Updated time

Last updated

14 March 2019

About the book & this website

Waltzing Matilda and the Sunshine Harvester Factory

This website provides access to educational materials and resources associated with the publication Waltzing Matilda and the Sunshine Harvester Factory.

There is a special section for teachers containing lessons, to enable the book to be taught to students. It contains lessons and student activities for 3–4 lessons or more if teachers wish. The teachers section will have restricted access (accessible to teachers only via a log-in process) in approximately 6 months.

The book discusses the early history of the Arbitration Court, the Australian minimum wage, working hours and paid leave, including:

  • the reasons why the Australian Parliament established the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in 1904
  • the establishment by the Court of a minimum wage, beginning with the Harvester decision of 1907 that 7 shillings a day for an unskilled labourer was ‘fair and reasonable wages’
  • the later change in the 1960s and 1970s to equal award pay for women and Aboriginal stockmen, and the development of special lower minimum wages for adolescents and apprentices, and
  • the gradual development of sick leave, annual leave, maternity and paternity leave in the 1930s–1990s.

Inquiries about the teachers section and feedback on the lesson plans for teachers should be directed to: or telephone (03) 8656 4526.