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

Members are reminded that membership subscriptions are now due for the current financial year. Please click on the drop-down menu for About ASSLH Canberra – Membership for options on how to join or renew your membership.


Coming events


Recent articles

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

  • A socialist’s republic August 5, 2019 - The republic referendum – 20 years on ‘A socialist’s republic’ by Humphrey McQueen November 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the unsuccessful referendum on whether Australia should become a republic. Strange that such an important issue should have lain dormant for so long. To mark the occasion we present Humphrey McQueen’s article ‘A socialist’s republic’ […]
  • 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.