1917: THE GREAT STRIKE 20170805 20170805
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Carriageworks 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015
1917: The Great Strike community day at Carriageworks



When NSW railway and tramway workers from Eveleigh Railway Workshops and Randwick Tramsheds walked off the job on 2 August 1917, they triggered a strike that became one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts. The strike came at a tumultuous time in Australia’s history, against the backdrop of World War 1, rising prices and challenging working conditions. Its impact was felt for years to come.

The 1917 Great Strike Community Day will commemorate this event across the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops on Saturday 5 August. The significance and legacy of the Great Strike will be explored at Carriageworks, the past will come to life at Australian Technology Park and the recently restored Chief Mechanical Engineers Office will be revealed.

Music, art, heritage and stories come together to mark this historic event.



Supported by Carriageworks, the City of Sydney, Unions NSW, Mirvac and UrbanGrowth NSW.


IMAGE: A large demonstration of women outside NSW Parliament House during the Great Strike of 1917. Sydney Mail, 15 August 1917, p. 10.  Courtesy National Library of Australia.


SAT 5 AUG, 10am-4pm

10am – 10.45am
Riff Raff Radical Marching Band perform trade union and contemporary songs with an activist twist

10am – 12pm
Raquel Ormella’s walking performance A handshake with the past engaging residents of Wilson Street

10.30am – 11.30am
Behind-the-scenes tours of Carriageworks and the Eveleigh Paint Shop

11am – 11:30am
Free guided tour of the exhibition leaving from the Visitor Services desk

11am – 12.30pm
Free signwriting workshop led by artist Will French in the Clothing Store – all ages – booking essential
1pm – 2pm
Andrew Byrne and Tom Nicholson’s brass-band performance, Towards a monument to the Great Strike
2pm – 2.45pm
Traditional trade union songs performed by the Sydney Trade Union Choir
2.30pm – 3.30pm 
Behind-the-scenes tours of Carriageworks and the Eveleigh Paint Shop

2.30pm – 4pm
Free paper collage workshop led by artist Sarah Contos in the Clothing Store – all ages – booking essential

3pm – 4pm 
Panel Discussion: The Great Strike and its legacies, with Laila Ellmoos, historian; Frances Flanagan, United Voice research director; Tom Nicholson, artist; moderated by Anna Clark, historian. Co-hosted with City of Sydney and UTS Australian Centre for Public History.


Download a map of the event locations

Download a program of events at all three locations:
Carriageworks, Australian Technology Park and the Chief Mechanical Engineers Office