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Labour Day Parade Barcaldine 2021

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Cabinet Ministers led Barcaldine's 2021 Labour Day March. Browse through our photo gallery from the memorable Labour Day Parade held in Barcaldine on May 3rd, 2021.

Photos are courtesy of Trevor Howie and Aaron Skinn of Skinn Deep Photography.

The 2021 Labour Day March in Barcaldine saw a large turnout of both parade participants and spectators. This year marks the 130th Anniversary of the Great Shearers' Strike of 1891; where the modern day Australian ideology of mateship, egalitarianism and belief in a 'fair go' was enacted.


One of the first May Day marches in the world took place during the 1891 Great Shearers' Strike in Barcaldine, when around 3000 striking bush workers, with around 600 mounted on horseback marched through the streets of Barcaldine. Their leaders wore blue sashes and they carried banners and marched under the Eureka Flag to put forward their protests against poor working conditions and low wages and it was reported that cheers were given for 'the eight hour day'.  The March continued on to the Ghost Gum which grew outside the Railway Station and the strikers met under the boughs of what is now known as 'The Tree of Knowledge'.


The Great Shearers' Strike of 1891 was an event of such national significance Henry Lawson was prompted to pen the well known poem 'Freedom on the Wallaby' as comment to mark the day:

So we must fly a rebel flag
As others did before us,
And we must sing a rebel song
And join in rebel chorus.
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
O'those that they would throttle;
They needn't say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle.


The Labour Day March and Holiday is a celebration of the historical triumphs of workers and the achievement of the 8 hour working day. And in particular acts as a reminder of the accomplishments unions have made on behalf of workers to preserve and better working conditions for all Australians.

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