Sally McManus joins Vintage Reds in Gilmore

Election day saw Sally McManus, secretary of the ACTU, in the electorate of Gilmore, providing her with a chance to have her photo taken with the Vintage Reds and south coast activist friends.

Quite a lot of our members put long hours in, hoping for a result against the government in the election. We failed; but not in Gilmore.

Students’ Climate Strike in Canberra

Students wagged school and gathered in Garema Place on Friday 15 March 2019 as part of the Global Climate Strike. They called for 100% renewable energy by 2030.

“We’ll stop acting like adults if you stop acting like children!” they said. Organisers estimated that 3500 people attended the rally, including 2000 school students. Some parents and grandparents, including a sprinkling of Vintage Reds, also came and were vastly impressed by the students’ organisation and mature activism.

UnionsACT secretary, Alex White, says: “Unions in Canberra support the student climate strike and congratulate them for taking action to send the message that climate change is the greatest threat to future generations. Tackling climate change & ensuring a Just Transition* is core union business. There are no jobs on a dead planet.”

* The ALP will establish a Just Transition Authority if elected, to develop regional transition plans & oversee redundancy schemes. Unions, industry & local communities will have direct input.

Unionists for Refugees plan for 2019

“Refugees are Union Business”.

Unionists for Refugees are a sub-group of Canberra’s Refugee Action Committee, acting on the principles of “solidarity across borders”, social justice and our common humanity. Vintage Reds joined a recent planning meeting for the Palm Sunday rally.

Popular feeling about refugees is starting to break free from the effects of cynical political fearmongering, especially because of concerns for the hundreds of men, women and children kept in Australian detention camps offshore, with no hope for a future.

Let’s make 2019 a big year for change. Enough is enough. All refugees off Manus and Nauru.

Wage justice for cleaners: Change the Rules!

It was cold and overcast in Canberra this morning when the Vintage Reds joined with United Voice and other unions to support the cleaners in Australian Government office buildings who are going to suffer a 20% cut in their wages (from $24.00 to $20 an hour). Many are likely to loose their jobs because of this change of contractors and work arrangements.  Just another example of why Australia needs to “Change the Rules” and rid us of our rancid conservative government!


Don’s Calendar of Events, August 2018

22 August: Aborigines and the Media – Dr Elizabeth Burrows, National Library, 5:15pm RSVP 62621111

22 August: Japanese War Crimes – Prof. Robert Cribb, 5:30pm Manning House, 11 Tasmania Circuit, Forrest, or RSVP 62959430

as a long term member of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), Don recommends 3 new Aussie films – 

West of Sunshine (23/8)

The Merger (30/8)

The Flipside (30/8)

23 August: Palestine Fundraising Dinner with Olfat Mahmoud, 6:30pm Delhi 6 Restaurant, Childers St, Civic, Contact Kathryn Kelly 0417269984 or

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Don’s Calendar of Events, July 2018

14 to 30 July: various literary events – see

19 July: Launch of “Captain Cook’s Apprentice” by Anthony Hill, Harry Hartog Bookshop, Westfield, Woden, 6pm RSVP 62325832

20 July: Songs of Joni Mitchell – Kate Miller, Heidke, etc. Phone 62752700

21 July: Women of Wonder Market, Tuggeranong Shopping Centre, 10am-2pm

21 July: Repower Queanbeyan Launch, hosted by Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Queanbeyan Library, 11am-12:30pm

21 July: Refugee Rally, Five Years on Manus Island and Nauru, Refugee Action Committee, Canberra, Commonwealth Park (near north end of Commonwealth Bridge), 1pm

22 July: Arab Souq (Market) Festival, National Museum, 11am-3pm, Free entry

26 to 28 July: Dark Emu, Canberra Theatre Centre, Phone 62752700

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Don’s Calendar of Events, June 2018

18 June: 7pm Not Very Quiet Journal presents From Wench We Came: Yass and Binalong poets Jane Baker, