Workshop and Symposia

2014

  • School of Business Members Meeting
    28th Mar 2014 Room 214/215, Economics and Business Building (H69)

    The Agenda for this meeting includes forthcoming talks, the Burren St. Archives, developing courses in business and labour history, research projects and forthcoming conferences.

    If you would like to become a member of the Group please contact Greg Patmore at greg.patmore@sydney.edu.au.

    Location: Room 214/215 in Building H69




  • Revisiting the devils decade: Australian Prime Ministers and the Great Depression
    28th Mar 2014 Room 214/215, Economics and Business Building (H69)

    Lis Kirkby, Work and Organisational Studies, School of Business, The University of Sydney, will speak on "Revisiting the devils decade: Australian Prime Ministers and the Great Depression."

    A full abstract and the biographical details of the speaker are below.

    If you are interested in attending please contact Andre Pinto at wos.admin@sydney.edu.au by noon on Wednesday 26 March as refreshments will be served.


    Abstract

    This paper focuses on the approach that three Australian Prime Ministers took towards managing Australia during the Great Depression and the forces that influenced them - Stanley Bruce, James Scullin and Joseph Lyons. The paper highlights the conflicting ambitions, aims and policies that made Australian politics in the 1930s, the 'devil's decade'.


    Bio

    The Hon Dr Elisabeth (Lis) Kirkby OAM. BA(Hons) PhD was born in Lancashire (UK) in 1921 and went to school in Nottingham during the 1930s.

    She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during World War Two. After her demobilisation in 1945, she joined the Birmingham Repertory Company under William Armstrong and later the Liverpool Repertory Company under John Fernald.

    After World War Two, Lis appeared in the first television play to be broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation and in 1951 was posted to the Schools Division of Radio Singapore. She lived in Kuala Lumpur during the British Military Administration (1953-1965) where she was employed by Radio Malaya and was the last British expatriate officer to be employed by Radio Malaysia.

    Arriving in Sydney in 1965 Lis made her first broadcast for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) that same year and between 1965 and 1977, was an 'on air presenter'. During this time she wrote and narrated radio features on many social issues and produced 'Learn Indonesian' from 1980-1981.

    In 1977 Lis joined the Australian Democrats and was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1981. She was the Parliamentary Leader of the NSW Australian Democrats and when she retired in 1998 was the longest serving Australian Democrat Member of Parliament. As an MLC, Lis was a member of the Standing Committee on Social Issues which investigated health issues, juvenile justice, employer - worker relationships. She also served on Committees examining the Police Integrity Commission and the Independent Commission against Corruption.

    Lis was a founding member of the Women's Electoral Lobby (1972), a member of the Greater Murray Area Health Service and served as a Councillor on the Temora Shire Council (1999-2003).

    After leaving Parliament, Lis was appointed to the New South Wales Judicial Commission (1999-2001) and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (2001-2004). She is still a member of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties and the Australian Council of the International Commission of Jurists.

    In 2009 Lis she graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Class 1 and after studying at the University of Sydney, successfully submitted her PhD thesis 'WILL WE EVER LEARN FROM HISTORY, the Impact of Economic Orthodoxy on Unemployment during the Great Depression in Australia'. Her PhD was awarded in 2014.

    In 2013, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (an NGO founded in 1951) honoured Lis with a Lifetime Achievement Award to honour her long-standing membership (1958-current) and her work as President (1976-1980).

    Lis was awarded an OAM in 2012 for her service to the Parliament of New South Wales, the community of Temora and the performing arts.




  • The struggle for health and safety: Seafarers in Britain and Australia 1790-1900
    29th Aug 2014 Room 298, H04 - Merewether Building

    The BLHG will be holding its next talk on Friday 29 August 2014 in Merewether Seminar Room 298 from 12 noon to 1pm in the Merewether Building (HO4). Professor Michael Quinlan from the Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales speak on "The struggle for health and safety: Seafarers in Britain and Australia 1790-1900."

    If you are interested in attending please contact Andre Pinto at wos.admin@sydney.edu.au by noon on Wednesday 27 August as refreshments will be served.

