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Unions Ballarat Ballarat, Victoria

Unions Ballarat represents the history of unionism in the Ballarat region. Its collection includes items relating to industrial campaigns and of political significance to the region. The collection is comprised of a variety of formats - for example, plaques, correspondence, agendas, minutes, memorabilia, photographs and other artefacts dating from the 1800s.

The Unions Ballarat is the second oldest Trades and Labour Council in the world, founded in 1883 on the back of the Ballarat Eight Hour Committees established in 1856.

Trades Hall helps organise activities and campaigns with and on behalf of our affiliated unions.

The Unions Ballarat building is the home of the Trade Union movement in Ballarat and the centrepiece of the historic Camp Street precinct.

It is a building with a rich history, built for and still owned by Ballarat Unionists. Ballarat can be justifiably proud of its Trades Hall which was built in 1887-88 by Trade Union members. It still remains the hub of Trade Union activities in the Ballarat region today.

Contact Information

location
24 Camp Street Ballarat Victoria 3350
phone
+61 5332 3666

Opening Hours

Unions Ballarat is open 9-5 Monday to Friday and the archivist is usually at the Hall Tuesday-Thursday. If you wish to view any archival objects, you must make an appointment by phoning 5332 3666. If you are not able to attend an appointment you made, please let us know as soon as you can. We are able to carry out information searches for you. If you wish to avail yourself of this service, it is important to provide enough detail for us to make a meaningful search. Please do not use abbreviations or acronyms - for example, there are two organisations in union history who have used the initials AEU (Australian Education Union and Amalgamated Engineering Union). Please note that as the collection is administered by volunteers, there may be a short delay in our reply.

Entry Fee

Nil.

Location

24 Camp Street Ballarat Victoria

The collection includes items relating to industrial campaigns and of political significance to the region. The collection is comprised of a variety of formats - for example, plaques, correspondence, agendas, minutes, memorabilia, photographs and other artefacts dating from the 1800s.

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700 items

700 items

Castro : a political biography

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: black and white picture of Castro; red, black and white background.

Historical information

Biography of Fidel Castro who led the communist revolution in Cuba and was the country's leader until 2008. Castro was instrumental in other communist revolutions around the world. His ongoing relationship with the Soviet Union caused tension with the United States and led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Significance

Significant to the history of Communism - especially in Cuba.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title (black and white text).

Photograph: Paul Keating with Norm and Betty Borchers

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph.

Historical information

Photograph: Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia, pictured with Norm Borchers (left) and Betty Borchers (right). Paul Keating visited Sebastopol Community Centre in September 1995 as part of Jenny Beacham's campaign. Paul Keating was the 24th Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party from 1991 to 1996. Norm Borchers was a long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in Ballarat. Norm Borchers passed away in 2008. Borchers was a Club President of the Sebastopol Lions Club (1975-76). He worked for the railways as an engineering employee and was long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in the Ballarat area. Norm was active in workplace disputes during the ALP split in 1955. He was a long time supporter of Ballarat Trades Hall. Betty Borchers worked as a legal secretary. She was active in the Ballarat ALP and is the wife of Norm Borchers.

Photograph: Norm Borchers and Frank Sheehan MLA

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Frank Sheehan was the state member for Ballarat South, serving from 1982-1992. Norm Borchers passed away in 2008. Borchers was a Club President of the Sebastopol Lions Club (1975-76). He worked for the railways as an engineering employee and was long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in the Ballarat area. Norm was active in workplace disputes during the ALP split in 1955. He was a long time supporter of Ballarat Trades Hall.

The cardigan mine disaster (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 58 pages. Front cover: light green background; dark green graphic of the mine; black lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

An account of the flooding of the Cardigan mine (near Ballarat) in 1902. Four men died and five were rescued from the mine.

Significance

Workplace safety and Ballarat historical relevance.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title page: price - $18.50 - in pencil.

Kennedy and his women (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 222 pages. Cover: white and yellow background; colour artistic impression of JFK & a woman resting her head on his shoulder; yellow and white background; black lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Biographical account of John F. Kennedy and his affairs whilst he was President of the USA.

Significance

Biographical and political significance - USA.

Afternoon light: Some memories of men and events (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 384 pages. Cover: green background; gold lettering; author's name and title on the spine.

Historical information

Reflections by Sir Robert Menzies (former Australian Prime Minister) upon past USA and UK prime ministers, White Australia Policy, Suez Canal, the monarchy, cricket, governance and more.

Significance

Politics and government - world. Sport.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside pages: Don Woodward's name inscribed in blue ink.

