Filter by
City of Sydney
Part of History Week

Remembering and forgetting the Great Strike of 1917

Where
Online
Online
See event description for details on how to connect.
When

Wednesday 8 September from 12pm to 1pm

Oral history testimony has the power to impart personal and evocative insights in the past, not often found in the written historical record. In this talk for History Week 2021, City of Sydney historian Laila Ellmoos will look at the way that Sydneysiders who lived through one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts remembered it in later life. 

The Great Strike erupted on the NSW railways and tramways in August 1917 in response to the introduction of a new way of monitoring worker productivity imposed at the end of World War 1. The strike started when employees at Eveleigh Railway Workshops and the Randwick Tramsheds walked-off the job to protest new working conditions imposed during wartime. 

The strike officially lasted just over six weeks, but its consequences lingered for decades, dividing loyalties and shaping political consciousness. Despite these legacies, the event slipped from popular memory. The strike’s failure was considered by many to be a defeat for the labour movement, and the action was soon overshadowed by the memory of war and the conscription debates.

Seventy years after the strike ended, oral history testimony was collected from around the state as part of the NSW Bicentennial Oral History project. Around a quarter of the 200 people interviewed had memories of the strike. Laila will draw upon these oral histories to share personal stories and perspectives to better understand this watershed moment in Sydney’s history.  

Laila Ellmoos is a professional historian who is passionate about communicating history to a wide range of audiences through exhibitions, talks and the written word. She is a historian at the City of Sydney, and a long-standing member of the Professional Historians Association of NSW & ACT.

Register for this event as part of the City of Sydney’s program for History Week, the statewide festival coordinated by the History Council of NSW. For more events happening around the state, check out the History Council's online festival calendar.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Contact event organiser

City of Sydney

Accessibility

Advertisement

Other events at Online

HIIT at KGV

HIIT at KGV

Get your heart rate up and jump into the KGV online HIIT class
Today 12.30pm to 1pm
Private virtual magic show and tricks

Private virtual magic show and tricks

Be enraptured with interactive trickery, bluffs and showmanship with your own private online magic show
Today all day
StudioRCC singing group

StudioRCC singing group

Free group singing online classes facilitated by Asahi Takahasi
Today 3.30pm to 7.30pm
7 Bridges challenge 2021

7 Bridges challenge 2021

Take on the 7 Bridges Challenge, a free 28km walk you can do in your own place and at your own pace
Today 7.30am to 4.30pm
A Night of Horror Film Festival

A Night of Horror Film Festival

A virtual festival promises a spectacular program
Today all day
ACRF Run Regardless

ACRF Run Regardless

Raise money for lifesaving cancer research
Today all day