Labour Day

1st Monday October

Labour Day

Labour Day commemorates the achievements of the Australian labour movement. The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the eight hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. On 21 April 1856 Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne, Australia, stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as the first organized workers in the world to achieve an eight hour day with no loss of pay, which subsequently inspired the celebration of Labour Day and May Day. In Tasmania the public holiday is called Eight Hours Day and in the Northern Territory it is called May Day.

The Labour Day public holiday varies considerably between the various states and territories. It is the first Monday in October in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. In both Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March. In Western Australia, Labour Day is the first Monday in March. In the Northern Territory it is the first Monday in May.

labour day

Labour Day in Australia celebrates workers’ role in contributing towards the nation’s economy. It is an annual public holiday but its date varies across the states and territories.

By Kenny, Ali and Kage.