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Sewing room, 1951, type C black and white photograph. Sargood Gardiner Ltd Collection, the University of Melbourne Archives
Under the burning sun of the colony commemorates the 150th anniversary of the achievement of the eight-hour day in Victoria. This victory was the first of its kind both in Australia and internationally, marking a pivotal stage in the development of the labour movement. Drawing from the Trade Union collections in the University of Melbourne Archives, the exhibition acknowledges the multiple histories that underwrite this historical achievement, the force of which highlight the struggle for workers to achieve fair conditions in working life today.
The University of Melbourne was a key site during the eight-hour day movement. On 21 April 1856, stonemasons at the University ceased work and marched through the streets of Melbourne, gathering workers along the way in a demand for eight hours labour, eight hours rest, and eight hours recreation. Their campaign symbolises change in colonial Australia, and signals the beginning of working class representation in government, the establishment of trade unions, and the formation of the Trades Hall Council.
Just opened! Activate,animate, complicate, grow: what new acquisitions can do to and for the collection showcases 22 artworks recently acquired by the University of Melbourne in dialogue with existing works from the collection. Presented as individual ‘case studies’, the relationships between works demonstrate the ways that new additions breathe life into permanent collections.
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm