Find us on Facebook Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel Instagram

Bradon Ellem

Bradon Ellem

BA(Hons) S'ton; MA Warw.; PhD W'gong
Professor

Rm 4157
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9351 6435
Fax +61 2 9351 4729
bradon.ellem@sydney.edu.au

Bio

Bradon Ellem is a Professor of Employment Relations in the University of Sydney Business School where he teaches in both the undergraduate and postgraduate programs. In first semester 2018 he is teaching WORK1003 Foundations of Work and Employment Relations, WORK2203 Industrial Relations Policy and WORK6108 International Industrial Relations.

Bradon’s research has examined industrial relations in the resources sector, government industrial relations policy and union strategy. His history of industrial relations in the iron ore industry, The Pilbara: From the Deserts Profits Come, which is the result of more than a decade’s research, was published in July 2017 by UWA Publishing.

His work has been published in leading international and local academic journals as well as in commissioned reports, trade journals and submissions. He is now completing an ARC-funded project with colleagues at the University of Western Australia examining engineering service work in Australian mining and commencing a study of production networks and industrial relations in the offshore gas industry across SE Asia.

Bradon holds a number of leading positions in the field. Since 2006, he has been a Co-Editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations. He is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Western Australia Business School. He is a long-standing member of the Executive Committee of the Industrial Relations Society of New South Wales.

Research Interests

Professor Bradon Ellem is interested in the ways in which global economic changes and national regulatory frameworks shape local work and employment relations. Originally trained as a historian, Bradon also has a long-standing interest in the field of ‘labour geography’, so his work brings together insights from three disciplines, industrial relations, geography and history, to make sense of current problems.

He has written about employment relations in sectors as different from each other as clothing manufacturing and iron ore mining and in places as diverse as the Pilbara and northern Sweden; he has studied union campaigns at both local and national scales; and, with Rae Cooper, he has written about the controversies over changes in labour law from Work Choices to the current Fair Work Act.

His current research program is shaped by his interest in taking seriously the geographies of work and employment relations – explaining that globalisation’s impacts are more complex and variable than we often imagine. Three major projects investigate aspects of these problems: a book, The Pilbara: From the Deserts Profits Come (July 2017) which draws together a decade of research on employment relations in the fifty-year history of the Pilbara’s iron ore industry; an ARC-funded project examining work and production networks in mining-engineering; and a new study of another set of transnational work sites, the offshore liquefied gas industry across northern Australia and Southeast Asia.

Much of this research and writing goes to the core of major, global concerns around resource security and sustainable development, examining the work practices and community formations in the mining and energy sectors, the creation of export markets for Australian resources and the development of energy supplies in other countries. All of this needs to be understood in terms of the global production networks which organise massive flows of capital and labour within and across national economic spaces. These formations complicate the question of how work itself is organised and regulated and how the value in these industries is distributed.

Selected publications

2018

Journal Articles

Ellem B, and Tonts M (2018) The Global Commodities Boom and the Reshaping of Regional Economies: The Australian Experience Australian Geographer, 49 (3), 383-395. [More Information]

Todd P, Ellem B, Goods C, Rainnie A, and Smith L (2018) Labour in global production networks: Workers and unions in mining engineering work Economic and Industrial Democracy, In Press. [More Information]

2017

Journal Article

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2017) Cold Climate: Australian Unions, Policy and the State Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 38 (3), 415-435.

Book

Ellem B (2017) The Pilbara: From the Deserts Profits Come; UWA Publishing, Crawley.

2016

Journal Article

Ellem B (2016) Geographies of the labour process: automation and the spatiality of mining Work, Employment and Society, 30 (6), 932-948. [More Information]

2015

Journal Articles

Ellem B (2015) Robe River Revisited: Geohistory and Industrial Relations Labour History, 109, 111-130. [More Information]

Ellem B (2015) Resource Peripheries and Neoliberalism: The Pilbara and the remaking of industrial relations in Australia Australian Geographer, 46 (3), 323-337. [More Information]

Ellem B (2015) Unions, community, work and family in Australia's iron ore sector Labour and Industry, 25 (1), 9-22. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Cooper R, Ellem B, and Wright C (2015) Policy and the labour movement Policy Analysis in Australia; Policy Press, Bristol, 231-244. [More Information]

Report

Ellem B (2015) Workplace Relations and Resources Productivity: At Work on Chevron's Gorgon Project - Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry: The Workplace Relations Framework.

2014

Journal Articles

Baird M, and Ellem B (2014) Introduction - The future of employment relations: Fresh assessments Journal of Industrial Relations, 56 (4), 577-577. [More Information]

Ellem B (2014) A battle between titans? Rio Tinto and union recognition in Australia's iron ore industry Economic and Industrial Democracy, 35 (1), 185-200. [More Information]

Rainnie A, Fitzgerald S, Ellem B, and Goods C (2014) FIFO and Global Production Networks: Exploring the Issues Australian Bulletin of Labour, 40 (2), 98-115.

Book Chapter

Rainnie A, Fitzgerald S, and Ellem B (2014) Global Production Networks and Resources in Western Australia Resource Curse or Cure On the Sustainability of Development in Western Australia; Springer, Berlin, 93-106. [More Information]

Reports

Ellem B (2014) Rio Tinto and 'Direct Engagement'; CFMEU Mining and Energy Division, Sydney, 1-12.

Ellem B (2014) What is Happening on Chevron's Gorgon Project? A Preliminary Report to the International Transport Workers' Federation; Maritime Union of Australia, North Fremantle, 1-34.

2013

Journal Article

Ellem B (2013) Peak Union Campaigning: Fighting for Rights at Work in Australia British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51 (2), 264-287. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2013) The State against Unions: Australia's Neo-liberalism, 1996-2007 Global Anti-Unionism: Nature, Dynamics, Trajectories and Outcomes; Palgrave Macmillan, Bassingstoke, 163-183. [More Information]

2012

Journal Articles

Ellem B (2012) "We're Still Here": Pilbara Rail Workers, their Union and Rio Tinto Common Cause, 78 (3), 12-13.

Ellem B (2012) Tethered to the World: Rio Tinto's Railway and its Workers Common Cause, 78 (6), 22-23.

Ellem B (2012) Tethered to the World: Rio Tinto's Railway and its Workers Common Cause, 78 (4), 20-21.

Ellem B (2012) Tethered to the World: Rio Tinto's Railway and its Workers Common Cause, 78 (5), 20-21.

Ellem B, and McGrath-Champ S (2012) Labor geography and labor history: insights and outcomes from a decade of cross-disciplinary dialogue Labor History, 53 (3), 355-372. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2012) Getting to the Table? Fair Work, Unions and Collective Bargaining Rediscovering Collective Bargaining: Australias Fair Work Act in International Perspective; Routledge, New York, 135-158. [More Information]

2011

Journal Article

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2011) 'Less than Zero': Union Recognition and Bargaining Rights in Australia 1996-2007 Labor History, 52 (1), 49-69. [More Information]

Book

Baird M, Cooper R, Ellem B, and Lansbury R (2011) Industrial Relations - SAGE Library in Business and Management; Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom.

Book Chapters

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2011) Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Work and Employment Relations: An Era of Change; The Federation Press, Sydney, Australia, 34-50.

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2011) The Neoliberal State, Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Australia Industrial Relations - SAGE Library in Business and Management; Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 263-284.

Ellem B (2011) Scaling Labour: Australian Unions and Global Mining Industrial Relations - SAGE Library in Business and Management; Sage Publications, London, United Kingdom, 83-100.

Report

Baird M, Lansbury R, Cooper R, and Ellem B (2011) Learning from Down Under? From Work Choices to Fair Work.

2010

Journal Articles

Baird M, and Ellem B (2010) Editorial: The New World of Work, Organisations and Employment Journal of Industrial Relations, 52 (5), 539-542.

Ellem B (2010) The Making of Industrial Relations Policy: Where Are We Now And How Did We Get Here? Labour and Industry, 21 (1), 353-368.

Ellem B, and Sheldon P (2010) Jim Hagan and Apprentice Historians Labour History, 98, 231-236.

Book Chapter

Ellem B (2010) Contested space: union organising in the old economy Handbook of Employment and Society: Working Space; Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham United Kingdom, 349-367.

2009

Journal Articles

Baird M, Cooper R, and Ellem B (2009) Low-paid women: the impact of regulatory change in Australia Industrial Relations Journal, 40 (5), 393-407.

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2009) Fair Work and the Re-regulation of Collective Bargaining Australian Journal of Labour Law, 22 (3), 115-305.

Cooper R, Ellem B, Briggs C, and Van Den Broek D (2009) Anti-unionism, Employer Strategy, and the Australian State,1996-2005 Labor Studies Journal, 34 (3), 339-362. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Ellem B (2009) Drinking with Dessie: Research, mines and life in the Pilbara Method in the Madness: Research stories you won't read in textbooks; Chandos Publishing, Oxford UK, 39-50. [More Information]

2008

Journal Articles

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2008) The Neoliberal State, Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Australia British Journal of Industrial Relations, 46 (3), 532-554. [More Information]

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2008) The assault on collective bargaining The State of Industrial Relations, 47 (3), 41-50.

