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.

 The Editorship

Labour History is looking for a new Editor to replace Diane Kirkby whose term ends in July 2024. The appointment will be made before the end of this year by the Federal Executive of the ASSLH. The new editor will start in February 2024 to help prepare the May 2025 issue. The Editor leads a team of Associate Editors who play an important role in supporting the editorial work.

Anyone interested in the position should send an Expression of Interest outlining their credentials, publishing record and a statement of vision for the journal, to  by 31 August 2023. The Editorial policy, list of Associate Editors and members of the Editorial Board can all be found on this website. Any questions should be directed to the current Editor,

OUT NOW: Labour History, no. 123

In the November 2022 issue, we mark the journal’s 60th anniversary with a mix of reflections, new research, remembrances, and a look ahead to future achievements. Our goal is to capture the moment and interweave continuing themes of labour history’s project in the conversation between past, present
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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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Aboriginal Workers

A 1995 special issue of Labour History revisited in 2020. With work from Indigenous scholars and activists. Read an interview with Ann McGrath, Kay Saunders, and Jackie Huggins, the editors of the original issue, as they explain why it remains so relevant today and why now was the right time to brin
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