The 17th Biennial Conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH) will be held from 5 – 8 December 2021 in Bendigo, Victoria. The conference is supported by LaTrobe University, and is organised around the theme: Fighting for Life: Class, Community and Care in Labour History. The call for papers has now closed, but check the conference website https://www.labourhistory.org.au/2021-conference/ for updates on conference arrangements and program.
An Australian-Latin American Solidarity (ALAS) Archive, which covers Australian-based solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean since 1970, should be available through the State Library of NSW later in 2021.The Archive has been built up by Viviana Canibilo Ramirez (a former member of the Chilean Resistance) and public intellectual Robert Austin Henry, as participant-observers in many groups and struggles over the last 40 years, to ensure that this dynamic chapter in social and political history is preserved for future generations. The Archive includes a vast array of pamphlets, posters, artwork, diverse forms of literature, print journalism, rare Left press items, rare music recordings, radio programs, detailed correspondence, ASIO files, recorded interviews and several thousand e-files about Australian solidarity activities that will be invaluable to researchers on this area. Work is currently underway to organise the collection. Sydney Branch ASSLH will aim to advise when access is available, but interested researchers should keep an eye on the SLNSW catalogue.
The latest issue of Agora (2021 Issue 1), published by the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria in early 2021, explores the theme: Women in History. It includes profiles on the ju-jitsu suffragettes, the working women of WWII, Indigenous activists, Australia’s ‘brazen hussies’ and ‘women of steel’, Cold War dissidents, ancient oracles and Viking queens, as well as exploring issues such as Wikipedia’s gender bias. See https://www.htavshop.com.au/product/agora-1-2021/
Women of Steel, the Jobs for Women film: Robynne Murphy’s great documentary about the ground-breaking 1980s Jobs for Women campaign is being screened widely in a variety of metropolitan and regional locations. More information about the film is available at: https://www.womenofsteelfilm.com/ and check the website:
https://fan-force.com/films/women-of-steel/ to find out about screenings in your area or to organise your own screening.
The Great Strike 1917: Amanda King and Fabio Cavadini’s 68-minute documentary commemorating the Great Strike of 1917 is now available from Ronin Films (https://www.roninfilms.com.au/video/0/200/16810.html) on DVD, digital files for screenings and vimeo-on-demand.
To this day, the Great Strike of 1917 remains Australia’s largest industrial upheaval. The story of the Strike has long been dormant in archives and is now brought to life by historical researchers with original film footage from the era. The film is Classification Exempt for Educational purposes.
Dare to Struggle Film Festival crowdfunding campaign: The inaugural Film Festival, planned to take place in November 2021 in Sydney, will be a celebration of the struggles of people and their communities who are trying to create a fairer and more just society by spotlighting the work of professional and amateur filmmakers who tell the stories of those struggles. The Festival, named for the enduring union movement precept that, without struggle, working people could never have won better wages, conditions, rights and respect, is partly inspired by the work of the late Jack Mundey and the Festival organisers are pleased to welcome Judy Mundey as Patron of the Festival. More information about the Festival is available at: www.daretostrugglefilmfestival.net.au.
The Festival organisers are seeking financial contributions by way of a crowdfunding campaign and urgently need to raise $20,000 by 15 June 2021. If you can help, crowdfunding details are at: https://www.pozible.com/profile/dare-to-struggle-film-festival.
Hummer vol 13 no 2 (the TUTA special issue): Sydney Branch ASSLH still has a limited number of copies available for sale @ $10 plus $2 postage. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
A Turbulent Decade now available free online: our very popular 2005 publication, A Turbulent Decade: Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement 1965-1975 (eds. Beverley Symons and Rowan Cahill), has been out of print for some time. However, it is now available for free download at: https://ro.uow.edu.au/uowbooks/28/. There’s also a direct link from the Branch webpage: https://www.labourhistory.org.au/branches/sydney/
Bibliographies of Communism in Australia now available free online:
- Communism in Australia: a resource bibliography, comp. Beverley Symons with Andrew Wells and Stuart Macintyre (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1994): https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/s8mhc3/SLNSW_ALMA21119750810002626
- Communism in Australia: a supplementary resource bibliography, c. 1994-2001, comp. Beverley Symons with the assistance of Stuart Macintyre (Newtown, NSW: Sydney Branch, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 2002): https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/s8mhc3/SLNSW_ALMA21141898970002626
One hundred comrades for 100 years: Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists (eds Bob Boughton, Danny Blackman, Mike Donaldson, Carmel Shute and Beverley Symons), published by the SEARCH Foundation in association with ASSLH as part of the CPA centenary commemoration, contains 100 short biographical essays about the lives and work of everyday communists. You can order Comrades! online through the New International Bookshop (https://nibs.org.au/comrades-book) or check at your favourite bookshop.
(There’s detailed information (including a list of those featuring in the book) at: https://www.search.org.au/link_to_preorder_comrades_lives_of_australian_communists).
Additional biographies are being published online on an ongoing basis at: https://www.search.org.au/communist_biographies_project.
Meredith Burgmann and Nadia Wheatley’s new book, Radicals: Remembering the Sixties, is now available at events to launch the book and from New South Books: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/talking-bout-our-generation/