Horse drawn wagon and men with  banner taking part in eight hour day procession

The Adelaide Branch holds bi-monthly meetings, which focus on guest speakers rather than administration. Featured topics are wide ranging. Talks have included class inequality, economic development, gender equality, racism, freedom of association, superannuation, unemployment, and trade union histories.

Meetings are free and open to members, visitors and the general public. Afternoon tea is provided giving plenty of opportunity to chat with like-minded people.

The Branch also supports labour movement events, holds special dinners and participates in national Labour History conferences and the annual South Australian History festival.

You can register for events on the form below or just turn up. We look forward to seeing you. You can also use the form to send us your ideas for speakers, topics and other activities.

Where available, papers from previous events are included on the Papers page of this site. Recorded talks are lodged with the State Library of South Australia and can be accessed via its website (see Links page) Available publicity from past events is also included below.

Open Meeting  20 August 2017

Margaret Allen: Alien Workers in 19th and early 20th century (South) Australia

The paper will explore the issues around ‘Asiatic’ labour and the White Australia Policy and will examine the restrictions placed upon such workers and the ways in which they sought to make a living in Australia.

Margaret Allen is Professor Emerita at the University of Adelaide. She has served on the Board of the History Trust of South Australia and has a longstanding commitment to the labour movement.

See meeting information 20 August 2017

AGM 20 August 2017

The talk by Margaret Allen on 20 August will be preceded by a short Annual General Meeting.

In addition to brief reports and annual elections, the executive is also recommending  important amendments to the Branch Constitution.  These amendments are not intended to be contentious, but rather to make the Branch more welcoming and accessible. Attached are papers setting out and explaining these proposed changes:

  1. The proposed amendments & reasons for them
  2. The proposed amendments placed within the constitution

The existing constitution can be found on the Branch page of this website.

Please consider nominating for a position on the executive if you are a financial member.  Membership dues for 2017-18 can be paid at the meeting. The rates remain as per last year: $30 waged; $15 unwaged.

If you have any queries or concerns about the suggested Constitutional amendments or would like to talk about a possible nomination to the executive committee, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the webiste.

AGM Agenda 20 August 2017

Constitution amendments& reasons

Constitution showing amendments

15th Biennial Labour History Conference

23 – 25 September 2017 

The 15th Biennial Labour History Conference is being held at Emmanuel College in the grounds of the University of Queensland.

Conference theme: Workers of the World

Today, the Australian working class are workers of the world: in the sense that we are a predominantly immigrant working class (or the descendants of relatively recent immigrants); and in the sense that workers from so many of the world’s nations, languages and cultures have made their homes here.

The year 2017 also marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution, which had such a profound impact on the labour movement in every country, not least as a result of its internationalism.

The 2017 Labour History conference invites academic papers and presentations by labour activists around our theme; and the broader agenda of labour history.

Details can be found at:

Past Events


18 June 2017 Professor Andrew Stewart: The Right to Strike in Australia: A Brief History

7 May 2017  History Festival event: What is Labour History? Panel: David Faber, Ralph Clarke & Don Longo,

23 April 2017  Philip Payton, The Early Labor Movement in Yorke Peninsula’s Copper Mining Industry 1864-1907

19 February 2017   Bernard Whimpress, Politics and Cricket—the brief lives of Cecil and Marie Skitch


16 October 2016  David Faber, Adelaide 1916: The Advertiser, Conscription & The Easter Rising

28 February 2016  Phil Palmer, The survival & influence of the Ambulance Employees Association of SA
17 April 2016 Stephanie McCarthy, Tom Price: from Stonecutter to Premier
19 June 2016 Rhonda Sharpe, Are we there yet? The evolution of superannuation policy in Australia
AGM & speaker 21 August 2016 Dr Paul Chapman, Can Weatherill play Playford?


22 February 2015 Greg Stevens, Campaigning for Peace in Vietnam : The Adelaide Mobilisation
12 April 2015 David Faber, Today We Own the Streets
About Time History Festival May 2015 Jude Elton, Remember the Eight Hour Day?
16 August 2015 Andrew Leigh, Inequalty In Australia
AGM notice & speaker 18 October 2015 Will Sergeant, Bert Edwards, King of The West End


Labour History Ambassadors Dinner 11 October 2014


Day Trip Correspondence 1999-2000


Notice of Meetings 1988 – 1991

To register for an event please contact us

Send a message



Minutes of Executive Meetings & AGMs


A selection of President’s Reports, submissions, talks by guest speakers and papers presented at conferences