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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

Contact

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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699 items

699 items

Photograph: Betty Borchers, Joan Brown, Senator Lindsay Tanner and Cr Craig Fletcher

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Betty Borchers, Joan Brown, Senator Lindsay Tanner and Cr Craig Fletcher The photograph was taken at the launch of ALP candidate Catherine King's election campaign launch in 2010. Catherine King is the federal ALP member for Ballarat and has been in office since 2001. She was a cabinet minister in the second Rudd ministry and is now part of the Shadow Cabinet. Betty Borchers worked as a legal secretary. She was active in the Ballarat ALP and is the wife of Norm Borchers. Joan Brown was a passionate and active member of the Labor Party in Ballarat. Lindsay Tanner was a member of the House of Representatives holding the seat of Melbourne for the period 1993-2010. He resigned from politics prior to the 2010 election. He is a lawyer who has worked as an articled clerk and was State Secretary of the Clerks Union before entering politics. He was Minister for Finance during the Rudd-Gillard years of government. Craig Fletcher is a former Mayor of Ballarat and became Chairman of the Ballarat Turf Club in 2014.

Labour History No. 48-51, 1985-1986

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book (bound collection of periodicals); 539 pages. Cover: red background; gold lettering; title and series numbers.

Historical information

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History describes the journal as follows: "The interdisciplinary nature of labour history, and its acceptance of less traditional sources, including folklore and oral testimony, make it a fascinating field, alive to past and present social justice issues. The journal, which has been appearing twice yearly since 1962, is the premier outlet for refereed, scholarly articles in its field in Australasia. Because ASSLH aims to raise historical awareness in the community, Labour History also publishes essays, reviews, and memoirs that reflect the involvement of labour historians in the making of history."

Significance

Unions, social justice and labour history.

Photograph: ALP Barbeque

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

An ALP barbeque. The picture features a number of people - they are not identified and are mainly facing away from the camera.

The ALP : a short history of the Australian Labor Party

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: orange background with black outlined maps of Australia; black and white photos of various ALP leaders; black lettering.

Historical information

A concise history of the ALP.

Significance

Relevant to the history of the ALP and politics.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Inside the House of Commons (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 240 pages. Front cover: black background; colour photo of British parliament; gold lettering; author name and title.

Historical information

The book documents history and procedure of the British House of Commons. The author also describes the Speaker's role and its origin.

Significance

Political, institutional and historical - United Kingdom.

ANF: Button - Nurses worth every cent of 8%

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Round button - white background. Green and pink design.

Historical information

This button/badge was made to support a nurses' pay claim that took place over the period of 1994-1995, at which time the Kennett Liberal state government was in power. In 1994, the ANF Federal Executive passed a resolution to seek national pay increases of 8%. At this time, nurses had not had a pay rise since 1991. The Union noted that over the same period Victorian politicians had received 12.9% in pay increases. Our thanks to the ANMF library for providing information about the origins of this object.

Significance

Significant to the history of the ANMF and its industrial success.

Inscriptions & Markings

Protect National Rates. Nurses: Worth every cent of 8%.

Open Australia (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 248 pages. Front cover: blue background; picture of Australian shield; picture of a computer mouse; green, white and red text; author's name and title.

Historical information

Written by Lindsay Tanner who was a Federal ALP cabinet minister. Addresses the issue of how we initiate change in Australia, including political representation, media, the economy, information and services.

Significance

Political and social interest.

Correspondence re receipts, printed balance sheet of the London Dock Labourers' Relief fund

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Includes chequebook, bank deposit slips and rough notebook with Wilson's memoranda.

Historical information

The 1889 London Dock Strike grew from unrest about poor living conditions as a result of the casualised labour force. Money raised across Australia (30,000 pounds) helped to support striking workers to continue the action and feed their families. The strike led to the formation of the General Labourers' Union and strengthened unionism amongst dockers.

Significance

The London Dock Labourer's Strike correlates with significant National growth in the trade union movement.

Photograph: Frank Sheehan and Norm Borchers

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph.

Historical information

Photograph: Frank Sheehan and Norm Borchers. Frank Sheehan was the state member for Ballarat South from 1982 to 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 White House years (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 1521 pages. Dustcover: blue background; gold lettering; author's name and title. Cover: blue background; gold lettering; author's name and title on the spine; facsimile of Kissinger's signature on the front.

