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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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682 items

682 items

Portraits of power (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 288 pages. Cover: brown background; two-tone portrait photographs of Hitler, Churchill, Gandhi, Roosevelt, Stalin, Truman, Hirohito, Franco, Adenauer, Gaulle, Eisenhower, Tito, Nasser, Ben-Gurion, Khrushchev, JF Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II, Shah of Iran, Mao Tse-Tung; black and red lettering; title and compiler's name.

Historical information

Overview of various leaders in the 20th century: Hitler, Churchill, Gandhi, Roosevelt, Stalin, Truman, Hirohito, Franco, Adenauer, Gaulle, Eisenhower, Tito, Nasser, Ben-Gurion, Khrushchev, JF Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II, Shah of Iran, Mao Tse-Tung.

Significance

Historical and political relevance.

Minutes of meetings of the Ballarat Unemployed Association

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper, two bound volumes (E97/27/1-2)

Historical information

The Ballarat Unemployed Association was a collective in the 1930s advocating for the welfare and rights of unemployed persons. For example, a deputation from BUA approached council in 1931 with a request to waive council rate payments in exchange for volunteer labour.

Significance

Of significance to matters of employment and social equity in the Ballarat region.

Correspondence, deeds, printed regulations of the Council re the Trades Hall Building. (Includes one issue of the Ballarat Star, 29 May 1885 with advertisement of the 1885 annual meeting.)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper in one folder.

Historical information

The Ballarat Trades and Labour Council was formed in May 1882 and known as the Eight Hours Anniversary Committee. The Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council has been in existence from 1883 to the present day.

Significance

The documents are a core historical source of information about the history of the BTLC building. The building is part of the rich history of unionism within the region.

A Century of Struggle: A History of the Electrical Trades Union of Australia, Victorian Branch

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; hardback book; 2 copies. Front cover: blue, orange and black; white text; two-tone industry photographs.

Historical information

History of the ETU Australia, its growth and achievements.

Significance

Relevant to the history and growth of trade unions in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Author name and title.

Labour History No. 62-63, 1992

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 2 volumes; 387 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.

Photograph: Steve Bracks and Betty Borchers

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Steve Bracks and Betty Borchers at Trades Hall Dinner. Steve Bracks was the 44th Premier of Victoria from 1999-2007. He served in the shadow ministry as Shadow Treasurer. Steve Bracks was born in Ballarat. Betty Borchers worked as a legal secretary. She was active in the Ballarat ALP and is the wife of Norm Borchers.

Inscriptions & Markings

The front of the photograph is signed by Steve Bracks.

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with sayings of Poor Richard, hoaxes, bagatelles, essays, and letters

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 384 pages. Front cover: black background; coloured graphic of Ben Franklin; bookshop sticker - Lake Daylesford Book Barn; yellow, white, black, orange and green lettering; title.

Historical information

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin who grew from poverty to become newspaper publisher, invented the lightning rod; he also became a politician and a signatory to the USA Declaration of Independence.

Significance

Autobiographical, political, historical - USA.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title page: two prices - $8.55 and $4 - in pencil.

Tas Bull: An Autobiography. Life on The Waterfront

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper - book. Front cover: black background; blue and black photograph - male with an MUA inscription on the back of t-shirt; red and black portrait photograph; white text.

Historical information

An autobiography by Tas Bull who was an Australian trade union leader. Tas Bull became General Secretary of the Waterside Workers' Federation from 1984 to 1993 and was also an office bearer in the ACTU in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

Significance

Significant to the history of trade unions - particularly the Waterside Workers' Federation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Alice Henry: The power of pen and voice

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Hardback; purple cover; pink, white and black lettering; 254 pages.

Historical information

Biography of Alice Henry, Australian suffragist, journalist and unionist. She also became prominent in the USA trade union movement.

Significance

Relevance to trade unionism, women's suffrage and feminism. Biographical interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Minutes of general and special meetings - Ballarat Sustenance and Relief Workers' Union

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

6 bound volumes

Historical information

A Trades Hall Council-sponsored organisation co-ordinating the self help activities of the Ballarat unemployed during the 1930s depression. (1935-1940)

Significance

The minutes are significant to the history and operations of Ballarat Sustenance and Relief Workers' Union.

