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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

Robyn Mason: collected photographs

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photographs.

Historical information

Robyn Mason was a member of the ALP and unsuccessfully contested the seat of Ballarat West in 1996. She was a feminist, teacher and a social worker who fought hard for those affected by sexual abuse and violence. Robyn Mason passed away in 2016. This large collection of photographs was donated after her passing; the collection reflects the vastness of Robyn's contribution to the Ballarat community. Photographs here include the following persons: Batchelor, Peter Beacham, Jenny Borchers, Betty Borchers, Norm Bracks, Steve Breen, Barry Brumby, John Garbutt, Sherryl Keating, Paul Knight, Sharon Laffey, Catherine Mason, Robyn Rootes, Jeff Sheehan, Frank Thomson, Hedley Thwaites, John

Significance

Politics, government, advocacy, education - Ballarat region.

Panoramas of Ballaarat

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; part leather bound; book.

Historical information

A historical timeline of Ballarat images (1853 to 1998).

Significance

Pictorial expression of Ballarat's history.

Photograph: Cr Wayne Rigg, PM Kevin Rudd, Catherine King MP, Richard Hancock CEO Ballarat City Council

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Cr Wayne Rigg, PM Kevin Rudd, Catherine King MP, Richard Hancock CEO Ballarat City Council Wayne Rigg served on Ballarat City Council until his resignation in 2008. At the time of his resignation, he wrote to the Minister for Local Government requesting investigation into alleged improprieties and conflicts of interest within the Council. 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. 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. Richard Hancock was CEO of City of Ballarat for three years.

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.

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.

Labour History No. 75, 1998

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 1 volume; 250 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.

Blamey: Controversial soldier (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 414 pages. Dust jacket: white background; colour photograph of Blamey; red lettering; author's name and title. Cover: red; gold lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Blamey was a senior army official in World War II; at the time of his death he was a knighted field marshall.

Significance

Biographical and military interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside page: "J. Cranshaw".

The Colt from Kooyong: Andrew Peacock, a Political Biography (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 144 pages. Front cover: brown background with colour photograph of Andrew Peacock; yellow lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Andrew Peacock was the member for Kooyong and at various times served as Leader of the (Liberal) Opposition. He served as a cabinet minister including the portfolio of Minister for Foreign Affairs. After leaving politics, Peacock became Australian Ambassador to the United States.

Significance

Biographical and political (Liberal Party Australia).

Champions of the impossible : a history of the National Council of Women of Victoria

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Cover: black, red and white.

Historical information

National Council for Women, Victoria is an umbrella organisation for many women's groups and is a political lobby group for reform at local, state and national levels. The group has advocated for pay equality for women.

Significance

Relevant to social and gender issues in Australia. The author has an impressive history as an advocate for social justice and women's rights. She received several awards throughout her lifetime including the United Nations' Peace Medal in 1975.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Kings' men: Australia's Governors General from Hopetoun to Isaacs (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 237 pages. Cover: brown background; colour paintings of Lord Northcote and Lord Stonehaven; white lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

History of governor generalship in Australia up to 1936 & the changes in function over time.

Significance

Australian political history.

From growth via despair to optimism

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback; green and black background cover; yellow and brown lettering; colour picture of Reverend Joseph Hunter Goble; black and white photos; 152 pages.

Historical information

The book is a series of essays about the history of religion within societies - particularly Baptism - in Victoria.

Significance

Includes an essay that relates to Ballarat history: Ballarat and Federation, the evangel and social concerns.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and description. Spine: title and publishing organisation's name. Back: review.

Photograph: Laying of Trades Hall building foundation stone

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph - framed.

Historical information

The success of a significant wages dispute with Phoenix Foundry led to reconsideration of building a Trades Hall in Ballarat. In 1886, the present site at 24 Camp Street, Ballarat was agreed upon and land was granted to the committee in the name of the Ballarat Trades Hall and Literary Institute. The photograph depicts laying of the Ballarat Trades Hall foundation stone in1887.

Significance

Relevance to the history of Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council and unions in the area.

Keeping archives

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paperback book. Front cover: grey background; images of a computer, a film and a map of Australia; red and blue lettering.

Historical information

Guide to archiving practice.

Significance

Professional practice book.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Title, organisation and name of editor in chief. Back cover: blurb, title and organisation.

Evatt the Enigma (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 186 pages. Dustjacket: full colour artist's impression of Evatt; blue and black lettering; author's name and title. Cover: blue background; gold lettering; author's name and title on the spine.