Historical information

Henry Kissinger is a former National Security Advisor and U.S. Secretary of State. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize; he subsequently unsuccessfully attempted to return the prize when the ceasefire in Vietnam failed.

Significance

US/International politics. Biographical interest.

The Life and Death of Harold Holt

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: sepia photograph of Harold Holt; light blue text.

Historical information

Biography. A profile of the life and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Prime Minister Harold Holt in 1967.

Significance

Relevant to Australian political history and the Liberal Party.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

The golden city and its tramways : Ballarat's tramway era

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: red background; black and white picture of a tram in Ballarat; fawn lettering.

Historical information

The Ballarat tramways system commenced in 1887 as a horse-driven service and became electrified in 1907. The service ceased in 1971. The book tells the story of the Ballarat tramways and includes pictures, stories from employees and other social history.

Significance

Relevant to the history of public transport and social life and customs in Ballarat.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Minutes of meetings of the Federation Council. Includes constitution and rough minutes of meetings and Progressive Political League of Victoria, Ballarat West Branch.

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper, 1 bound volume.

Historical information

The Progressive Political League was formed in 1891 after the 1890 Maritime Workers Strike; it subsequently became the Australian Labor Party. This object includes the organisation's constitution. The PPL is also contemporaneous with the defeat of the Shearer's Strike (1891). Its platform included "electoral reform, reform of the labour laws, social reform and supported Federation on a ‘democratic basis’." (Anarchist Age 2008). More information about the formation of the Progressive Political League in Victoria can be found at http://anarchistmedia.org/pdf/701-800/AAWR-07768.html

Significance

Provides significant background to the formation of the ALP and political activity around the period of significant industrial actions and Australian Federation. The minutes are from the Ballarat West Branch of the League.

No easy walk to freedom : articles, speeches, and trial addresses of Nelson Mandela

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 27 years. He was an anti-apartheid advocate and was charged with inciting workers' strikes and leaving the country without permission. The book is a collection of his speeches, articles and letters.

Significance

Relevant to the history of race relations in South Africa as told by Nelson Mandela.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title; contributor's name (foreword).

John Hancock and the rise of Victorian Labor : the first detonation of the volcano

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: blue background; yellow and white text.

Historical information

Biography of Labor's first member of the Victorian legislature in Footscray, Victoria. Hancock was an MLA in 1891–1892 and 1894–1899. The author, Jim Claven, was a member of the ALP Victorian branch administrative committee and the Fabian Society executive.

Significance

Biographical history pertaining to the Victorian ALP.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Felicia: the political memoirs of Don Dunstan

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: black background; black and white photograph of Don Dunstan; red and yellow lettering.

Historical information

Don Dunstan was a South Australian state politician known for progressive reforms. He was premier of South Australia over the periods June 1967-April 1968 and June 1970-February 1979. He resigned from politics in 1979 and died in 1999.

Significance

The book forms part of Labor Party history in South Australia and is of an autobiographical nature.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Photograph: Adele Sekhon, Fred Commons, Norm Borchers, John Bowen at trivia night

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Adele Sekhon, Fred Commons, Norm Borchers, John Bowen at trivia night Adele Sekhon is a psychologist 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.

A documentary history of the Australian Labor Movement 1850-1975

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: red background; white text.

Historical information

History of the Australian labor movement 1850-1975: -The trade union movement -The Labor Party -The radical left Has since been revised into a three volume set that is known as Australian labor history in documents.

Significance

Relevant to trade unions, the ALP and the labor movement.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

The history of Ballarat, from the first pastoral settlement to the present time

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

History of Ballarat. Table of contents: 1. Ballarat before the gold discovery 2. The gold discovery 3. From the gold discovery 4. Digger hunting 5. The Eureka Stockade 6. Political development 7. Development of mining 8. The town of Ballarat

Significance

Historical - Ballarat.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Churchill: The Struggle for Survival, 1940-1965

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

Taken from the diaries of Churchill's private physician, Lord Charles Moran, the book provides an intimate and personal biographical account of Sir Winston Churchill.

Significance

Churchill was Prime Minister of Britain on two occasions: 1940-45 (during the Second World War) and 1951-55.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Stirring the possum

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback book. Front cover: author's photograph.

