Historical information

The establishment of the 8hours day by the Operative Stone Masons in 1856 gave an impetus to the Trade Union Movement in the colony and the slogan “8hrs Work 8hrs Rest 8hrs Recreation” became established fact for the first time in the world. This event was rightly regarded as worthy of celebration and 8hr anniversary committees were formed throughout Victoria. In 1883, the Ballarat Eight Hours Anniversary Committee was renamed Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council.


The minutes are a core historical source of information from the inception of Eight Hours Anniversary Committee, subsequently known as Ballarat Trades and Labour Council. They represent the history of unionism in the Ballarat region. The minutes include items relating to industrial campaigns, social justice and are of political significance to the region.

Physical description

Bound, paper. Vol 1: 11 November 1892-23 March 1900. Vol 2: 3 April 1900-23 June 1911. Vol 3: 12 December 1911-27 January 1916 - also contains minutes of the Progressive Political League of Victoria, Ballarat West Branch, 22 June 1891-14 March 1892.