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Labour Day, Victoria (Graduate House is closed)
8 March, 2021
This annual holiday in Australia acknowledges the 1850s Eight Hour Day Marches in Melbourne and Sydney advocating for eight hours for work, eight for recreation and eight for rest each day. On the 21st April, 1856 Victorian Stonemasons working on the Old Quadrangle Building at The University of Melbourne downed tools and marched to Parliament House along with other members of the building trade. Adding to the successes achieved in New South Wales – which saw reductions in working hours but, unfortunately, reductions in wages – the Melbourne endeavour led to the government agreeing to workers employed on public works having an eight-hour day with no loss of pay. A legacy of the Eight Hour Day protest is Moomba, a processional festival across Melbourne’s central business district to commemorate the original protest march.