Summary

Ribbon belonging to the Federated Iron, Brass and Steel Moulders of Australasia in support of the 1913 referendum. The ribbon may have been issued during the referendum on the Australian Constitution held on May 31, 1913. The referendum dealt with issues such as trade and commerce, corporations, industrial matters, railway disputes, trusts and nationalisation of monopolies. The proposed amendments were not carried.

This item is part of a collection relating to Australian trade unions and the Eight Hour Day movement. Action taken by stonemasons on 21 April 1856 led to the establishment of the Eight Hour Day, with the government agreeing that workers employed on public works should enjoy an eight hour day with no loss of pay. It was a world first and became emblematic of the rights of labour. In recognition of the significance of this achievement, April 21 was made a public holiday in 1879 and commemorative marches were held each year from 1879 until 1951. The Eight Hour Day holiday was renamed Labour Day in 1934. In 1955 the Labour Day march and celebrations were replaced by Moomba celebrations.

Physical Description

Faded pale green ribbon with tarnished gold tassels attached at the bottom. Top section features a gold map of Australia with printed text written on it. Printed text in gold is located underneath this map. A large gold emblem is featured in the middle of the ribbon. It consists of a combination of the Australian Coat of Arms and an emblem with a crown in the centre surrounded by a crest which has the Australian States printed onto it. "Union of Australasia" is printed at the bottom of the ribbon. A safety pin is attached to the top of the ribbon and is held in place by a staple.

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