Strange Birds in Paradise : A West Papuan Story

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

DVD

Historical information

Blurb from the back: While the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua, Hill-Smith records the fate of West Papuans trying to maintain village life against a backdrop of covert military violence. In the West Papuan highlands, Hill-Smith - an Australian writer, cartoonist and comedian - hears stories of escape, oppression and exile and listens to the defiant songs of murdered musician and independence hero Arnold Ap. Together with friends Donny Roem, a recent exile, and Jacob Rumbiak, a child soldier in the West Papuan resistance movement, Hill-Smith returns to Melbourne to record outlawed folk songs with renowned Australian rock musicologist David Bridie. An extraordinary story of an imaginative, adaptable culture confronting tyranny with the joyful power of art, music and self-expression.

Significance

Relevant to the history of West Papua and the Indonesian military presence and violence. Use of music to draw attention to the issues faced by West Papua.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Title, rating (M), picture of winged West Papuan Man with guitar, "Winner Best Doco SBS IF award 2010". Back cover: Precis of content, website for producer company, names of contributors, directors, editors, etc.

Don Chipp: The third man (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 254 pages. Dust jacket: grey background; colour artistic representation of Don Chipp; red lettering; authors' names and title. Cover: red background; gold lettering; authors' names and titles on spine.

Historical information

Don Chipp was a former Liberal Party politician. He was the founder of the Australian Democrats in 1977 and gained the balance of power in the Senate. The foreword is written by John Gorton (former Liberal Prime Minister) and an afterword by RJ Hawke (former ALP Prime Minister). Section titles: 1. In the beginning 2. Inside Canberra: Menzies to Fraser 3. Moving on 4. Present shock

Significance

Biographical and political interest (Australia).

The rise and fall of Alan Bond

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

Alan Bond was a high-profile businessman and former Australian of the Year, known for his role in the successful America's Cup (1983) yacht race and the formation of Bond University. Bond served four years in prison following a criminal conviction; he was also declared bankrupt in 1992.

Significance

Biographical interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: black background; two black and white photographs of Alan Bond; red and grey lettering.

The life and writings of Abraham Lincoln (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 863 pages. Cover: green cloth, hard cover; logo on front; spine includes author's name and title. Dust jacket.

Historical information

Annotated collection of Abraham Lincoln's papers. It includes a biographical essay written by Stern. Lincoln was President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

Significance

Political (USA) and biographical interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside: To Malcolm, With our best wishes for a happy bar mitzvah. From Mr & Mrs W. M. Smith.

Independent Report of the Victorian Industrial Relations Taskforce: Part 2 - Statistical Research on the Victorian Labour Market

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback. Front cover: background; white lettering.

Historical information

Commissioned by the Kennett government in 2000. The findings of this report intimate that deregulation of the labour market impacts adversely and inequitably upon workers who are already have unfavourable outcomes from the current system. This is volume 2 of a two volume report. Volume 1 (object B0446) is also held. Vol 1 - survey findings. Vol 2 - Analysis of labour force data.

Significance

Relevant to history of modern industrial relations in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title.

Lion pride: 1958-2017 AMWU and Holden

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback; grey cover with a photograph of unidentified persons with a Holden vehicle; gold and white lettering.

Historical information

A memento book published by the AMWU dedicated to past and present employees at GMH Holden. Copies were presented to members who were made redundant in 2017. The book is a short history of GMH Holden and includes photographs, members' stories and AMWU achievements over this time.

Significance

Significant to the history of manufacturing (vehicle) in Australia and working conditions of members.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title. Back cover: AMWU logo.

Invitation to a reception by the Premier of Victoria, John Cain

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Postcard sized invitation.

Historical information

John Cain was Premier of Victoria from 1982-1990. Norm Borchers was a long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in Ballarat. Norm was active in workplace disputes during the ALP split in 1955.

Inscriptions & Markings

Government of Victoria crest. The invitation is to Mr and Mrs N Borchers to "... a Reception in the Gable Room, La Scala Entertainment Complex ... on the occasion of the visit to the Ballarat Region by the Honourable John Cain, MP, Premier of Victoria on 21 June 1989 at 5.30 pm."

Diamond cuts: An affectionate memoir of Jim McClelland (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 352 pages. Front cover: sepia; photograph of Jim McClelland; white and black text; author's name and title.

Historical information

This book is a biography/memoir of Diamond Jim McClelland - Melbourne-born politician, writer and judge. It is authored by his wife of 20 years, Gillian Appleton.

Significance

Significant to Australian political history and biographical interest.

Photograph: Catherine King campaign poster

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Catherine King campaign poster The poster is a photograph of Catherine King, bearing the Labor Party brand/logo and is attached to the front door verandah. Text on the poster reads: (1) Catherine King: Labor for Ballarat; and, (2) Standing up for our community. This was used in the ALP's 2010 campaign. Catherine King is the federal ALP member for Ballarat and has been office since 2001. She was a cabinet minister in the second Rudd ministry and is now part of the Shadow Cabinet. The 2010 election was won by the Gillard government.

