A Labour History Day in Ballarat

Ballarat Trades Hall, 24 Camp Street, Ballarat Central, Sunday 10 March 2024.

10:45 am

Convene at Ballarat Trades Hall

Coffee, tea, and biscuits will be available all-day.

11:00 am

From miners and shearers to the battle of the North Railway Workshop and the rise of local communists

As we tour the historic Ballarat Trades Hall building, Brett Edgington, Ballarat Trades and Labour Council Secretary, will regale us with stories of its radical history. Some areas will require a bit of physical dexterity (tight corners, steep stairs). 

12:00 pm          

The Significance of Ballarat in Intercolonial Workers’ Militancy

The Ballarat Trades and Labour Council is the world’s second-oldest trades and labour council. Founded in 1883 and existing in various forms since 1856, it is still in its original building. The Ballarat Trades Hall building was opened in 1888 and hosted the Seventh Intercolonial Trade Union Congress in 1891. 

Jenny Beacham, whose PhD thesis was on the History of the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council 1856-2000, takes us through this history. Noted local historian Anne Beggs-Sunter will introduce her.

1:00 pm

Light lunch of party pies, quiche, and salad in Trades Hall. Dietary requirements are catered to when requested on booking. Drinks are available for purchase at the Trades Hall bar. 

2:00 pm

Walking Tour of Radical Ballarat

Ross Kenna, Ballarat Trades and Labour Council Vice President, Leading Organiser with the AWU and former AMWU Food Delegate.

Notable sights, such as the James Galloway Memorial Fountain, Ferns Hotel, the AWU Riverina Branch building and the Echo Newspaper office, are a short walk from Ballarat Trades Hall. Hear Ross’s noble and scurrilous tales of workers, bosses and ALP luminaries James Scullin and John Curtin. 

3:00-3:30 pm

Short refreshment break, then head to the Eureka Centre. Comradely transport can be arranged if needed.

3:30 pm

Eureka Centre Ballarat

102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat 

Home to the Eureka Flag, the centre aims to explore the social history and cultural impact of the Victorian goldrush and honour the stories of the people who risked (and lost) their lives to fight for miners’ rights.

Getting There from Melbourne

The 9:15 am train from Southern Cross arrives at Ballarat at 10:43 am. You can use your Myki ticket. The station is a 5-minute walk to the Ballarat Trades Hall. Transport to and from the Eureka centre can be arranged. The return train to Melbourne leaves at 5:20 pm, arriving at Southern Cross at 6:48 pm.

If driving to Ballarat, street parking is available near the Hall.

If you’ll be attending, please book using the form below:

Please don't feel obliged to pay the higher price.
$ 0.00
Please note: RSVP required by Thursday 7 March 2024.