Inside Australia and New Zealand

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; paper.

Historical information

Gunther was an American journalist and author. The "Inside" series of books are continental surveys. Gunther travelled through each geographical area, conducting interviews with a variety of people (politicians, average people, social leaders). The Inside series are his interpretations of these experiences.

Significance

Relevant to Australian and New Zealand's cultural, political and social profiles circa 1972.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: authors' name and title.

The challenge of change: The Boyer Lectures 1972

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: red background; black and white text; black and white photograph of a man's eyes.

Historical information

Technological innovations -- Social aspects. Social change. Influence of technological innovation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Photograph of delegates to the Intercolonial Trades and Labour Congress - 7th Congress, Ballarat, 1891

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

One photograph

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. See 0019-0026. There were eight Intercolonial Trades Hall Congresses in Australia: 1. Sydney 1879 2. Melbourne 1884 3. Sydney 1885 4. Adelaide 1886 5. Brisbane 1888 6. Hobart 1889 7. Ballarat 1891 8. Adelaide 1898

Significance

The photograph forms part of the history of the 7th Intercolonial Trades Hall Congress, showing delegates in attendance. On loan.

Diary of disaster : the New Australasian mine tragedy, Creswick, 1882

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book.

Historical information

The Australasian Gold Mine disaster happened in Creswick, Victoria in 1882. Twenty nine miners were trapped in a gold mine shaft with only five rescued - the remainder of the miners drowned.

Significance

Relevant to the history of Creswick and gold mining in the 1800s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Photograph: Senator Peter Cook & John Mildren, MP

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph.

Historical information

John Mildren was an MP for Ballarat from 1980-1990. Senator Peter Cook served in the Senate from 1983 to 2005, representing Western Australia.

Profit over people : neoliberalism and global order

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: black background; colour picture of protesters facing off against police; white lettering.

Historical information

A critique of neoliberalism. Chomsky argues against pro-corporate economies and political policies that boost the power of private ownership. He points to detrimental policies endowed upon poorer nations by IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.

Significance

Contemporary relevance to governance and economy of first and third world countries & deployment of neoliberalism.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: authors' names and title.

Independent Report of the Victorian Industrial Relations Taskforce: Part 1 - Report and Recommendations

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback - brown cover, title in 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 1 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 industrial relations in Australia.

Silencing dissent : how the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: grey and red background; red and white lettering.

Historical information

An analysis of how the Howard government sought to silence independent and expert commentary, public servants or organisations that were critical of the government.

Significance

Relevant to issues of citizenship and civil liberties around the time of the Howard/Coalition government (1996-2007).

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and authors' names.

Photograph: Sheryl Garbutt at Creswick Landcare Centre

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Sheryl Garbutt at Creswick Landcare Centre The picture is taken at an ALP lunch. There are several unidentified people (sitting) in the photograph. Sheryl Garbutt is standing on the right hand side. Ms Garbutt was electorate officer to Pauline Toner. She won the state seat of Greensborough at a by-election and subsequently was elected as member for Bundoora. She held several shadow ministry positions and, after the election of the Bracks Government, Ms Garbutt served as a cabinet minister. She retired in 2006.

Labor Essays 1998: New Visions for Government

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book; black, white and blue cover.

Historical information

Annual labor essays periodical. Essayists include leaders Kim Beazley and Gareth Evans, Mark Latham and Lindsay Tanner, Cheryl Kernot and Mary Delahunty, ACTU President Jennie George, Simon Crean and Bob McMullan, and John Button. Theme: New Visions for Government.

Significance

Relevant to ALP forward planning and policy platform.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: editors' name and title.

Minutes of Meetings - Unemployed Strike Committee, Ballarat

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper, one bound volume.

