Skip to main content

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

3.1 Introduction

Most people in Australian history have been ordinary people — not famous, not achieving any nation-changing result from their lives, and not remembered in history books.

What were their daily lives like? How did their lives change as a result of important events and decisions in Australia?

In this investigation you will explore five Defining Moments and a case study that will help you understand how people’s living and working conditions changed, and why.

Investigation 3.2

1856 Work, rest and play: 8-hour day

Investigation 3.3

1885 Employers unite: Victorian Employers’ Union

Investigation 3.4

1891 From the workshop to the halls of parliament: Australian Labor Party forms

Investigation 3.5

1900 Bubonic plague arrives in Sydney

Investigation 3.6

1907 A fair and reasonable wage? The ‘Harvester Judgement’

Investigation 3.7

Case study: Could you live on a ‘fair and reasonable’ wage?

Investigation 3.8


Logo DMDC Logo NMA