Trades Hall: History resources

The Sydney Trades Hall website is a great source of history on the labour movement in NSW. The Sydney Trades Hall building itself is a physical reminder of the history and tradition of the trade union movement in NSW, as well as a chronicler of the social and socio-economic history of the city.

Construction began in 1888, just 100 years after the arrival of the first European settlers, with the laying of the foundation stone by Lord Carrington. However, another 28 years were to pass before the building was completed and stage five of the construction process officially signed off.

The building is full of history, and its union banners are a visual source of pride. A physical visit may not be possible at the moment, but you can explore the website for insights into union history.

Trades Hall Press is a regular publication of the NSW Labor Council and provides news and history on the labour movement. For instance, in the current newsletter, you can find out about Betty Spears, one of the founders of early childhood education.

Spears developed one of Sydney’s first childcare centres, the Betty Spears Child Care Centre, in Tempe.

Sue Osborne