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


Coming events

You are invited to attend our second talk of the year, presented by Stanley Schwartz.

The talk, entitled ‘Australian Labor and American Fleets: Defence and Diplomacy in Press and Party,’ will focus on the various responses of the labour movement in Australia to the visits of American fleets in 1908 and 1925. Through these two slices of history, the perspective of different groups— parliamentarians, unions, socialists, and communists – will be examined.
A range of issues will be considered, including the image of America, Australian diplomacy, labour internationalism, and the position of defence policy in the labour movement on either side of the conscription crisis.

The talk will get under way from 6.00 pm, on Tuesday 26 February 2019, in Seminar Room 3, Hedley Bull Building, ANU.

All are welcome.


Recent articles

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

  • 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.
  • What happened to Childe? June 10, 2018- V. Gordon Childe (1892-1957) made himself the most influential Australian scholar in the humanities and social sciences. Forty years after his death, his ideas stimulate thinkers well beyond his own field of Prehistoric archaeology. Humphrey McQueen has returned to Childe’s writings to reflect on current disputes about facts, theorising and politics in the piecing together […]
  • The New Guard June 3, 2018- Originally published in Workers Online 2003: http://workers.labor.net.au/features/200313/c_historicalfeature_moore.html Andrew Moore Who were Australia’s fascists in the 1930s and was John Howard’s father in the New Guard? Labour historian, Andrew Moore, uncovers some surprising information about Australia’s fascist past.