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

Seminar: 1917 – Year of war and revolution

Saturday 4 November 2017
Law Link Theatre
Fellows Rd
Australian National University

12.45pm – 5.30pm


Presented by the Canberra Region branch of the Labour History Society and the School of History, The Australian National University



Frank Bongiorno, ‘Welcome’

Humphrey McQueen, ‘1917: a revolution against Capital?’

Peter Ellett, ‘Two Takes on Taylorism – Sydney and Moscow’

Joan Beaumont, ‘Was the second conscription referendum winnable?’

Sarah Lethbridge, ‘1917 in the Noel Butlin Archives’ (tbc)

2.40-3.20 (Coffee/viewing of 1917 Strike Exhibition at Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Menzies Library)


Colin Milner, ‘Robert Randolph Garran and the War Precautions Act’ 

Joseph Davis, ‘Coledale NSW: the Epicentre of Australian Anti-Capitalist Activism in 1917’

Sue Tracey, ‘The 1916 Forged Five Pound notes-criminal enterprise or IWW plot?’

John Lamb, ‘Shionomisaki Memorial to the Missing’

Karen Fox, ‘The Order of the British Empire—An Order for Britain’s Everybody’? 




Recent articles

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

  • Malcolm Ellis: Labour Historian? Spy? August 3, 2017 - Malcolm Ellis: Labour Historian? Spy? Andrew Moore UWS, Macarthur First published in Labour and Community – Proceedings of the Sixth National Labour History Conference, Wollongong, October 1999 When, on New Year’s Day 1952, Sir John Ferguson, the eminent bibliographer and Industrial Commission judge, wrote to his friend and colleague, M.H. Ellis, the anticommunist historian, he […]
  • Chifley versus the banks August 3, 2017 - Chifley versus the banks Nationalisation The big banks won the last great war against government interference, 70 years ago. Norman Abjorensen Originally published in The Canberra Times 6 June 2017 The predictable howls of outrage from the big banks about the $6.2 billion levy imposed on them in the federal budget are unlikely to arouse […]
  • James Normington Rawling Collection August 2, 2017 - James Normington Rawling Centenary Seminar – 17 Apr 1998 This seminar was co-hosted by the ASSLH and the Noel Butlin Archives Centre (NBAC) to celebrate the centenary of the birth of James Normington Rawling (1898-1966) returned serviceman, pacificist, rationalist turned CPA functionary, expelled from the CPA in 1939, flirted with Trotskyism, became chief informer at […]
  • The forgotten fascists – Menzies’ chosen people August 2, 2017 - The forgotten fascists  – Menzies’ chosen people Humphrey McQueen For the 75th anniversary of the start of the Menzies radio addresses, Howard and his gang are in the business of promoting ’the greatest speech ever made in this country’. The fact that ‘The Forgotten People’ was not a speech but one of a series of […]
  • Fresh Boer War atrocity August 2, 2017 -     FRESH BOER WAR ATROCITY The Boer War memorial along Canberra’s Anzac Parade includes statues of four horsemen to represent an Australian patrol on the Veldt. What truth demands is a Boer War memorial with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to recall the 25,000 Boer women and children and at least 15,000 black […]