Photograph: Kevin Rudd at Town Hall Ballarat

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Kevin Rudd at Town Hall Ballarat Kevin Rudd is standing in front of a large painting. The photograph was taken inside the Trench Room at Ballarat Town Hall. Richard Hancock is pictured on the left. Kevin Rudd is a former diplomat and public servant who became Prime Minister in 2007. His leadership was successfully challenged by Julia Gillard. He contested Gillard's leadership in 2013 but subsequently lost the federal election. He left parliament after the ALP government was defeated by the Abbott Coalition. Richard Hancock was the CEO of Ballarat City Council.

Alphabetical register of members. Federated Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia, Ballarat Sub-branch.

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

1 bound volume. Paper.

Historical information

Federated Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia was formed in 1907 from amalgamation of a number of small craft-based unions that had been in existence since the mid-1800s. Around this time, membership of these types of unions was predominantly male.

Significance

Records names of members of Federated Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia for the period ca 1917 to ca 1930.

Minutes of meetings of the Congress Committee

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

1 volume

Historical information

Ballarat Trades Hall was part of the Intercolonial Trades Hall Congresses created for the purposes of collective organising within labour organisations. There were eight Congresses held within Australia: - 1879 Sydney - 1884 Melbourne - 1885 Sydney - 1886 Adelaide - 1888 Brisbane - 1889 Hobart - 1891 Ballarat (after the Maritime Strike in 1890) The political organisation of the labour movement and of restructuring trade union organisation under the Australasian Federation of Labour were significant agenda items. - 1898 Adelaide The following items were regularly discussed: - legislation of trade unions- organisation of labour - abolition of ‘Chinese and coolie immigration’ - Compulsory Court of Arbitration - Employers Liability Act - legalisation of the 8 hours system - land nationalisation - manhood suffrage - direct representation of labour in Parliament - appointment of working men on technical and other boards - free compulsory and secular education by the state and regulation of apprentices. Some of the resolutions passed were about: - Commonwealth Draft Bill - assisted immigration - payment to Members of Parliament - single tax, paid union organisers - minimum wage and industrial federation. See also http://archives.anu.edu.au/files/document-collection/intercolonial-trade-union-congresses-web-final.pdf

Significance

Topics of discussion show the union/labour movement's ongoing activism and engagement on parliamentary and union matters, organising and employment on a national scale.

The Eureka Stockade (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 181 pages. Front cover: white background; artistic impression of Eureka Stockade; black, blue and red lettering; authors' names and title.

Historical information

An eyewitness account of the Eureka Stockade as told by Italian patriot, Raffaello Carboni. The book was written one year after the Stockade took place. The Eureka Stockade took place in Ballarat in 1854 and Carboni was a prominent leader of the diggers. He was tried for high treason, but acquitted by a Melbourne jury.

Significance

History of Ballarat. Autobiographical interest - Carboni.

Inscriptions & Markings

In green ink: various page numbers and the name "J. Chisholm".

The Hawke memoirs (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: blue, black and white with a photograph of Bob Hawke.

Historical information

Bob Hawke was a union leader and subsequently became Prime Minister of Australia. He became Prime Minister in 1983 and was ultimately usurped as by ALP treasurer, Paul Keating, in 1991.

Significance

Relevant to the history of Australian Labor Party and Australian parliamentary politics. Autobiographical interest - Bob Hawke.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Title and a facsimile of Bob Hawke's signature.

Disraeli in love (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 417 pages. Front cover: yellow background; illustration of Disraeli and woman embracing; black lettering; author's name and title. Dust jacket and plastic cover. Ex-library copy: includes library markings in pencil, barcode and envelope on inside page.

Historical information

Disraeli was Prime Minister of the UK from 1874-1880. The story is a biography around his love for a married woman called Henrietta.

Significance

Biographical, political and historical interest.

Handbook of moral philosophy (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 277 pages. Cover: brown background; gold lettering on spine; 55 pages scientific catalogue.

Historical information

The book explores: The psychology of ethics Man's moral nature as cognitive Impulses and restraints belonging to the nature of man The will Moral sentiments Disorder of our moral nature Metaphysic of ethics Applied ethics

Significance

Broad societal relevance.

Inscriptions & Markings

Ballarat East Public Library slip is glued to the inside cover and stamped in red "CANCELLED". "Bay 01S5 is written on the slip in blue pencil. Book number is written in as number 46. This number also appears on the book spine.

Journal of Australasian mining history 2003

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperbook book.

