Historical information

Button distributed to and worn by Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) members and staff as part of a 2006 campaign protesting the controversial 'WorkChoices' federal industrial relations laws that were introduced by the Liberal John Howard government in 2005-2007. These laws saw the weakening of unfair dismissal laws, giving employers significantly more powers to strip existing rights and wages away. The laws were repealed following the election of an opposition Labor government in 2007 under Kevin Rudd. The 'Howard Target Nurses' campaign was featured in ANF Victorian Branch newsletters around late 2006. During this period, a number of enterprising bargaining agreements were set to soon expire, leaving nurses vulnerable to have rights stripped away under the new IR legislation. A large campaign began, with rallies across the state of Victoria. The August 2006 Branch newsletter featured images of the Tandberg 'Howard targets nurses' design on placards, shirts and badges worn by nurses at these rallies. The illustration by The Age cartoonist Ron Tandberg made reference to John Howard's involvement in wars in the Middle East throughout the early 2000s, and linked this to the 'war' on unions and worker rights.

Physical description

Circular yellow, red and white badge. Silver metal, plastic-coated, with safety pin fastener adhered to back. Badge printed with a blue and white ANF [Australian Nursing Federation] logo, the black text '[then-Prime Minister John] Howard targets nurses' and a Ron Tandberg cartoon of a nurse with a 'sniper target' overlay.