Monday, 21 April 2014

Removals to Australia – Celebrating Labour Day

If you’re planning your removals to Australia, just as in England, you will find yourself with time off from work to mark the various public holidays. One such public holiday is Labour Day which is celebrated on different dates, depending on which part of Australia you are moving to.

If your removals to Australia are taking you to the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia, you'll find it celebrated on the first Monday in October. If you’re emigrating to Victoria or Tasmania, here you'll find Labour Day marked on the second Monday in March and, if you are moving to Western Australia, it is celebrated, on the first Monday in March. If you're headed to Queensland and the Northern Territory, your removals to Australia will see you celebrating Labour Day on the first Monday in May.

The reason Labour Day is marked on different dates around the country is because each state or territory adopted the eight hour working day at a different time.

Removals to Australia – click here for full information on our removals to Australia service or contact us now for a free online moving quote.

Here’s our guide to Labour Day and an overview of what to expect from the celebrations.

The History of Labour Day in Australia

Labour Day is known by various other titles across Australia. In Tasmania they call it Eight Hours Day and in the Northern Territory it is called May Day. Its Tasmanian title is the most descriptive as it marks the granting of the eight-hour working day for Australian workers. It serves as a reminder of the everyday workers’ contribution to the nation’s economy. 

The tradition of Labour Day goes back over one hundred years and is a day set aside to remember those who struggled for fair working conditions in Australia. In the previous century, it was not uncommon for workers to have to put in 12 hour days and work 6 days a week.

It was the stonemasons who struck first. On April 21, 1856, a group of them marched on Parliament House demanding reduced working hours and pushing for an eight-hour day. The 48hour week was eventually agreed upon and they celebrated with a victory march on May 12th that year. The other Australian states and territories soon followed suit and by 1873 all of Australia had adopted the 48hr working week.

The Main Celebrations on Labour Day

Across Australia, Labour Day is marked as a public holiday, much like our May Day holiday here in the UK. There are no Maypoles for the children to dance around though. This is more a holiday like our bank holidays. A day for the family to get together or one which can properly be celebrated the evening before, safe in the knowledge that you don't have to work the following day, unless you are involved in the entertainment or hospitality fields of course.

The day used to be marked with celebratory marches, a sort of “one in the eye” to the establishment. Now though, there is less in the way of hue and cry and more in the way of rest and relaxation.

Labour Day Celebrations Near You

In Melbourne the Labour Day holiday has been taken over by the Moomba Festival, a street parade rounded off with fireworks in the evening. It's a huge and colourful street party featuring floats and fancy dress and culminating in the crowning of the Moomba Monarchs.

Previous Moomba Monarchs have included Olympian Cathy Freeman, TV personalities Denise Drysdale and Molly Meldrum and singers Kate Ceberano and Marina Prior. The festival brings Melbourne's city streets, riverside areas, parks and waterfront to life with several days of free public events during the Labour Day long weekend.

There are Labour Day discounts at bars and restaurants and also at DIY stores. There's 10% off at Terra Rossa Restaurant on Flinders Lane, between Russell St and Exhibition St. There's a long weekend mega party at Sugar, 8 Jackson St, Toorak on Sunday 10th March 2013. It's Labour Day Eve with no work the following day so an excuse, as if one were needed, to let your hair down. At Veludo in Acland Street, St Kilda, they're really pushing the envelope. They're looking to spread Labour Day over 5 days with live bands and DJ's in the evenings and throughout the day over the weekend.

The Cairns Blues Festival takes plays during Queensland's Labour Day weekend. On Saturday 11th May, Fogarty Park is set to play host to the likes of Billy T.K. Junior & The Groove Shakers, The Mason Rack Band, Hatz Fitz & Cara Robinson, Bluesville Station, Sugarcane Collins, Luke R Davies, Blake Saban 3, Carinda Christie, The Hillbilly Goats and Rockabilly Blues Xpress.

Hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars throughout Australia, will all look to do something to mark Labour Day; it is a national holiday after all. So, wherever you are moving to in Australia, and on whatever date they celebrate Labour Day, you are bound to find something going on locally. It’s not all fun and games though; there is a serious side to Labour Day. This is often marked by politically oriented marches which still take place on Labour Day in other parts of the country. In Brisbane, for example, a march was held in support the Aboriginal workers whose wages have been taken by governments and never given back. Known as the Stolen Wages issue, it is as yet unresolved.

Future Labour Day, May Day And Eight Hours Day Dates For Your Diary

Mon May 5 2014 May Day Northern Territory
Mon Oct 6 2014 Labour Day South Australia
Mon Oct 6 2014 Labour Day Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales
Mon Oct 6 2014 Labour Day Queensland

Mon Mar 2 2015 Labour Day Western Australia
Mon Mar 9 2015 Eight Hours Day Tasmania
Mon Mar 9 2015 Labour Day Victoria
Mon May 4 2015 May Day Northern Territory
Mon Oct 5 2015 Labour Day Queensland
Mon Oct 5 2015 Labour Day South Australia
Mon Oct 5 2015 Labour Day Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales

About MPL Removals

The Moving Partnership Ltd focus on finding you the best possible removals quote. We progress your move, from start to finish, from home to home, ensuring that your removals to Australia go like clockwork. Call us today to discuss your move and let us make it happen for you as cheaply and efficiently as possible.

Removals to Australia – click here for full information on our removals to Australia service or contact us now for a free online moving quote.