The book deals with the social and economic developments that led to debate in the Constitutional Conventions, and later the Australian Parliament, on the need for a national industrial court. It outlines the establishment of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in 1904 and early decisions of the Court dealing with minimum wages, including the Harvester decision.
The book also looks at the role of the Court and its successors in the development of other employment standards including decisions which reduced ordinary weekly hours of work from 48 to 44, from 44 to 40, and then from 40 to 38, and gradually established and developed various types of leave, including sick leave, annual leave, and maternity and paternity leave.
Waltzing Matilda and the Sunshine Harvester Factory is available in hard copy and as a downloadable PDF from a dedicated website at:
The website also contains links to source documents, a glossary and materials for use by teachers.