Historical information

Biography of HV Evatt who was a justice of the high court from 1930 to 1940, an ALP politician from 1940 to 1960, served in the Curtin and Chifley cabinets and was Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1960 to 1962. The book focuses upon his time in federal politics. The author was Evatt's secretary for 20 years.

Significance

Australian politics and the labour movement.

May Day 1890-1990 (poster)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Poster - mounted. Colour theme is red, blue and fawn.

Historical information

Text and artwork on poster as follows: May Day 1890-1990 (header). Rally with banners: Fascism Means War; REPEAL Anti Union Legislation. 100 Years of struggle for workers' rights and socialism (footer). Names and pictures of four Victorian Union Legends: Tom Mann (London Dockworkers Strike and Victorian PLC Organiser); Vida Goldstein (Suffragist); George Seelaf (AMIEU); and Monty Miller (Eureka Stockade). This poster was a commissioned by Vic Morphy at RedLetter from the artist, Di Wells.

Significance

Significant to the centenary of May day, activism and workers' rights.

The Right Hon W.E. Gladstone (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 289 pages. Cover: red background; gold lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

WE Gladstone was a Liberal Party Prime Minister in Britain from 1868 and ending in 1894. He introduced many pivotal changes including the secret ballot, equality of opportunity, free trade, and laissez-faire economics.

Significance

Political, historical and biographical interest - Victorian England.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside: stamp "Gilbert N Cassidy, 42 Minchinbury Tce, Marion, South Australia, 5043". Inside: typewritten pasted note - "If thou art borrowed by a friend, Right welcome shall be to read, to study not to lend, but to return to me. Not that imparted knowledge doth dimish learning's store, but books I find when once they're lent, return to me no more."

Photograph: Catherine King and Gough Whitlam at Trades Hall

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Catherine King and Gough Whitlam at Trades Hall 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. Gough Whitlam was Australian Prime Minister from 1972 to 1975. The Whitlam government was a reformist government that introduced Medibank, the end of conscription, and free university education. His government was dismissed (parliament was dissolved) on 11 November 1975 by the Governor General Sir John Kerr owing to parliament's failure to pass Appropriation Bills. Malcolm Fraser was appointed as caretaker Prime Minister until an election was held. At the 1975 election, the Whitlam government was defeated by the Liberal Coalition - a landslide victory.

Weevils in the flour : an oral record of the 1930s depression in Australia

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: black background; artistic impression of working class people, including a banner that reads "work not dole"'; red, yellow and white lettering.

Historical information

An oral history relating to the Great Depression and the personal hardships that were suffered by families.

Significance

Relevant to Australian social and workplace history, especially during the period of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title and author's name.

Souvenir 25th anniversary Amalgamated Engineering Union Australia, 1920-1945

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Hardcover book, blue cloth with navy blue lettering.

Historical information

History of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) from 1920-1945. The AEU existed between 1852 to 1973.

Significance

Relevant to the history of trade unions in Australia, especially the Amalgamated Engineering Union.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: title, organisation name and address.

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.

Oliver Cromwell (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 459 pages. Cover: red background; gold lettering; author's name and title on the spine.

Historical information

This book is a history intended to set the record straight about Cromwell. The book is also an account of Cromwell's boyhood. Oliver Cromwell was an English military officer and political leader. He was Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Cromwell lived from 1599 to 1658.

Significance

History of the United Kingdom and biographical interest.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside cover: "Sheilagh Butler" in black ink.

The confessions of Clyde Cameron 1913-1990 (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Dust cover: white background; colour photograph of Clyde Cameron; blue and red lettering. Cover: red background; white lettering; author's name and title on the spine.

Historical information

Clyde Cameron was Minister for Labour in the Whitlam government and sacked in 1975. He was in parliament from 1949 until his resignation in 1980. Cameron also has a history with the AWU, both as an elected official and as an organiser and industrial advocate. He was at one time Leader of the Labor Party in South Australia.

Significance

Relevant to Australian and South Australian politics and Labor history. Relevant to the history of the Australian Workers Union (AWU). Biographical interest - principally Clyde Cameron.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front page: author's name and title.

Australian railway disasters (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Books; 240 pages. Cover: colour photograph of a train accident at Black Mountain, Queensland, 1994; red lettering; author's name and title.

Historical information

Short histories and pictures of train disasters in Australia - 1873-1997.

Significance

History - railways.

Inscriptions & Markings

In pencil, "D.H. Woodward".

A short history of India and Pakistan from ancient times to the present [ abridged edition of India in the New Era] (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 320 pages. Cover: white background; picture of pink statue; picture of a blue building; black lettering; author's name and title. Abridged copy.

Historical information

An abridged version of India in the new era (1958). Story of past and present culture, leadership, religion and governance. Includes international relations context.

Significance

World politics. Politics and culture - Pakistan and India. Religion.

Inscriptions & Markings

Preston East Technical School Library stamp. School and school number stamp. 954WAL call number in biro.

Ill fares the land : a treatise on our present discontents

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Grey, black and white cover.

Historical information

Social commentary - post-war Europe. Explores materialism, greed, ethics and society.

Significance

Relevant to modern history and common needs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: Quote from Oliver Goldsmith, author name and title.

International socialism & Australian labour : the Left in Australia, 1919-1939

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Paper; book. Front cover: green background; orange and yellow drawing of a man swinging a mallet; orange and yellow text.

Historical information

The book reflects upon the Labour movement's stance on World War I and, later, the threat of World War II. Right-wing political influences of the day are considered.

Significance

Social and political commentary pertinent to the WWI and WWII era.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: author's name and title.

Ballarat Trades Hall Eureka Flag

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Flag; blue background; white embellishments - cross and stars; framed.

Historical information

This flag originally flew from the flagstaff on the Trades Hall Building in Camp Street Ballarat on December 3rd 1942. The flag prompted many enquiries to the Ballarat's Courier newspaper. The Courier in reporting that the flag was, in fact, a replica of the original Eureka Stockade flag went on to say that: "… it (seemed) very strange that the town in which Eureka made a name for Australia and its efforts to get freedom from control for the ordinary man, did not recognise the flag that flew while the first move for freedom was fought out against big odds." The Trades Hall Eureka flag, made of cotton material, was used in union marches during the 1940s. In later years it had been all but forgotten, until in 1981 it was brought to the office of the then MHR for Ballarat, John Mildren by members of the family that the flag maker had boarded with in Ballarat. David Miller, who had a keen interest in the Eureka story and was electorate officer for John Mildren, became custodian of the flag for many years and presented it to Ballarat Trades Hall for display. In 1994 The Ballarat Trades Hall Eureka flag travelled Australia as part of a touring Eureka collection. At that time, the Secretary of the Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council, Graeme Shearer said “…The Eureka flag then, as it does now, symbolises the struggle for basic rights and democracy”. On Wednesday 11th July 2001, following a ceremony to mark the refurbishment of the Galloway Monument, the Ballarat Trades Hall Eureka flag was unveiled at a function in the Ballarat Trades Hall by President of the Ballarat Trades & Labour Council, Rhonda Young, and Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks. The Trades Hall gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dean Mighell, then Victorian State Secretary of the CEPU/ETU - who was a passionate supporter of the diggers' stand at Eureka - and instrumental in making funds available to assist in Trades Hall's Eureka flag being mounted in the Main Hall of the Ballarat Trades Hall. As far as we know, this is the second oldest Eureka flag in the world.

Significance

Union (especially Ballarat Trades and Labour Council) history and Eureka Stockade - Ballarat.

Photograph: Norm Borchers and Julia Gillard at North Star Hotel (1)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Photograph

Historical information

Photograph: Norm Borchers and Julia Gillard at North Star Hotel 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. Julia Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister at the time this photograph was taken. Gillard was a lawyer before entering politics. She was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013 and the first female prime minister. Kevin Rudd successfully challenged Gillard's leadership in 2013 and he went on to lose the election. Julia Gillard resigned from parliament following the leadership challenge.

Dismissal of a premier: the Philip Game papers (Don Woodward Collection)

Unions Ballarat, Ballarat

Book; 223 pages. Front cover: blue and white background; photograph of Jack Lang, Sir Philip Game and one other; black lettering; author's name and title. Dust jacket. Back cover: various quotations from Jack Lang, Philip Game, the author and Lady Game.

Historical information

Jack Lang was a former NSW ALP state treasurer and was elected Premier on two occasions. His government was dismissed in his second term of government by the State Governor due to his defying the Commonwealth Government's financial agreements' legislation. Sir Philip Game was the State Governor who dismissed Lang. The author of this book is the daughter of the secretary to the Philip Game. Unlike Sir John Kerr (who dismissed Prime Minister Whitlam in 1975), Game expressed some uncertainty about whether his decision to sack Lang's government was sound: "In spite of the popular endorsement of my assassin's stroke, I am still wondering if I did right. I still believe that Lang has a great deal of right on his side, that a lot of what he advocates will have come to pass, and that the extremists on the other side are a greater danger than extreme Labour." (From a personal letter written by Sir Philip Game on July 2nd, 1932.)" (Back dust jacket.)

Significance

Political and social history.

Inscriptions & Markings

Price: in pencil, $6.

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.