Historical information

Several unemployed strike actions took place in the thirties to improve relief assistance to unemployed persons. Assistance could be in the form of food rations, money or nothing at all. State governments paid very small amounts of unemployment relief that were funded by state taxes. More information about unemployed strike actions and unemployed unions can be found at Solidarity Online: http://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/organising-the-unemployed-dole-strikes-and-the-1930s-depression/ Ballarat Sustenance and Relief Workers' Union was a Trades Hall Council-sponsored organisation co-ordinating the self help activities of the Ballarat unemployed during the 1930s depression.

Significance

Unemployed strikes in the 1930s showed the power of collective action and are a strong part of the history of Ballarat and other Trades Halls. Unemployed strike actions are also part of the history of The Great Depression and the beginning of a state-funded welfare system for unemployed persons.

Ledger. Political Labor Council of Victoria, Ballarat Branch.

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper ledger - one volume.

Historical information

The ledger is part of the financial recordkeeping of the Political Labor Council of Victoria, Ballarat Branch. Constitution of the Political Labor Council of Victoria can be found at http://tinyurl.com/politicallabourcouncilvic. It had platforms at federal, state and municipal levels. The state platform includes land policy, financial policy including restriction of public borrowing, reform of parliamentary structure, industrial regulation, free education, support for technical education and adequate pensions.

Significance

Constitutes part of the history of the Political Labor Council of Victoria. Financial transactions.

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.

Photograph: Kathy Blake, Betty Borchers, John Cain, Nancye Cain, Steve Bracks

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph.

Historical information

Photograph: Back - Kathy Blake and Betty Borchers; Front - John Cain, Nancye Cain and Steve Bracks. John Cain served in Victorian State Parliament from 1976 – 1992. He was Premier from 1982-1990. Nancye Cain (nee Williams) is his wife. Steve Bracks was the 44th Premier of Victoria from 1999-2007. At the time of this photo, he was Shadow Treasurer. Steve Bracks was born in Ballarat. Betty Borchers worked as a legal secretary. She was active in the Ballarat ALP and is the wife of Norm Borchers.

Correspondence received

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Three letters in one folder.

Historical information

The membership began affiliation with its British parent union from the 1850s. It officially registered as Australian District of Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners in 1911. In 1945 it changed its name to Building Workers' Industrial Union (BWIU). The BWIU was deregistered in 1948 and re-formed in 1952. After subsequent amalgamations, the Australian Workers Union (AWU) now has coverage of these members.

Significance

Correspondence is an example of the Union's activities at this period in time.

Billy Hughes (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 196 pages. Cover: white background; picture (black and white) of Billy Hughes; blue and black lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Billy Hughes was Prime Minister of Australia from 1915-1923. He represented the following parties at different times: Labor (to 1916) National Labor (1916–17) Nationalist (1917–29) Independent (1929) Australian (1929–31) United Australia (1931–44) Independent (1944–45) Liberal (from 1945) He was expelled from three parties. Before going into politics, Hughes was involved in the trade union movement - particularly the Wharf Labourer's Union, founder of the Trolley, Draymen and Carters; Union and the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia.

Significance

Politics - Australian. Trade unionism.

The prefect (Don Woodward)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 50 pages. Cover: white background; black and white photo of Malcolm Fraser; red and black lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Quotations from politicians and newspapers forms an expose of Liberal Party leadership struggles in the 1970s.

Significance

Federal politics leadership - Australia - Liberal Party Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

To Neil from Don '76/77 in blue ink.

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.

Menzies & Churchill at war : a controversial new account of the 1941 struggle for power (Don Woodward collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 271 pages. Cover: grey background; black and white picture of Menzies and Churchill; gold and white lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

The book focusses upon the differences between Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Robert Menzies about strategies in WWII. The author reports that Menzies' attempt to displace Churchill led to Menzies' political demise.

Significance

Significant to foreign policy, history of WWII and politics in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Killen: Inside Australian Politics

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

355 pages. Paper; book. Cover is blue with white lettering and a colour photograph of Killen.

Historical information

Autobiographical account of Killen's twenty eight years in federal parliament.

Significance

Relevant to history of the Liberal Party Australia and the federal parliament. Autobiographical interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and book title.