to have a federal electorate named after them after they die. There are 22 deceased Australian Prime Ministers and after the latest redistribution there are, seemingly in line with this practice, 22 federal seats bearing the name of a deceased Prime Minister. There is an anomaly though and it […]
  • The ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic in Australia, 1912-19 June 20, 2018-   Humphrey McQueen  (Originally published in Social Policy in Australia – Some Perspectives 1901-1975. Edited by Jill Roe. Cassell Australia 1976) SIX MONTHS BEFORE the Armistice ended the Great War a new and more deadly scourge was unleashed upon the world. Popularly known as ‘Spanish’ flu it killed twenty million people within twelve months.
  • Ghost of bankers past may come to haunt Shorten June 18, 2018- Bob Crawshaw (First published in The Canberra Times 21 April 2016) You can almost hear the ghost of prime minister Ben Chifley applauding Bill Shorten’s calls for a royal commission into Australian banking. Yet while Chifley might approve of Shorten’s efforts, he would probably think they do not go far enough.