Historical information

Relates to mining work and history in Kalgoorlie, Northern Territory, South Australia, New Zealand, New South Wales and Queensland.

Significance

Relevant to Australian and New Zealand history, particularly around miners and mining.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Name of journal, date and volume number; publisher's name. A drawing of "stamping batteries", Port Phillip Gold Mining Company, Clunes from Illustrated Australian News. Cover includes the words: "Embracing all aspects of mining history, mining archaeology and heritage." Back cover: Blank.

My life with Martin Luther King Jr.

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: black and white photo of the author and Martin Luther King; black background; white and pink lettering.

Historical information

A personal memoir from the widow of Martin Luther King Jr who was a prominent campaigner for civil rights in the USA. He was assassinated in 1968. Covers the history of the civil rights movement in the USA.

Significance

Biographical relevance - Martin Luther King Jr. Relevant to social history - USA.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Stop the ABCC: Turnbull's War on Workers (bumper sticker)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Bumper sticker: colour picture of Malcolm Turnbull; red and white lettering.

Historical information

The ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) was first created during the government of John Howard (LNP). The ABCC claims to, "ensuring that building work in Australia is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively—for the benefit of all employers and workers in the industry, and for the benefit of the Australian economy as a whole." Conversely, the organisation has been claimed by unions and workers to be anti-union and detrimental to the working conditions of employees. A fact sheet from the CFMMEU is attached to this entry. Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018. He became Prime Minister after deposing Tony Abbott, in a leadership challenge. The bumper sticker was produced by CFMMEU during the Turnbull Prime Ministership (2015-2018). The CFMMEU is one of the largest unions; membership coverage includes construction, forestry, maritime, mining, energy, textile, clothing and footwear production.

Significance

Relevant to government, industrial relations and trade unions in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stop the ABCC: Turnbull's War on Workers Subtext: exploits workers; destroys jobs; lies; attacks safety; ignores big business; union bashing; CFMEU.

Photograph: Alex Serrurier and Fiona Harris at Trades Hall Dinner

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Alex Serrurier and Fiona Harris at Trades Hall Dinner Alex Serrurier worked for rural and regional councils in the area of environmental health.

Photograph: Marg Card, Dianne Hadden, Karen Overington, Candy Bread, Terry Bracks & Jenny Beacham

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Marg Card, Dianne Hadden, Karen Overington, Candy Bread, Terry Bracks & Jenny Beacham at a breakfast gathering. Marg Card unsuccessfully contested the 1998 federal election for the seat of Ballarat. She served as a councillor and mayor at the Moorabool Shire. Dianne Hadden was an independent member of the Victorian Legislative Council. She exited the Australian Labor Party in 2005. She stood for the seat of Ballarat East at the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 2006, but was unsuccessful. Karen Overington was a former welfare worker and served as a councillor and mayor (Sebastopol Borough) before she was elected to federal parliament in 1999. Karen did not contest the 2010 election. She died from cancer in 2011. Terry Bracks is the wife of former Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks. She is actively involved in arts and theatre organisations in Victoria and is a board member of Breast Cancer Network Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive, and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. Jenny Beacham is a former Labor state secretary and was an ALP candidate for Ballarat in 1996.

Three strikes, unity on the line

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

DVD

Historical information

Footage of three strikes of NUW members in 2012: - Biaida - members lobbied for an end to cash-in-hand contractors, harassment, bullying and extreme health and safety problems at the Laverton site. - Sigma - 130 members took industrial action to protect existing working conditions and job security. - Coles Toll - members went on strike for improved casual staff rights, a voluntary public holiday system, RDOs and shift loading, union rights protected in the enterprise agreement and payrises.

Significance

Relevant to the history of NUW and its industrial disputes.

Photograph: Frank Sheehan, campaign poster

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph.

Historical information

Frank Sheehan was the state member for Ballarat South from 1982 to 1992.

Photograph: John Cain and Norm Borchers

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph: John Cain and Norm Borchers. John Cain was the 41st Premier of Victoria from 1982-1990. The photo is taken after he became Premier. Norm Borchers passed away in 2008. Borchers was a Club President of the Sebastopol Lions Club (1975-76). He worked for the railways as an engineering employee and was long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in the Ballarat area. Norm was active in workplace disputes during the ALP split in 1955. He was a long time supporter of Ballarat Trades Hall.

Historical information

Photograph: John Cain and Norm Borchers John Cain served in Victorian State Parliament from 1976 – 1992. He was Premier from 1982-1990. The photo is taken after his time as Premier. Norm Borchers was a long-term trade unionist (Amalgamated Engineering Union and the Australian Railways Union) and ALP member; he lived and worked in Ballarat. Norm was active in workplace disputes during the ALP split in 1955.