Historical information

Autobiography of James McClelland who was a NSW state MP, a solicitor and a senator in the Whitlam ministry. Whilst he was an ally of Santamaria, he did not join the DLP. He was also appointed as a judge in 1980 and in 1984 headed the Royal Commission into Maralinga.

Significance

Relevant to the history of the ALP and the legal system in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Photograph: Norm Borchers at SMB Ballarat

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Norm Borchers at SMB Ballarat Norm Borchers gave the address at the forum for "Fifty years after the DLP shift from the ALP". He is pictured standing at a lecturn. 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.

Strikes : studies in twentieth century Australian social history

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: white background; black and white image of a strike rally; red and black lettering.

Historical information

The author documents and analyses case studies of eleven strikes and lockouts from 1911 to 1968.

Significance

Relevant to the history of the labor movement and industrial action in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: editors' names and title.

Bendigo Labor: The maintenance of traditions in a regional city

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback; book. Cover: Grey, black and white. B&W photographs.

Historical information

The history of the Labor Party in Bendigo from the 1980s.

Significance

Relevant to the nature of grass-roots politics and the electoral history of Bendigo.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title and author on the front cover in red writing. Author's photograph and review grabs on the rear cover. ANF (Victorian Branch) sticker on the front cover.

A Gippsland union : the Victorian Coal Miners Association 1893-1915

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: old black and white picture of miners with their banner; white text.

Historical information

Members of the Victorian Coal Miners Association, were locked out of the Jumbunna Coal Mine in 1903. The book charts the long battle between capital and labour that lasted seventy weeks.

Significance

Significant to union history - particularly the Victorian Coal Miners Association - and industrial action.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author name and title.

The end of certainty: The story of the 1980s (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 755 pages. Cover: red and purple background; photographs of Bill Kelty, Bob Hawke, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, John Elliott, John Howard, Paul Keating and John Hewson; white lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Australian politics in the 1980s and the consequences. Includes: - Hawke-Keating leadership; - 1990s recession; - ALP leadership coup; - deregulation of financial systems; - John Hewson's bid for the prime ministership; - rivalry between John Howard and Andrew Peacock; - John Elliott's push for Liberal Party leadership; - Joh for PM campaign; - industrial relations and the Accord.

Significance

Politics, industrial relations, economy and leadership issues.

Political vision: A photographic journey through Australian politics

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Hardback. Front cover: author and title; black background; red, silver and white lettering. Back cover: black background; quotation from Don Watson; white lettering.

Historical information

Photographic history of Australian federal politics from 1970s to 2000s.

Significance

Relevant to history of Federal government over fifty years.

Australian politics : a reader

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

Thirty eight essays on Australian politics targeted at first year political science students.

Significance

Relevant to Australian politics in the 1960s.

Meeting of Ballarat Save TAFE Group - Trades Hall, Ballarat

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

jpeg file

Historical information

The Ballarat Save TAFE campaign ran from 2012 to 2014. It was a Trades Hall and community campaign in partnership with the Australian Education Union and National Tertiary Education Union. The campaign was in response to significant financial cuts and closure of many courses by the Baillieu/Napthine governments. Availability of TAFE in Ballarat is particularly important in training future tradespersons and future provision of many services. Campaign President: Athan McCaw Campaign Vice-President: Brigid O'Carroll Walsh Campaign Secretary and Treasurer: Brett Edgington The meeting was held at Trades Hall, Ballarat. Speaker: Meredith Peace, Victorian Branch Secretary, AEU. Purpose: campaign update.

Significance

As above (see historical information).

Labour History No. 76, 1999

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 1 volume; 234 pages. Cover: red and white background; black lettering; title and series numbers.

Historical information

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History describes the journal as follows: "The interdisciplinary nature of labour history, and its acceptance of less traditional sources, including folklore and oral testimony, make it a fascinating field, alive to past and present social justice issues. The journal, which has been appearing twice yearly since 1962, is the premier outlet for refereed, scholarly articles in its field in Australasia. Because ASSLH aims to raise historical awareness in the community, Labour History also publishes essays, reviews, and memoirs that reflect the involvement of labour historians in the making of history."

Significance

Unions, social justice and labour history.