Ellem B (2008) Contested Communities: Geo-Histories of Unionism Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21 (4), 433-450. [More Information]

Ellem B, and Franks P (2008) Trade Union Structure and Politics in Australia and New Zealand Labour History, 95 (November), 43-67.

Pocock B, Elton J, Preston A, Charlesworth S, MacDonald F, Baird M, Cooper R, and Ellem B (2008) The Impact of 'Work Choices' on Women in Low Paid Employment in Australia: A Qualitative Analysis Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (3), 475-488. [More Information]

Book Chapter

Baird M, Cooper R, Ellem B, and Oliver D (2008) Work Choices and Beyond: Industrial Relations Policy and Low-Paid Women Workers Making the Link- Affirmative Action and Employment Relations Volume 19; CCH Australia Ltd, North Ryde NSW Australia, 5-9.

Newspaper Article

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2008) To be fair, Gillard must respect real work choices The Canberra Times .

Report

Ellem B, Oxenbridge S, and Gahan B (2008) "The Fight of our Lives": An Evaluation of Unions NSW and the Your Rights at Work Campaign, 2004-2007; University of Sydney, Sydney, 5-172.

2007

Journal Article

Cooper R, Briggs C, Ellem B, and Van Den Broek D (2007) The new Australian employer militancy Perspectives on Work, 11 (1), 39-41.

Conference Proceedings

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2007) "Less than Zero": Union Recognition and Bargaining Rights in Australia "Varieties of Capitalism: Organisational, Management and Human Resource Implications", The 22nd Annual Employment Research Unit Conference, Cardiff Business School 2007; Cardiff Business School, United Kingdom.

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2007) Australian Unionism: Collectivism, power, purpose Trans Tasman Labour History Conference 2007; Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

Ellem B (2007) From Robe River to Work Choices 10th National Labour History Conference 2007; Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Australia.

Ellem B (2007) From Robe to Work Choices: The Productivity Myth 21st Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ 2007); Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ).

Reports

Ellem B (2007) More Work, Less Choice: The Impact of National Labour Re-Regulation on Low-Paid Women Workers in the Australian Capital Territory.

Elton J, Bailey J, Baird M, Charlesworth S, Cooper R, Ellem B, Jefferson T, MacDonald F, Oliver D, Pocock B, and et al (2007) Work Choices and Women: Impacts on the Low Pay Sector; Centre for Work + Life, Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies, University of South Australia, Adelaide, 5-34.

Elton J, Bailey J, Baird M, Charlesworth S, Cooper R, Ellem B, Jefferson T, MacDonald F, Oliver D, Pocock B, and et al (2007) Women and WorkChoices: Impacts on the Low Pay Sector.

2006

Journal Articles

Cooper R, Briggs C, Ellem B, and Van Den Broek D (2006) Anti unionism in Australia International Union Rights, 13.

Ellem B (2006) From Robe to WorkChoices: The Productivity Myth Common Cause, 72 (4), 14-15.

Ellem B (2006) Scaling labour: Australian unions and global mining Work, Employment and Society, 20 (2), 369-387. [More Information]

Ellem B (2006) Beyond industrial relations: WorkChoices and the reshaping of labour, class and the Commonwealth Labour History, 90, 211-220.

Ellem B (2006) Book Review: The great labour schism: A retrospective by B Coster, P Love and P Strangio Australian Historical Studies, 37 (127), 252-253.

Books

Baird M, Ellem B, and Page A (2006) Human Resource Management, Work Choices Update; Thomson, Melbourne.

Baird M, Ellem B, and Page A (2006) WorkChoices: Changes and Challenges for Human Resource Management; Thomson (Learning Australia), South Melbourne.

Conference Proceeding

Ellem B (2006) Exploring the Geography of Union Decline and Renewal 20th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ 2006); University of South Australia, Centre for Research in Education, Equity and Work, Adelaide.

Book Chapters

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2006) Union power: Space, structure, and strategy Rethinking Work, Time, Space and Discourse; Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia, 123-143.

Ellem B, and Shields J (2006) The far west (1) People and Politics in Regional New South Wales Volume 1 - 1856 to the 1950s; The Federation Press, Sydney, 294-326.

Ellem B, Kimber J, and Shields J (2006) The far west (2) People and Politics in Regional New South Wales Volume Two - the 1950s to 2006; The Federation Press, Sydney, 282-316.

