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Event Details

'Remembering the Strike': an evening of songs and stories to commemorate the 1946 Pilbara Aboriginal station workers' strike. Featuring Lois Olney, David Milroy, Dave Johnson, Mike Burns & David Hyams.

75 years ago, on May1, 1946,hundreds of Aboriginal workers began walking off dozens of pastoral stations across the vast Pilbara region to fight for wages and better living conditions.

Committed Aboriginal leaders had for months secretly travelled to stations all over the PiIbara to alert Aboriginal workers to the strike, timed to take place just before shearing began in May.

After a hard-fought three-year struggle, the strikers finally achieved their original aim of '30 bob a week, as well as establishing their own communities independent of the previous domination of 'pastoralist, policeman and native welfare officers'.

The Strike was supported down south by church and women's groups, lawyers, unions, and the Australian Communist Party: the WA Government's hand was finally forced in July 1949, when the Fremantle-based Seamen's and Lumpers' Unions voted to black ban wool from Pilbara stations still holding out against the Aboriginal strikers' demands.

Since then, the 1946 Pilbara Strike has been recognised by the ACTU as the longest strike in Australian history, and has been regularly commemorated by WA unions at their annual May Day event on Fremantle Esplanade.

This May Day weekend we invite you to join us and members of the Pilbara Strike families in Fremantle to honour the courage and determination of the strikers, and commemorate this pivotal, yet little known event in our shared history.

Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre

Organiser Information

Aaron Judge
Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 14 days before the event, Refunds will be issued should the event be impacted by Covid-19