    Abstract

    For well over a century prior to 1900 a struggle had been waged to improve health and safety amongst merchant seafarers. Broadly speaking this struggle took three forms. First and best recorded there were a series of pushes to improve the laws protecting the health and safety of ships and seafarers - a struggle for which Samuel Plimsoll has become synonymous though his involvement in no way captures the entirety of the struggle. Second, from the 1870s emerging unions of seafarers sought to improve health and safety on ships including agitating for improved laws and both collective and individual actions to protect members (such as paying their court costs). Third and least known, long before the emergence of and consolidation of unions, seafarers had take a considerable degree of informal industrial action (including strikes and mass desertion) over health and safety on their ship. This action continued even after unions became established. There were over 1800 instances of collective action by seafarers in Australian waters alone between 1790 and 1900 and health and safety was by far the single biggest issue/cause of these actions. Further, the actions covered a wide array of health and safety issues (from unseaworthy ships and incompetent officers to poor food and unsanitary conditions) including pursuing some issues long before they became a source of regulatory/policy concern. Drawing on a range of sources (including parliamentary inquiries, medical literature and contemporary newspapers) this paper provides an account of all three types of struggle. It also emphasises that the precarious nature of seafarer's employment is critical to understanding the health and safety of seafarers - just as it is today.

    Biography

    Michael Quinlan is professor of Industrial Relations in the School of Management and Director, Industrial Relations Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. He has published extensively on occupational health and safety (OHS), especially the effects of precarious work arrangements. Another study (with colleagues at the University of Sydney) examines the impact of workplace death on families. He has also written on the history of worker mobilisation and labour regulation in Australia and is currently involved in a project on collective action by convict workers with Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart (University of Tasmania). His most recent book is Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster: Learning from fatal incidents in mines and other high hazard workplaces (Federation Press, Sydney, 2014).




  • Funding and Writing Business History
    24th Oct 2014 Room 214/215, Economics and Business Building (H69)

    The BLHG will be holding a seminar on "Funding and Writing Business History" on Friday 24 October in Room 214/215 in Building H69 between 1-2pm.

    The speakers will be Harry Knowles and Greg Patmore, who will discuss their experiences with BLHG projects such as the Citibank history and the current Westfund project. They will canvass a wide range of issues including contract negotiation, publication outcomes and ethics approval.

    If you are interested in attending please contact Andre Pinto at wos.admin@sydney.edu.au by noon on Wednesday 22 October as refreshments will be served.




  • 'Perspectives in History' - Sixth Annual Conference of AAHANZBS
    3rd Nov 2014 The University of Sydney, Australia

    The BLHG will be hosting the 6th Annual Conference of the Association of Academic Historians in Australian and New Zealand Business Schools on 3-4 November 2014 at the University of Sydney. The highlights include a plenary address from Emeritus Professor Graeme Dean, a postgraduate workshop featuring Liz Kirkby, an editors session featuring Cheryl McWatters (Accounting History Review) and John Shields (Labour History) and research from colleagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and the UK.

    Venue: Eastern Avenue Seminar Room 310, The University of Sydney

    Conference Program: Download PDF

    Conference Introduction: Download PDF

    Conference Abstracts: View Abstracts




  • A half way house: The global context of migration from Sydney to San Francisco during the Californian Gold Rush, 1849-1851
    2nd Dec 2014 Rm 214/215 Economics and Business Building (H69)

    The BLHG will be holding a public seminar on “‘A half way house’: The global context of migration from Sydney to San Francisco during the Californian Gold Rush, 1849-1851” on Tuesday 2 December in Room 214/215 in Building H69 between 1-2pm. A meeting for Business School members of BLHG will proceed the seminar at 12.30 in the same venue. The abstract for the talk can be found below.

    The speaker will be Cameron White whose biographical details are below.

    If you are interested in attending please contact Andre Pinto at wos.admin@sydney.edu.au by noon on Friday 28 November as refreshments will be served.

