Postcard: Fair Work Commission Library, Melbourne Australia

Today’s postcard comes to us from Frank Ponte in Melbourne Australia. Thanks Frank!

My name is Frank Ponte and I am the Acting National Manager at the Fair Work Commission Library in Melbourne, Australia. The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s industrial relations tribunal. The tribunal has been operating since 1904 with the passage of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act which established the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration.

Since 1904 the Commission has changed its name on many occasions.
Commonwealth Court of Conciliation And Arbitration (1905-1956)
Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1956-1973)
Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1973-1988)
Australian Industrial Relations Commission (1988-2009)
Fair Work Australia (2009-2012)
Fair Work Commission (2013-

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The library and records management team perform the following core functions:

  • Manage and maintain the Fair Work Commission’s workplace relations research resources and archival materials.
  • Respond to research requests from Commission Members, staff and the public.
  • Record and manage case files in accordance with legislative and policy requirement.

The Library & Records Management Team is also responsible for managing online research and legal database subscription services, providing a daily media clippings service to Commission members and ensuring the Commission meets its record keeping obligations. The team can assist with finding resources, navigate subscription databases and online journals.

The Library also encourages research students to visit and use the unique collection of agreements, awards and industrial relations decisions from multiple jurisdictions.

Justice Kirby 1956–1973. Longest serving Commission President.

Justice Kirby
1956–1973.
Longest serving
Commission President.

The Library is also responsible for the Richard Kirby Archives, an historic repository dedicated to preserving the history of the Fair Work Commission and its predecessor bodies.
Recently the Library hosted an exhibition entitled the Treasures of the Archives. You can see pictures from the launch above. From 2016 the Library will be launching its new Exhibition in the archives space entitled: “The History of the Australian Minimum Wage”

The exhibition covers the great strikes of the 19th century where the 1st minimum wage was introduced right through to the modern era. There are 8 key moments in the historical timeline that are depicted by text, images and video content.

To visit the Library and Exhibition:

Location: 11 Exhibition Street. Melbourne

Library: Level 8       Mon – Fri : 9m-5pm

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