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Working History

The Australian Workers Heritage Centre presents a rich tapestry of exhibits, photographs, audio-visual presentations and experiences - telling the stories of Australia's working people. Immerse yourself in the working history of Australia.

The Great Shearers'
Strike of 1891

The Great Shearers' Strike of 1891 was a watershed in the history of working conditions in Australia and was a major catalyst in the growth of the Australian Labor Party.

The Tree of Knowledge Circa 1880s, key location in The Great Shearers Strike of 1891 Barcaldine Queensland
A female teacher with two students and an abacus depicting Women In Australia's Working History

Women in Australia's Working History

Women have played a vital and often unrecognized role in Australia's development.


Learn about the contribution of Australia’s working women – some famous and some not-so-famous – as you experience the exhibition, “A Lot on her Hands”.


"Songs of the Unsung Heroes"

One of Australia's 'living national treasures' Margaret Whitlam launched this anthology in July 2002 as part of the opening celebrations of Stage One of the Working Women project.

Browse through a few of the stories and poems featured in the anthology.

Songs of the Unsung Heroes Bookcover

Work Quotes

I am the foundation of all business.


I am the source of all prosperity.

I am the salt that gives life its savour.

I have laid the foundation of every fortune.

I can do more to advance youth than his own they ever so wealthy.

I must be loved before I can bestow my greatest blessings and achieve my greatest ends.

LOVED, I make life sweet, purposeful and fruitful.

All progress springs from me.


Coiffure (the official organ of the Master Ladies' Hairdressers' Association of Victoria) 3, 7, October 1950, P15.

Work Quote
Outdoor Photo of the AWU Shearers Hall at the Australian Workers Heritage Centre in Barcaldine Queensland.

AWU Shearers Hall

The AWU Shearers Hall was opened in late 2013.

In 2011, The Union Hall was donated and relocated by the AWU to the Australian Workers Heritage Centre's site becoming the latest addition to the centre's landscape and newly named the "AWU Shearers' Hall".

This building is recognises as Australia's oldest office and union meeting hall.

Workers Gallery

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