Australian Society for the Study of Labour History


The Society

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1961 to study “the working class situation … and social history in the fullest sense”. The Society encourages teaching and research in labour history and the preservation of the records of working people and the labour movement. It desires to make history a vital part of popular consciousness and a matter for reflection and debate.

It relies on the passion and energies of its members and has six branches across Australia. Each holds events and documents their region’s history, commemorating the long activist tradition of workers in Australia and the world. We would love you to join us. Here, you can read more about who we are and what we do.

The Journal

In association with Liverpool University Press, the Society publishes Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History. The interdisciplinary nature of labour history, and its acceptance of less traditional sources, including folklore and oral testimony, make it a fascinating field, alive to past and present social justice issues. Since 1962, the journal has been published twice yearly. It is the premier outlet for refereed, scholarly articles in its field in Australasia. The journal is edited by Professor Diane Kirkby. Click here to learn more about the journal.

OUT NOW: Labour History, no. 126

Working-Class Anti-Colonialism in the Twentieth Century, a special issue edited by Padraic Gibson, Sophie Loy-Wilson, Jon Piccini, and Evan Smith. Almost 50 years ago, Labour History published a special issue on the problem of racism in the Australian labour movement: Who Are Our Enemies? edited by
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Lyndall Ryan (1943–2024)

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History is saddened by the loss of Lyndall Ryan, one of Australia’s most influential and admired historians. Her major contribution was in Aboriginal history, with an early study of Indigenous Tasmanians, for which she found herself and her work at the
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Seminar Series: Labour History | Looking Ahead After Sixty Years

In 2022, Labour History, the journal of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History celebrated its 60th anniversary. During the year, six seminars were held to showcase the work being produced in the journal and to discuss the past, present, and future of studies in labour history. The se
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Julie Kimber and Diane Kirkby (eds), Radical Currents, Labour Histories, Issue 1, Autumn 2022, pp. 5-60.

Launch of Radical Currents, Labour Histories

In April 2022, the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History launched its new biannual magazine, Radical Currents, Labour Histories. The magazine brings together the latest research on labour history, book reviews, news and articles from across Australia. You can read the first issue online
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Labour History Prizes

The winners of Labour History’s five prizes for 2021 were announced at our 17th Biennial Conference in April. Congratulations go to Phoebe Kelloway, Daniel Hannington-Pinto, Katherine Keirs, William Burns, and Naina Manjrekar. CONTINUE READING …
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Vale Stuart Macintyre

We mourn the death of our friend and president, Stuart Macintyre. In the days since Stuart’s death there has been an avalanche of tributes and we reprint three of these below. Written by Brian Aarons, Tim Rowse, and Janet McCalman, they speak to the enormous influence of Stuart’s work and to his cha
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