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Walking tour: the radical history of Melbourne University

7:00pm Sat 30 Mar

About this session

Melbourne University is very much the establishment University reflected in its array of elite colleges – Ormond, Trinity, Queens and co – and the naming of so many of the buildings that dominate the campus after rich and powerful capitalists – the Baillieu library, the Sidney Myer Asia Centre, the Beaurepaire Centre, Wilson Hall, Ian Potter Art Museum plus of course the Redmond Barry building, named after the judge that hanged Ned Kelly. But as speakers will reveal on this history tour there is also a subversive story of conflict and protest to be told about Melbourne Uni. That story begins right back in the university’s starting days in 1856, when stonemasons building the law quadrangle struck and marched to the city winning the eight hour working day – a world first. It includes riotous mass student assemblies and innumerable invasions, occupations and blockades of the admin building. Draft resisters hiding out in Union House and defying police raids. Protests that disrupted exams in Wilson Hall. Cafeteria workers striking in support of a victimised gay student. And darker stories of fascist mobilisations during the Great Depression.

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