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Photographs supplied by David Brighton

The plaque over the grave commemorates the centenary of the formation of Australian Workers` Union by David Temple in April 1886. David Temple, when shearing rates were cut, canvassed shearers in Victoria to form a union. The grave was restored in 1982. 

In January 1887, small shearers unions in Wagga Wagga and Bourke in New South Wales joined Temple`s union to became the Amalgamated Shearers Union of Australasia which was the forerunner of Australian Workers` Union (AWU). Temple was elected general secretary and William Spence president. Within three years the union was the largest and most effective labour organization in Australia. Temple refused a £50 bonus voted him by a grateful membership in 1889.


Address:1187 Sydney Road, Fawkner Memorial Park, Fawkner, 3060
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.713556
Long: 144.960147
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 27th September, 2011
Front Inscription

David Temple

4 July 1862 - 27 September 1921

Foundation Secretary,  the Australasian Shearers` Union

Foundation General Secretary, the Australian Workers` Union
1886 - 1897

"More than any other, this man single-handedly founded Australian unionism - he convened the first mass meeting of shearers in Ballarat, at his own expense, and then enrolled 1500 members in five weeks - he initiated the move to form a Labor Party at the 1891 AWU Comvention - he planned a 'union of unions' 40 years before the ACTU was created - and he declined any financial token from grateful members"

Erected by the Australian Workers` Union in honour and gratitude - 27 September 2001


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