United They Stood

blue, white, and red lettered banner which says 'F.E.D.& F.A. / The Wheels of Industry kept turning for VICTORY'

Broken Hill is known to the outside world as a stronghold of trade unionism, in addition to being the place where Australia’s first thirty-five hour week was granted. This reputation and milestone in the history of employment relations in Australia was the result of the historic strike action taken by miners in 1909 and 1919 […]

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All Aboard the Tom Mann Train

black and white photograph of a crowd on the main street of a country town

Armed with just three years of schooling, British socialist Tom Mann became a globally influential union organiser during the early 1900s. When living in Australia he spent time on the historic 1909 picket lines at Broken Hill. His influence and time in the mining-town was documented by several local photographers, including James Wooler and the […]

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Badges of Honour

collection of eight multi-coloured, circular badges

Broken Hill’s Amalgamated Miners Association (AMA) and the Barrier Labour Foundation (BLF) instigated badge show days in 1913. The wearing of badges was compulsory for all members and instigated to boost union membership and prevent ‘scabs’ (non-union labour) from entering or working on the mines. Mining managers had hired scabs during the long 1909 strike, […]

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The Silver City’s Folk Artist

impressionistic, cartoonish painting of a building amidst colourful trees, under a blue cloudy sky

After retiring from mining Sam Byrne went on to become one of Australia’s most renowned folk artists. Born in 1883 in South Australia, Sam and his brothers were brought up in Broken Hill by his aunt, Emily Tapsell, following their parents’ death. A late bloomer, Sam worked for more than fifty years as a miner […]

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