60th Anniversary of the Labour History Society

Guest post by Bobbie Oliver (Federal Vice President ASSLH; President of Perth Branch, ASSLH).

2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Labour History Society – or the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH), to give its full title.

A group of scholars and activists met at a conference in Brisbane in 1961 and decided to form an Australian Society. They were inspired by the visit of Asa Briggs, a British labour historian, to the Australian National University.  Subsequently, branches formed in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in 1962. Branches formed in Adelaide in 1987 and Perth in 1988. The Society has a Federal body which publishes the journal Labour History twice yearly.

The ASSLH has always encouraged the study, teaching and research of labour history and the preservation of labour archives. In each state, its membership consists of academic historians, union activists and many others who appreciate the value of labour history. We enjoy a close relationship with local unions; some branches meet on union premises.

Branch activities include meetings, talks, heritage walks, seminars and lectures on topics relevant to unionists today, such as work safety. Branches take turns to organise the national biennial conference. The most recent conference was held in Bendigo in April 2022.

Membership is open to anyone for a very moderate fee. The Society offers both individual and corporate memberships.  You can find out more about us at: https://www.labourhistory.org.au/ .You’ll also find links there to the various branches and contact details for each Branch Secretary.

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