Unity is strength - symbols of solidarity

Unity is strength : symbols of solidarity

As trade unions developed in Australia during the mid-nineteenth century they looked for imagery that would combine ready recognition with an impression of solid establishment and respectability. Common symbols incorporated Australian references, mainly the 888 of the Eight Hour Movement, indigenous flora and fauna and coats of arms of the colonies, appeared alongside British motifs of clasped hands, bundles of sticks and heraldic symbols that represented the history and ideals of the trade.

In this exhibition Australia trade union imagery is highlighted through a selection of photographs, banners, certificates, badges and ribbons from the collections of the

  • Operative Stonemasons’ Society of Australia
  • Baking Trades Employees’ Federation of Australia
  • Australian Boot Trade Employees’ Federation
  • Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners of Australia
  • Australian Timber Workers’ Union.