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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.

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Eric Fry Labour History Research Grant

Applications are now open for the 2024 Eric Fry Research Grant.

The grant offers a cash payment of $1000 to an honours or postgraduate student doing a thesis on a labour or social history related subject. It aims to encourage students to utilise the resources of the ANU’s Noel Butlin Archives Centre in Canberra.

Applications close on 31 March 2024.

Further details, including the selection criteria, please go to the Eric Fry drop-down menu above.

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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.

  • Labor, the External Affairs Power and Aboriginal Rights December 9, 2022 - David Lee Originally published in Radical Currents, Labour Histories, No. 1 Autumn 2022. Australian Society for the Study of Labour History In 1900 the Australian Constitution gave the Commonwealth Parliament not a ‘treaty power’ but a vague power over ‘external affairs’. Its precise meaning remained elusive for most of the twentieth century. But from the […]
  • When the Australian ruling class embraced fascism November 21, 2022 - Originally published in Marxist Left Review 13, Summer 2017 When the Australian ruling class embraced fascism Louise O’Shea It is commonplace today to treat the far right and far left as mirror images of each other: both extreme, ideologically rigid, intolerant and similarly isolated from the sensible mainstream. But history demonstrates that there is little […]
  • Before the Teals, the DLP rewrote politics August 13, 2022 - This article first appeared in The Canberra Times of 5 July 2022 Before the teals, the DLP rewrote politics by Stephen Holt The election of sixteen House of Representatives crossbench members, including six or so Teal independents, on 21 May 2022 signals a big shift in the underlying structure of Australian politics.
  • Bob Hawke and Canberra’s ‘factional wars’ April 11, 2022 - By Stephen Holt (An edited version of this article appeared in The Canberra Times (Public Sector Informant) of 5 April 2022) There is an intriguing reference to political shenanigans in Cold War Canberra in Troy Bramston’s new biography of Bob Hawke. Bramston in an early chapter refers to a letter dated 24 October 1956. Written […]
  • Slavery in Australia – Convicts, Emigrants, Aborigines August 18, 2021 - Slavery in Australia – Convicts, Emigrants, Aborigines KM Dallas Kenneth McKenzie Dallas (1902- 1988) was a Tasmanian historian, teacher, writer and socialist. In September 1968, the Tasmanian Historical Research Association (THRA) published a collection of three articles by Dallas, each offering a different perspective on aspects of Australian history. The third of the three: ‘Slavery […]

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