AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
WHAT'S LABOUR DAY
RELEVANT AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM*: HUMANITIES
Distinguish between the past, present and future (ACHHS016)
Pose questions about the past using sources provided (ACHHS017)
Explore a point of view (ACHHS020)
Differences and similarities between students' daily lives and life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods,
including family traditions, leisure time and communications. (ACHHK030)
The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it
reveals about the past (ACHHK044)
ONE important example of change and ONE important example of continuity over time in the local community, region
or state/territory; for example, in relation to the areas of transport, work, education, natural and built environments,
entertainment, daily life (ACHHK061)
Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, Harmony Week, ANZAC Day,
NAIDOC week) and the importance of symbols and emblems (ACHHK063)
The nature of a convict or colonial settlement in Australia, including the factors that influenced patterns of settlement,
aspects of the daily life of its different inhabitants, and how they changed the environment. (ACHHK094)
Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal people and/or Torres
Strait Islanders, migrants, and women. (ACHHK114)
The contribution of individuals and groups, including Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders and migrants, to
the development of Australian society, for example in areas such as the economy, education, science, the arts, sport.
Labour Day is an Australian public
holiday held on different days
depending on where you live.
WA - the first Monday in March
VIC/TAS - the second Monday in March
ACT/NSW/QLD/SA - the first Monday in October
Many early labourers began their
lives in Australia as convicts, sent
out on penal transportation.
State Library of Victoria: Public Domain
The Royal Anne, a convict ship that transported prisoners from Ireland to
New South Wales at the beginning of the 19th century.
very few rights
The Master and ServantsActs (1845) were laws thatenforced rules betweenbosses and their workers.
Some bosses took
advantage of their
"During the mid to late 1800s
the working day was long and
arduous, where some employees
would work up to 12 hours a
day, six days a week."
"As little as one hour’s absence
by a free servant without
permission could precipitate a
punishment of prison or the
"On 18 August 1855
Society in Sydney
issued an ultimatum to
employers that in six
months time, masons
would only work an
Wikipedia: Public Domain
What do you think about this campaign?
Wendy Lewis, Simon Balderstone and John Bowan (2006). Events That
Shaped Australia. New Holland. p. 57. ISBN 9781741104929.
"On 21 April 1856 Stonemasons and building
workers on building sites around Melbourne
stopped work and marched from the University
of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an
Eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a
success, and they are noted as being among the
first organised workers in the world to achieve an
8-hour day, with no loss of pay."
"The history of Labour Day in
Australia spans over a century. It is
an important annual event that
remembers those who struggled and
succeeded to ensure decent and fair
working conditions in Australia."
Eight Hour Procession, 4 October 1909
Wikipedia: Public Domain
"Labour Day commemorates the achievements of the
Australian labour movement. The celebration of Labour
Day has its origins in the eight hour day movement,
which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for
recreation, and eight hours for rest ... In Tasmania the
public holiday is called Eight Hours Day and in the
Northern Territory it is called May Day."
Eight Hour Day
What does this monument tell us about the past?
Mastery Learning Group creates educational tools to
assist Australian teachers to meet the differentiated
learning needs of their students.
Supported by the free Flashcard Club, Mastery
Learning Folders give teachers a manageable tool to
address the remediation needs of struggling
Primary reference desk mats called Infomats,
support student learning throughout the school
day. They're available in two levels, and being the
same colour they discretely provide scaffolding at
the appropriate point of need.
Mastery Learning Folders
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