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Resource Library

“Pig Iron Bob” and the 1938 Port Kembla strike

The 1938 Dalfram dispute involved dock workers at Port Kembla in Australia striking & refusing to load iron on a ship bound for Japan in 1938.

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1936 Maritime Strike by Torres Strait Islander Workers

Learn about the maritime strike in the Torres Strait Islands in 1936 where workers in the pearl fishing industry took a stand against racism.

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21 April 1856 – Melbourne Stonemason’s take action for the 8-Hour Day

On 21 April in 1856, building workers in Melbourne took strike action and won the eight-hour day as a general industry standard.

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A Short History of Unions taking Action for Equal Pay!

31 August is Equal Pay Day-Australian unions have a long history of campaigning for gender equality & for the economic independence of women workers.

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An approach to member journey mapping for the union movement

Not all members are the same – so how can thoughtful research and building personas help?  This workshop will look at researching member experience, wants, needs and “pain points” to inform and craft their member journey.

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An Approach to Member Journey Mapping in the Union Movement

This webinar guides participants to look at some approaches to mapping union member experiences to inform & craft ideal member journeys.

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Australia’s First Nation-wide Union Meeting and the Foundation of the Australian Council of Trade Unions ACTU

The first nation-wide meeting of unions in Australia took place in October 1879. It was called the Intercolonial Trade Union Congress.

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Big Facts With Van Badham

In these videos author and Guardian columnist Van Badham unpacks questions about unemployment, privatisation, and disaster capitalism.

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Converting Student Members to Full Members (Webinar)

In this webinar, we hear from a panel of unionists on what they have learned about recruiting and attracting student members and converting them into ongoing membership of their unions

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Data Campaigning, New Member Onboarding and Automated Member Journeys

This webinar looks at how to combine data with digital tools to produce usable recruitment lists, and how automated tools can help to turn a ‘maybe’ into a new member, as well as marketing automation tools that can be used in combination with insights about members to craft efficient and effective onboarding and member journeys.

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Emma Miller: Remembering a Union Hero

Learn more about legendary union activist, leader and organiser Emma Miller, who was born on the 26th of June 1839.

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Generation Z: Understanding the Next Generation of Workers

The Queensland Teachers Union has completed its report examining the next generation of workers. This session goes through what makes our under 30s tick—and in particular what unions can do now to ensure they are meeting the needs of the next generation of workers.

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Growth Battles to be Won

What are the battles that need to be won for unions to grow? How can unions position themselves to prospective members for relevance and effectiveness? How do future members perceive the value of union membership? And how can we improve the pathways to join? In this session, we’ll take you through the research underpinning the ACTU’s Brand Project, and discuss how unions can win the battle for growth.

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Henry Lawson: The Workers’ Poet

Commemorating Australian poet, Henry Lawson, who in the late nineteenth century was a superstar of working-class poetry.

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How Unions helped build Medicare

The history of how unions helped create Medicare, the national public health system in Australia, introduced in 1984.

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How Unions helped build Superannuation

Unions have a long history of campaigning for superannuation.There were union campaigns for retirement schemes as far back as the 1920s.

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How Unions Won the Right to Annual Leave

A short history of how unions in Australia campaigned over the decades for the right to annual leave.

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How Unions Won the Weekend

The story of how workers came together in their unions, took actions, and won the important right to a weekend and the 40 hour work week.

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Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain – George Lakoff

UC-Berkeley Linguistics Professor George Lakoff discusses how idea framing and metaphors contribute to shaping the way we think.

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Jennie George becomes the first woman elected ACTU President

About Jennie George - the first woman to be elected as President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

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Maritime Union of Australia MUA: Here to Stay! The 1998 Waterfront Dispute

Read about the infamous 1998 Waterfront dispute with the dockworkers, Maritime Union of Australia and Patrick Stevedores.

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Marketing Automation for Unions

How can unions use marketing automation tools to build their online campaigning and organising capacity to recruit members, leaders, and supporters? Stephen Gargano, Manager – Strategy, Projects and Development at the Union Innovation Hub gives an overview of marketing automation and how unions can use it, covering elements such as engagement, new member onboarding, mapping and journeys.

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Noonkanbah Protest

An inspiring example of collective action by Aboriginal workers and their allies against powerful corporate interests who wanted to trample their rights for profit.

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Organising Migrant Workers: Lessons Learnt Before and After Covid-19

In this webinar, the panel will discuss the drivers that make migrant workers vulnerable to workplace exploitation. Gabriela D’Souza discussed research and trends on temporary migration and how Covid-19 has affected migrants. Thomas Costa used the case of Visa Assist (that Unions NSW run together with the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre) to examine how unions can successfully engage with, organise and assist migrant workers.

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Organising with 2020 Vision: Case Studies of New Approaches to Union Growth and Capacity Building

Case studies on union growth and organising initiatives to challenge our thinking and build our toolkit for union growth in a connected age.

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Recruiting Students to Union Membership

Whether it be targeting students at university or those about to enter their first apprenticeship, this session covers how unions have successfully organised young workers as they undergo education and training for their chosen profession.

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Recruiting Students to Union Membership

Webinar from Day 2 of the ACTU 2020 Conference by Janaki Chellam-Rajendra from NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association, Mark Burgess from the Electrical Trades Union, and Paul Grainger from Young Professionals Australia about how they recruit students to join their unions.

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Remembering Bob Hawke

Remembering former Prime Minister of Australia and President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions ACTU - legendary Bob Hawke.

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Rise! Empowering Australian Workers through the Collective Spirit and Collaborative Energy of Unions

This paper, written by Belinda Moore and Chris Walton, explores the current landscape for unions in Australia and outlines innovative pathways forward for unions to more effectively empower Australian workers.

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Stories of Hope & Change: Muriel Heagney

This is the story of Muriel Heagney, an extraordinary unionist who led a 60-year long campaign for equal pay for working women.

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The 1891 Shearers’ Strike

A Sheep Shearer’s strike began in Queensland in 1891 when employers sought to introduce union-busting contracts and a reduction in pay rates.

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The 1916 Campaign against Conscription

Learn about the union-led campaign against conscription in World World War One as told by the Australian Trade Union Institute.

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The 1957 Palm Island Strike

Learn about the leaders of a strike in 1957 by Aboriginal people on Palm Island demanding to be treated with dignity, respect & equality.

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The 1972 Equal Pay Case

Brief history of the union campaign in Australia for equal pay for women which led to the “equal pay for work of equal value” decision in 1972.

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The ACTU’s 1941 Equal Pay Conference

The Australian Council of Trade Unions ACTU campaign for equal pay for women workers started with a conference in 1941.

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The First Sydney Mardi Gras – and the Hidden History of LGBTIQA+ Unionists!

Have you heard the story of the trade union contribution to the struggle for equality? Read about the hidden history of LGBTIQA+ and unionists.

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The Gurindji Strike, 1966

Learn about the Wave Hill walk off and strike in 1966 by the Gurindji people who fought for award wages, land rights and self-determination.

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The Harvester Judgement and the Basic Wage

In 1907 the Commonwealth Conciliation & Arbitration Court delivered the famous Harvester Judgement enforcing a basic rate of pay.

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The Metal Workers win the 38-hour week

On 8 December 1981, unionists in the metal industry voted to end a long industrial campaign, and won the 38-hour week.

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The Origins of May Day

The first of May has long been a day of celebration for the international workers’ movement. Why do we celebrate May Day?

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Unfinancial Members Calls

Retention is the other – equally important - side of the growth coin. Participants in this webinar heard from presenters who shared some of our movements most well-developed contact centre retention strategies.

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Union solidarity with East Timor

In 1999 the Australian union movement sprung into action to show solidarity with the people of East Timor by protesting.

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War on the Water Front: Australian Waterfront Dispute 1998 [Videos – Short History & Documentary]

Documentary about the Australian waterfront dispute of 1998 - a watershed event in Australian industrial relations history.

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West Gate Bridge Collapse in 1970

Learn about one of the worst industrial disasters in Australia’s history: the collapse of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne in 1970.

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Zelda D’Aprano’s Equal Pay Protest

On 21 October 1969, legendary union activist Zelda D’Aprano chained herself to the doors of the Commonwealth Building to protest for Equal Pay! This is her remarkable story.

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