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Monash Art Design & Architecture

Monash University

Monash Art Design & Architecture


14 December 2017
Tom Nicholson in "1917: The Great Strike"
Carriageworks, Eveleigh
15 Jul – 27 Aug 2017
Tom Nicholson in

A gathering of 100,000 men and women in the Domain on a Saturday during the Great Strike of 1917. (Sydney Mail, 15 August 1917, p. 22. Courtesy National Library of Australia)

An exhibition marking the centenary of one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts, bringing together historical objects alongside commissioned artworks by MADA Senior Lecturer Tom Nicholson, Raquel Ormella, Will French, Franck Gohier and Sarah Contos.

Exhibition: 15 July – 27 August 2017

245 Wilson St (cnr. Codrington St)
Eveleigh NSW

2 August 2017 marks the centenary of one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts – the Great Strike of 1917. The strike began when employees at Eveleigh Railway Yards and the Randwick Tram Sheds downed tools in protest against new working conditions imposed during a time of war. Around 5,790 railway and tramway employees at the Eveleigh and Randwick workshops walked off the job. They were protesting against the card system that had been introduced to the workshops. This was a new system of recording work times and output that was intended to improve worker efficiency. Over the period of the strike it is estimated that around 77,350 workers in NSW went on strike. When the strike petered out in mid-September 1917, many employees at Eveleigh, and elsewhere on NSW’s rail and tram network, never got their jobs back. Those that were re-hired at the Eveleigh yards, by then one of Sydney’s biggest employers, found their jobs had been downgraded. Although the nationwide strike lasted just six weeks, its consequences lingered for decades, creating a highly politicised workforce and a generation of politicians, including premiers and prime ministers.

This Project Is Supported by the City of Sydney and the Transport Heritage Grants Program.

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