The joys of April

Posted: 27 Apr '23
The joys of April

The joys of April

I had such fun volunteering as a small business mentor at the Buy Queensland Roadshow this morning. The event was held at City Hall and was chock full of enthusiastic business owners ready to network and learn. It was also pretty cool, as a long-term Brisbane resident, to be sitting in a sun-filled room in City Hall right next to the clock tower talking all things small business with a varied selection of mentees. I am sure we spoke to a couple of future business superstars with names that we will all come to recognise.

April can often seem a little disjointed in business, especially for people preparing payroll. With a bunch of public holidays in a clump, we have to squeeze work into less hours to make sure everyone gets paid on time. It seems a little ironic that Labour Day is one of those holidays causing the small headaches.

Labour Day in Australia has been celebrated since the 1800s, but its exact origins are a bit murky. Some historians say that the day started as a way for workers to campaign for better working conditions, while others say that it was simply a day off work to celebrate the achievements of workers.

Regardless of its origins, Labour Day quickly became an important holiday for workers across Australia. In fact, the first Labour Day parade was held in Brisbane in 1891, and it attracted over 20,000 workers.

From there, Labour Day celebrations spread across the country, with each state and territory adopting its own traditions and customs. In Western Australia, for example, it is traditional to have a picnic on the beach, while in Victoria, the day is marked by a parade and a family-friendly festival.

One of the most noteworthy events in the history of Labour Day in Australia was the Eight-Hour Day movement. This movement, which began in the 1850s, was a campaign for workers to have an eight-hour workday. At the time, most workers were working 10- or 12-hour days, six days a week, so the idea of an eight-hour day was revolutionary. These days, all the talk is about moving back to 10-hour days with the 4-day working week.

After years of campaigning and protests, the Eight-Hour Day was finally granted in Victoria in 1856. This was a huge victory for workers and set the stage for similar campaigns across the country.

Today, Labour Day in Australia is a time to reflect on the achievements of workers past and present. It is also an opportunity to recognise the ongoing struggles of workers for fair pay (including the glass ceiling for women), safe working conditions, and a better quality of life.

So, whether you are heading to a parade, enjoying a picnic on the beach, or just taking the day off to relax, remember that Labour Day is a celebration of all the hardworking Australians who have fought for a better future for themselves and their families.

Enjoy your day!

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