Bulletin Board

ASSLH Sydney Branch Notice: increase in membership rates
At the Branch AGM, held on 5 September 2019 at Unions NSW, the following resolution was carried, after some discussion about the Branch’s finances and activities:

That Sydney Branch ASSLH membership rates be increased from 2020/2021 to: $30 waged; $15 unwaged; $50 small organisations; $100 large organisations.

This resolution will apply to memberships and renewals for the 2020/21 financial year (ie the year from 1 July 2020). Minutes of the AGM will be circulated to Branch members in the next few weeks.

Urgent Histories: AHA Conference, 29 June – 3 July 2020 (Geelong)
The 39th Australian Historical Association (AHA) Conference will be hosted by Deakin University Contemporary Histories Research Group on the theme ‘urgent histories’. It will take place at the Geelong Waterfront Campus, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong VIC 3220

Today, the need to interrogate the past is more pressing than ever. Historians are now both scholars and actors in the face of worldwide political efforts to realign the past to fit present imperatives. This conference calls us to consider the place of history in current political discourses. Embracing the contestability of explanatory stories, different theoretical and methodological vantage points, ‘urgent histories’ invites historians to focus on the uses of the past in contemporary public debates, disputes and narratives.

A call for abstracts and proposals for panels, including roundtables, was made on 1 November 2019 and will close 8 March 2020. Registration will be available in early 2020 through the website https://www.deakin.edu.au/aha2020; this site also has information on bursaries and scholarships to attend the conference.  

There will be a Labour History stream and Sydney Branch ASSLH members may be interested in contributing to this stream. Abstracts are due by 8 March and should be submitted via https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/aha2020/Homepage. 

The AHA is delighted to announce The Patrick Wolfe Bursary which will be awarded annually until 2028 to assist an early career researcher to participate in the AHA annual conference and attend the conference dinner. The prize honours the career of Dr Patrick Wolfe (1949-2016), an eminent historian and forerunner in the field of settler colonial studies. Applications close 13 March 2020. For any questions or further information relating to AHA 2020, please email the conference team at aha2020@deakin.edu.au.

The Historical Dimension: AAHANZBS 12th Annual Conference, 9-10 November, 2020 (Sydney)
The Business and Labour History Group (BLHG) at the University of Sydney Business School, will be hosting the AAHANZBS (the Association of Academic Historians in Australian and New Zealand Business Schools) on 9-10 November 2020 and invites interested people to submit papers addressing the conference theme, including papers relating to accounting history, business history, economic history, labour history, management history, marketing history, tourism history, transport history and other areas of interest relating to historical research in business schools. Also invited are papers / panel suggestions around teaching and pedagogy relating to business and labour history. Papers from researchers outside business schools who have an interest in these fields of study are also welcome.

Both abstracts and full papers may be submitted and will be published in online conference proceedings. Those interested should submit either a 1,000 word abstract or a 6,000 word maximum paper for refereeing by Friday 12 June 2020 to Greg Patmore at greg.patmore@sydney.edu.au and Mark Westcott at mark.westcott@sydney.edu.au 

The abstract will provide: a) a summary of the argument of the paper; b) summary of the findings of the paper; and c) selected list of references for the paper. Papers should follow the Labour History style guide found at http://asslh.org.au/journal/style-guide/. 

All authors submitting abstracts will be notified by 14 August 2020 at the latest whether their abstracts or papers have been accepted for the conference.

The BLHG is pleased to be able to offer free registration (apart from the conference dinner) to all postgraduate students whose papers or abstracts are accepted. This offer extends to all staff and research students of the University of Sydney Business School and members of the BLHG.

Registration: http://sydney.edu.au/business/research/blhg

The Great Strike of 1917 – at last the film! 
Frontyard films premiered The Great Strike 1917 in Sydney last October. The film examines the strike’s industrial, social and political context, and consequences for Australian labour. It draws on Lucy Taksa’s foundational research on the Eveleigh workshops and the strike, examining narratives filtered through generations and resonating today. 

Amanda (Mandy) King and Fabio Cavadini began work on the story in 2017, seeing the six-week strike, triggered by the introduction of Taylorism to rail and tramways workshops, as challenging understandings of the labour movement. They explore reasons for action, the murder of striker Merv Flanagan, and (government) film censorship. 

Following the Sydney premiere, The Great Strike screened in Melbourne. Events are planned for the Blue Mountains and Newcastle. Labour lawyers, Turner and Freeman, with Macquarie University’s Centre for Workplace Futures, will sponsor a screening at Macquarie on 26 March. 

The filmmakers are keen for further distribution: if you can help, contact Mandy and Fabio at Frontyard Films (+61 410 633 503 or cavadiniking@icloud.com). 

Women of Steel: the Jobs for Women film project nears completion
Many of you will know about this project to produce a film about the legendary 14-year struggle of a small group of working-class and migrant women – the Women Against AIS – to gain employment at the steelworks in Wollongong. Their battle against BHP, the country’s richest and most powerful company, took them from factory gate to the highest court in the land and changed the rules for women throughout Australia.

The film is now close to completion, but more funds are urgently needed to complete the final stages. Work on production was necessarily delayed during the South Coast fires as director/producer Robynne Murphy was needed in the fight against the Nelligan and Currowan fires, but the film-makers are still trying to meet their aim of completion by March 2021. 

You can view the trailer for the film and find out all about the project, including how to donate to help complete the film, on their website http://www.jobsforwomenfilm.com. It’s also possible to make a tax-deductible donation through the Documentary Australia Foundation – more information on the website. 

Icons of Labour – contributions sought
And as we said in the last issue, if you know of a labour movement icon – perhaps an often-overlooked monument, rendered invisible in plain sight, a house associated with a labour movement figure, the site of an industrial struggle or the former location of union offices or regular union meetings, please do send us the details (to either the Branch address sydneybranch.asslh@gmail.com or to individual members of the Branch Executive Committee, as listed in Hummer and on our webpage). Please include a photograph so we can put it up on our Icons of Labour page  https://www.labourhistory.org.au/branches/sydney/icons/ 

We also welcome more information about or corrections to items already on the page.

Special TUTA issue of Hummer – copies available
Our TUTA special issue of Hummer has proved very popular and we printed extra copies which can be ordered through the ASSLH online store https://www.labourhistory.org.au/store/ . Copies are also available by emailing the Branch at sydneybranch.asslh@gmail.com

Labour movement historians and union educators will eagerly await future publications of the Melbourne University/ACTU history of the Trade Union Training Authority. Until this very valuable research study is completed, the Hummer special TUTA issue is almost the only printed source, offering as it does a rare collection of writings about the foundation of TUTA and its early days.