The Living Wage and National Values: Remembering Harvester, 1907-2007
A Centenary Symposium
9.00 to 5.30 - 8 November, 2007
The University of Melbourne
On 8 November 1907, Justice Higgins, the President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Court handed down the decision that has come to be known as the Harvester Judgment, from the name of the agricultural machinery manufactured by HV McKay. It established a male living wage that had to be “fair and reasonable”, sufficient to support workers as “civilised beings” in a standard of living appropriate to a “civilised community”
This centenary symposium reviews a range of questions raised by this pivotal event in Australian history.
• To what extent did the living wage provide a basis for social justice?
• How was it understood at the time and how has it been remembered since?
• How important was Higgins’ own agenda and values to its formulation?
• In what sense did it encode ‘national values’?
• How have feminist writers dealt with how it reinforced a breadwinner model of society?
• To what extent was the centralised arbitration of wages a boon, or a hindrance to economic growth?
• In times when the arbitration system has been undermined by enterprise bargaining, individual contracts and then by the removal of its power to determine minimum wages, what is worth remembering about the ideas behind the Harvester judgment?
• How does public memory in Australia enshrine some historical events while forgetting others?
Judy Brett (LaTrobe University)
Charles Fahey (LaTrobe University, Bendigo)
Joe Isaac (University of Melbourne)
Marilyn Lake (LaTrobe University)
John Murphy (University of Melbourne)
Paul Pickering (ANU)
John Rickard (Monash University)
Marian Sawer (ANU)
with a keynote address by Sonya Michel (University of Maryland)
The symposium will be followed from 5.30 to 7.00 by a reception to raise a toast to the living wage.
This will also be held in the Gryphon Gallery, 1888 Building. Speakers will be announced shortly.
Registration enquiries: Gabrielle Murphy, +61 3 8344 5961 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jointly sponsored by Australian National University, The Centre for Human Resource Management, University of Melbourne and The Australian Centre, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne.
Associate Professor John Murphy
The Australian Centre,
School of Historical Studies,
The University of Melbourne,
Victoria 3010 Email: email@example.com
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)