    Abstract

    News of the discovery of gold in California arrived in Sydney via Honolulu on December 23, 1848. In the proceeding 36 Months (7 January 1849 to 31 December 1851) 4,606 men, women and children departed Sydney for San Francisco. The historiography of these migrants has been dominated by the dominant view, in San Francisco, that the city was being inundated by ‘Australian robbers and murderers.’ A closer look reveals greater complexity. Evidence from the Australian end foregrounds four dominant characteristics. Firstly, these Australian gold rush migrants had originally travelled from Britain to New South Wales before moving on to San Francisco. Secondly, they had travelled from Britain to New South Wales as free migrants (not as convicts). Thirdly, they were assisted as opposed to unassisted migrants (meaning that they had received assistance from the colonial government for their passage paid from the sale of Crown Lands). Fourthly, they were predominantly skilled, urban tradesmen as opposed to the agricultural labourers that were primarily required by the major landholders of New South Wales. Accordingly, this paper situates the migration from Sydney-San Francisco in the context of migration from Britain-New South Wales. It focuses on the window of opportunity that opened in 1848 that enabled skilled migrants (tradesmen, artisans and mechanics) to receive colonial assistance for their passage. This window of opportunity, as well as the conditions of labour in New South Wales at that time (1848-1850) provides a unique perspective on who migrated Sydney to San Francisco during the Californian Gold Rush, why they migrated, and their contribution (in terms of skills and labour) on encountering the booming economic conditions prevalent in San Francisco.

    Biography

    Cameron White is a historian by training. He wrote his PhD in the History Department at the University of Sydney. Since that time he was worked on projects that examine the clothing industry in New South Wales (UTS), the tobacco industry in the United States (University of British Columbia) and the contemporary road construction industry in Australia (Swinburne University). His Sydney-San Francisco project emerged from his PhD research and was initially funded by an Australian Academy of the Humanities Travelling Fellowship.




  • The magic of numbers: The ILO, the international trade union movement and the challenge of turning pay equity into a measurable device during the WW2 era
    17th Dec 2014 Rm 214/215 Economics and Business Building (H69)

    The BLHG will be holding a public seminar on “The magic of numbers: The ILO, the international trade union movement and the challenge of turning pay equity into a measurable device during the WW2 era” on Wednesday 17 December in Room 214/215 in Building H69 between 1-2pm. The abstract for the talk can be found below.

    The speaker will be Silke Neunsinger from the Labour Movement Archives and Library Stockholm, whose biographical details are below.

    If you are interested in attending please contact Andre Pinto at wos.admin@sydney.edu.au by noon on Monday 15 December as a light lunch will be served.

    Abstract

    Equal pay is illustrated and constituted through the comparison of numbers. I will argue that one of the main challenges in the debate on equal pay has been framing the need to continue the struggle after the adoption of the ILO convention 100 in 1951. The demand for equal remuneration for work of equal value has been globally accepted by most labor organizations, on a discursive level. On a practical level equal pay is still not put into practice. Through an analysis of debates on turning equal pay into a measureable fact, I will illuminate the importance of the ILO in these debates as compared to other international bodies, such as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and The United Nations.  After the adoption of C100 a lively debate took place in all of these international bodies focusing the design of statistics, but also the difficulties of collecting local data adaptable into a global spreadsheet illustrating gendered pay discrimination.

    My main sources will be minutes from the women’s meetings in the named organizations. Many of the labor feminists active during the WW2 era were represented in all of these bodies and their network created a stream of exchanges on definitions and concepts as well as statistical data.

    Bio

    Silke Neunsinger (born in 1970 in Breisach am Rhein, Germany) is since 2006 director of research at the Labour Movement Archives and Library in Stockholm. She received her PhD in history in 2001 at the department of History, Uppsala University, Sweden. Her dissertation deals with the debate on Marriage bars in Sweden and Germany between 1919 and 1939. She worked at the Centre for Feminist research at Uppsala University, 2002 and 2003, from 2003 to 2007, she led the research project “Feminine Finances” about the funding of women’s movements, financed by the Swedish Bank’s Tercentenary Foundation at the Department of Economic History Uppsala University.  Since 2008 she is coordinating the project “Towards a global history of the cooperative movement” with Dr Mary Hilson (University College, London), financed by the Swedish Bank’s Tercentenary Foundation. In 2009 she became associate professor in economic history. Starting 2012 she is the director of the project “Mind the gap! – An entangled history of economic history and the demand for equal pay” financed by the Swedish Science Council (until 2015). She has recently edited an anthology on the global history of domestic and care work together with Dirk Hoerder and Elise van Nederveen Meerkeerk, which will be published during spring 2015. She is also the editor of the Swedish labor history journal Arbetarhistoria. She has published extensively on feminist labor history, global labor history and methodology especially comparative history and histoire croisée.