2005

Journal Articles

Baird M, Ellem B, and Wright C (2005) Why the states matter in industrial relations (Symposium: State Systems of Industrial Relations) Australian Review of Public Affairs, 19 September 2005.

Briggs C, Cooper R, and Ellem B (2005) What about collective bargaining? The State of the States, 2005, 66-74.

Ellem B (2005) Dialectics of Scale: Global Capital and Local Unions in Australia's Iron Ore Industry Economic and Industrial Democracy, 26 (3), 335-358. [More Information]

Ellem B (2005) Putting work in its place: The making of ideal workers and social contracts Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43 (2), 238-251.

Ellem B, Baird M, Cooper R, and Lansbury R (2005) "WorkChoices": Myth-making at Work Journal of Australian Political Economy, 56, 13-31.

Conference Proceedings

Baird M, Ellem B, and Wright C (2005) Beyond the National: Explaining Industrial Relations Policy in the Australian States British Universities Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference; British Universities Industrial Relations Association, Newcastle, United Kingdom.

Baird M, Ellem B, and Wright C (2005) Re-working policy: Industrial relations in the Australian states 19th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand AIRAANZ 2005; Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), Australia.

Cooper R, and Ellem B (2005) Union power: Space, structure, strategy 19th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand AIRAANZ 2005; Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), Australia.

Shields J, and Ellem B (2005) Electoral politics and the Broken Hill labour movement, 1921-50 9th National Labour History Conference 2005; Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Sydney, Australia.

Book Chapter

Ellem B (2005) What About the Workers? Labour and the Making of Regions New Regionalism in Australia; Ashgate, United Kingdom, 217-235.

Reference Work

Shields J, and Ellem B (2005) O'Neill, Eugene Patrick (1874-1953) Australian Dictionary of Biography; Supplement, 312-313.

2004

Books

Ellem B (2004) Hard Ground: Unions in the Pilbara; Pilbara Mineworkers Union, Port Hedland.

Ellem B, Markey R, and Shields J (2004) Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency; Federation Press, Australia.

Conference Proceedings

Ellem B (2004) Making Utopias: Putting Workers in Their Place Industrial Relations Society of Western Australia Annual Convention IRSWA 2004; Industrial Relations Society of Western Australia, Australia.

Ellem B (2004) Elliot Jaques and Industrial Relations Rapporteur Conference on Organisation and Human Potential: Elliot Jaques and Australian Management Practice 2004.

Ellem B (2004) The Dialectics of Scale: Union Transformation in the Pilbara, 1999-2003 18th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand AIRAANZ 2004; Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), Australia.

Ellem B (2004) Things are different here: Explaining spatial differences in industrial relations Industrial Relations Society of the Northern Territory Annual Convention IRSNT 2004; Industrial Relations Society of the Northern Territory, Australia.

Book Chapters

Ellem B, and Shields J (2004) The Barrier Industrial Council: A Study In Local Peak Union Origins, Purpose, Power And Decline Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency; Federation Press, Australia, 133-151.

Ellem B, and Shields J (2004) Beyond The 'Will To Unity': Theorising Peak Union Organisation And Agency Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency; Federation Press, Australia, 32-53.

Ellem B, Markey R, and Shields J (2004) Introduction Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency; Federation Press, Australia, 1-8.

Fry S, Shields J, and Ellem B (2004) The Industrial and Political Role of the Trades and Labour Council of Queensland Since 1922: A Reassessment Peak Unions in Australia: Origin, Power, Purpose, Agency; Federation Press, Australia, 99-115.

2003

Journal Articles

Ellem B (2003) Re-placing the Plibara's mining unions Australian Geographer, 34 (3), 281-296. [More Information]

Ellem B (2003) New unionism in the old economy: Community and collectivism in the Pilbara's mining towns Journal of Industrial Relations, 45 (4), 423-441.

Conference Proceedings

Ellem B (2003) Remaking unions: Place and community in Western Australia's iron ore towns Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference 2003; Royal Geographical Society, United Kingdom.

Ellem B (2003) Recontested terrain? New forms of regulation in the old economy: Collectivism and individualism in Australia's iron ore mines 13th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association IIRA 2003; International Industrial Relations Association, Switzerland.

Ellem B (2003) New Unionism in the Old Economy: Community and Collectivism in the Pilbara 17th Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference AIRAANZ 2003; Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), Australia.

Recent Units Taught

  • WORK2203 Industrial Relations Policy

  • WORK2224 Globalisation, Work and Employment

  • WORK6108 International Dimensions of HRM

Newsroom articles

See all Newsroom items for Bradon Ellem