Harry Holland – Son of Canberra honoured at last

The Canberra Region Branch of ASSLH had long sought to have some kind of monument erected to the memory of Canberra born labour pioneer Harry Holland (1868-1933). Those efforts came to fruition on 2 February 2011 when a commemorative sign was unveiled at Ginninderra village by the then ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and acting New Zealand High Commissioner Vangelis Vitalis.

For a report on the event, click here:

Harry Holland web site posting

Transcript of the NZ High Commissioner’s speech:

Holland Speech Vangelis Vitalis

To read what the sign says, click here:

Holland commemorative sign


Canberra centenary event 2013

In 2013, Canberra celebrated its centenary as the nation’s capital. Amid all the hype of the official  celebrations, the contribution of the early builders of Canberra was pretty much overlooked. Yet for much of its past 100 years, Canberra was largely a working class town with much of the population employed in building and construction. In order to address this omission, the Canberra Region Branch, with the assistance of Unions ACT, organised a bus tour of significant heritage sites, each of which offered a glimpse into the lives of the early workers of Canberra.

For a report of the event click here;

Canberra centenary bus tour


 The Communist Party Dissolution Bill – 60 years on

Symposium held on 8 May 2010 at the Australian National University hosted jointly by the ASSLH Canberra Region Branch and the ANU. The symposium featured a number of speakers who examined the political and historical significance of attempts by Liberal Prime Minister Menzies to outlaw the Communist Party of Australia in 1950.
A selection of the papers presented at the symposium can be accessed via the following links:

The Communist Party Dissolution Bill and its aftermath – George Williams

An audio recording of Prof Williams’ talk can be downloaded from the ABC web site

Communist Party Dissolution Attempt, 1950 and 1951 – 60 years on – Malcolm Mackerras

Venona and the Banning of the CPA in 1951 – Frank Cain


Vale Sigrid McCausland

sigrid-mccauslandMembers and friends of the Canberra Region Branch of the Labour History Society will be saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Sigrid McCausland, formerly ANU Archivist and an active member of our Society. Sigrid passed away on 30 Nov 2016. She served with distinction as Branch President from 2001 to 2003. This is a great loss to the communities of labour historians and archivists, as well as to Sigrid’s many friends, colleagues and admirers, including here in Canberra. Our condolences to her family and her partner Phil Griffiths.