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Workshop and Symposia


  • The Italian and Australian Cooperative Sectors - The Past, Present and Future
    15th Feb 2010 Sydney University Village

    The University of Sydney's Business and Labour History Group has been instrumental in securing Italian academics from the University of Trento and the European Research Institute for Cooperatives and Social Enterprises to engage in a three year research project linking Australia and Italy. This will compare the cooperative movements in both countries - and will research key factors leading to a successful cooperative sector and also the factors that inhibit a cooperative sector.

    The research programme will start with a three day symposium at the Sydney University Village entitled - "The Italian and Australian Cooperative Sectors - The Past, Present and Future". The three day symposium will feature the latest theoretical and empirical work on cooperatives from Professor Carlo Borzaga and Dr Ermanno Tortia from the University of Trento.

    The key theme of the Symposium is to compare the research in Italy and Australia in four cooperative sectors - the retail sector, credit union sector, worker and indigenous cooperative areas - and define areas for the future research of the project. Professor Greg Patmore, Dr.Leanne Cutcher, Dr Nikola Balnave and Anthony Jensen will present papers.

    The Symposium will be part of full week of activities in Sydney. Following the Symposium, the Co-operative Federation of NSW will hold a two day Cooperative Opportunities Conference at the same venue and will devote some time to developing these themes from a practical perspective.

    The aim of the week is to start a discussion and research project on how the cooperative sector can achieve its potential in Australia in a world defined by a new set of economic, social and environmental parameters.

    For further details please contact Greg Patmore on

  • The Australian Settlement and the Fisher Government Conference
    30th Apr 2010 University of Sydney

    This conference is supported by the Business and Labour History Group, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney.

    In April 1910, Andrew Fisher, the Scottish-born former child miner, led the Australian Labor Party to a sweeping victory at the fourth federal election held since federation. By virtue of its double majorities in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, Labor became the first social democratic party to hold office in its own right anywhere in the world. This one-day conference marks the 100th anniversary of this momentous achievement and seeks to analyse the record of the second Fisher government (1910-13), locate its ideological tenor and establish its place in Australian political history.

    The scholarly brief of this conference requires a broad focus, to explore both the achievements of the Fisher Government, and its place in the development of the liberal post-Federation nation-building project. The 'Australian Settlement' is a term that has come to describe the project enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament before the First World War, with Labor's support. The legislative program of the Australian Settlement included: tariff protection of Australian industry, the 'White Australia' restriction of non-white immigrants and compulsory industrial arbitration, initiatives that sought to develop Australian society within a liberal democratic framework.

    Recent research has called for a more critical and wider understanding of the Settlement. This conference provides an opportunity to draw together new research into the more complex and contingent dimensions of the Settlement and the Labor Party's relationship with it. Issues to be addressed include: the role of organised labour, and the relationship between liberalism and labour movement ideology; the terms of citizenship offered by a gendered and racially exclusionist settlement; the role of defence policy; the nature of Australian liberal governance, and the transnational context of nation building.

    Conference convenors:

    Mark Hearn, Modern History, Macquarie University; Nick Dyrenfurth & Harry Knowles, Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be submitted by 12 February 2010 to:

  • Second Annual Conference of AAHANZBS
    16th Dec 2010 The Women's College, University of Sydney

    16-17 December 2010
    Conference Organiser - Greg Patmore
    Keynote Speaker - Professor Geoffrey G. Jones (Harvard University)

    The second annual conference of AAHANZBS will provide an opportunity for researchers to present papers across the wide range of interests covered by the Association. We are interested in focussing on three themes:

    1. The role of historical research in developing theoretical perspectives in business and management;
    2. How historical research aids our understanding of contemporary issues in business and management; and
    3. Teaching history in business and management schools.

    For membership details of AAHANZBS, which is currently free, please contact the conference organiser.

    The symposium is organised by the Business and Labour History Group, the University of Sydney on behalf AAHANZBS and we acknowledge the financial support of the University of Sydney Business School.

    All enquiries regarding the conference, should be addressed to the conference organiser at

    Geoffrey Jones

    Geoffrey Jones is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History and Director of Research at the Harvard Business School. He holds degrees of BA, MA and PhD from Cambridge University, UK, and an honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School. He taught previously at the London School of Economics, and Cambridge and Reading Universities in the UK, and has held Visiting Professorships at Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and Universidad de los Andes, Bogota. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business. Professor Jones has written extensively on the history of global business, and his recent books include Multinationals and Global Capitalism (2005), Renewing Unilever (2005) and Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry (2010). He is also co-editor of the journal Business History Review.