Cover image © Graham Howe 2014
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Gwen Goedecke, life-long activist, and member of the Melbourne Branch of the Labour History Society has died. A service to celebrate Gwen’s life will be held this Saturday at 11.00am at the Unitarian Church in Grey Street, East Melbourne. In 2009, the state government inducted Gwen into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women for her outstanding… Read More

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By Rowan Cahill   A discussion of Peter Linebaugh, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day (Oakland: PM Press, 2016). Writing in 1896, not long before his death, indefatigable socialist thought-maker and dreamer William Morris wrote that May Day is “above all days of the year fitting for the protest of the disinherited… Read More

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By Peter Love On Sunday 3 April the Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament (CICD) arranged a special occasion where it paid tribute to the work of John Ellis as campaign activist and photographer in the cause of peace. CICD expressed that special regard by conferring Life Membership on him. When guests entered the Unitarian… Read More

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A message from David Cragg, Victorian Trades Hall Council On 11-12 May 1916, the THC convened an All-Australia Trade Union Anti-Conscription Conference at the Melbourne Trades Hall.  (Please note that this was some 11 years before the ACTU was established.) The successful conference resolved unanimously to oppose the introduction of conscription for military service in Europe and… Read More

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On Wednesday 27 April, Ross McMullin will kick off the 2016 Local Labor lecture series with a talk on Chris Watson and his 1904 Labor Government. Ross McMullin is a leading Australian historian, whose books include The Light on the Hill (the ALP centenary history), and the award winning Pompey Elliott and Farewell, Dear People: biographies of Australia’s lost generation. The… Read More

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A number of events are being held to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916.  A conference at the University of Melbourne, 7-8 April, will feature a number of local and international experts who will address a range of aspects of the Rising, including its Australasian contexts. Keynote Speakers at the event include Dr Roisín Higgins (Teesside University); Dr Fearghal McGarry… Read More

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By Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill   Kicking away the props In recent years, in various places and on our blog “Radical Sydney/Radical History”, we have written about radical history. As radical historians we seek out, explore, and celebrate the diversities of alternatives and oppositions, arguing there is a basic tension between radical history and… Read More

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Book Review: Frank Bongiorno, The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia (Black Inc., Melbourne, 2015), xiii and 370 pp. ISBN 9781863957762. Hb.$45.00. By James Walter    Frank Bongiorno’s history of the 1980s is an ambitious exercise in marrying cultural and social history with politics and economics. It is wide-ranging in its attention to dominant mores,… Read More

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For decades, John Ellis has campaigned for peace, nuclear disarmament, and social justice. During this time, John photographed much of the activity of the left in Melbourne. His collection––held by the University of Melbourne Archives––is a remarkable resource, and the largest individual collection of photographs of the left in Australia. This year, the Campaign for International… Read More

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Originally posted on Hatful of History:
The first issue of ‘Communist Review’ after the ban was lifted by the Curtin Government on the magazine. It was recently announced that funding for the National Library of Australia’s digital database Trove was under threat due to the Turnbull government’s search for ‘efficiency dividends’. This has led to…

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The Victorian Trades Hall Council has launched a Young Workers Centre to help young people understand their rights at work and to help when those rights are threatened. They’re calling for volunteers to act as both advocates and activists. Sign up via the link.  

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Originally posted on Hatful of History:
Evan Smith (Flinders University), Matthew Worley (University of Reading) and Jon Piccini (University of Queensland) are calling for chapter proposals for an edited volume on the Australian far left in the post-war era (1945 to the present). Expanding on our work looking at the history of the British far…

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