The Great Labor Split 1955: Fifty years later was held at Parliament House, Melbourne. Friday and Saturday 15 and 16 April 2005. It was sponsored by the Melbourne Branch of the Society for the Study of Labour History and The National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University.
The Split was a traumatic event in the lives of many Australians : it divided not only former political allies and trade unionists, but also split Catholic from Catholic, friend from friend and even rent individual families. It was a period of high drama, dwarfing even the 1975 Constitutional Crisis for the passions and enmities it created and sustained for years afterwards.
Special attention was given to the long-term consequences of the Split including assessments of the Democratic Labor Party and the ‘closure’ of the Split with the 1970 federal intervention in the Victorian ALP and much more.
The conference was opened by John Cain jnr, the son of the Premier who lost office because of the Split, and himself the first Labor Premier of Victoria since 1955. Other speakers Included Frank Bongiorno, Cathy Brigden, Frank Cain, Anthony Cappello, Rodney Cavalier, Brian Costar, Bruce Duncan, Greg Gardiner, Murray Goot, Jim Griffin, Peter Hausler, Tim Hayes, Jenny Hocking, Stephen Holt, Noel Lloyd, Peter Love, Judy Maddigan, Race Mathews, John Roskam, Malcolm Saunders, Paul Strangio, Bill Tully and John Warhurst.