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. Links to other websites do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the content of those websites.

For all the news about our activities over the past year, click here to read our branch-presidents-report-for-2016-annual-general-meeting held on 15 November 2016.


Coming events

The Canberra Labour History Society will be hosting a panel discussion around the recently released Honest History Book on Wednesday 28 June 2017. This will be followed by a dinner at Delhi 6 Indian restaurant. As always, all are most welcome:

The Honest History Book: A Discussion

Established in 2013, Honest History has been an important and influential Canberra-based initiative arising out of a concern that the Anzac centenary would “unbalance Australians’ appreciation of their history, emphasising the military parts at the expense of the rest”.

The Honest History Book (ed. David Stephens and Alison Broinowski, NewSouth Publishing, 2017) pursues the idea that “Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been”. This panel discussion brings together an editor, contributing authors and experts on the First World War to discuss the The Honest History Book and the broader state of Australian history as we approach the end of the centenary cycle.

What has been achieved, and what still needs to be done? What is the relevance of these matters to labour history? It is sure to be a robust discussion.

Emily Robertson, David Stephens, Michael Piggott and Peter Stanley
Chair: Frank Bongiorno

Venue: Coombs Extension Room 1.04, The Australian National University

Date: Wednesday 28 June 2017
Time: 5.30-7.00pm

Dinner will be afterwards at Delhi 6, 14 Childers Street, Canberra, 2601. If you would like to attend the dinner please RSVP to Bill Thompson at billthompson@tpg.com.au by Friday 23 June.



Recent articles

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

  • 26 January – or thereabouts January 25, 2017 - by Humphrey McQueen 26 January – or thereabouts Vox Pop illustrates that the most enthusiastic celebrants of Australia Day do not always know what happened on 26 January 1788 in Sydney Cove.
  • Conscription for war and profit November 27, 2016 - Conscription for war and profit: classes, nation-market-states and empires Humphrey McQueen Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Canberra Branch, Seminar, Saturday, 29 October 2016: ‘The defeat of conscription: a centennial retrospective’.   ‘Here and today, a new epoch in the history of the world has begun.’ So said Johann Wolfgang Goethe to the Prussian […]
  • Conscription – the sequel November 22, 2016 - Conscription: The Sequel* Bill Thompson Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Canberra Region Branch This paper will briefly examine the aftermath of the failed attempts to introduce conscription for overseas service into the Australian military forces during World War I. It will discuss the inter-war years; the constraints imposed by anti-conscription sentiments on […]
  • The Trade Unions and Labour Parties 1890-4 September 25, 2016 - Robin Gollan A 20 page brochure reprinted from Historical Studies Vol 7, No 25, November 1955. Published by University of Melbourne. gollan-trade-unions-and-labour-parties
  • CIA, Kerr, Barwick and 1975 July 13, 2016 -   by Humphrey McQueen A revival of interest in the dismissal of the Whitlam government on 11 November 1975 is focusing on who advised the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. The role of the Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Garfield Barwick, has been known almost from the start. Knowledge of a second counselor has […]