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Australian Workers Union 120th Anniversary : 07-December-2011
Australian Workers Union 120th Anniversary : 07-December-2011

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A plaque commemorates the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Australian Workers Union.

The Australian Workers' Union (AWU) is one of Australia’s largest and oldest trade unions. . It traces its origins to unions founded in the pastoral and mining industries in the 1880s, and currently has approximately 135,000 members. It has exercised an influence on the Australian trade union movement, and on the Australian Labor Party throughout its history.

The AWU grew from a number of earlier unions, notably the Australasia Shearers' Union founded by William Spence and David Temple in Creswick, Victoria in 1886.


Address:Sturt Street, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.562147
Long: 143.859792
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:16-June-1886
Actual Event End Date:16-June-2006


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 16th June, 2006
Front Inscription

At this location on 16 June 1886 a meeting of shearers from Ballarat was held to discuss the challenges facing men of the blade at that time.
The meeting resulted in the foundation of a shearers union now known as the Australian Workers` Union.
"But freedoms`s on the wallaby, 
She`ll knock the tyrants silly,
She`s going to light another fire,
And boil another billy.
We`ll make the tyrants feel the sting
Of those that they would throttle.  
They needn`t say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle"  

Henry Lawson.
This plaque was unveiled by the Australian Workers` Union
on the 120th anniversary of the foundation on the Union.
               16 June 2006.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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