Australian Society for the Study of Labour History

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.The journal, which has been appearing twice yearly since 1962, 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.

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 bring it back in to focus, over on the LUP Blog.


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.

The Society draws its membership from the union movement, activist groups, and the academy. It relies on the passion and energies of its members and has six branches across Australia. Each of these hold events and document 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.

Book Review Editors Sought

Labour History is seeking two book review editors to replace Phillip Deery and Stuart Macintyre, who are standing down after the November 2021 issue. Please forward expressions of interest to Carl Power ( by 1 April 2021. Full support will be given by the current book review editors to assist with the transition.

2021 Conference: Fighting For Life: Class, Community and Care in Labour History

The 17th biennial conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH) will be held 5-8 December 2021 in Bendigo, Victoria. Organised with the support of LaTrobe University, the theme of the conference is Fighting For Life: Class, Community and Care in Labour History.

Abstracts of 200 words, and a brief bio., with institutional or organisational affiliation where relevant, should be submitted via the form below by the deadline of 1 April 2021. Acceptances will be notified in May 2021. Visit our conference webpage for details.


Labour History No. 119
November 2020

The Toll from Toil Revisited: Lessons from the Past in Occupational Health and Safety

Edited by Michael Quinlan and Sarah Gregson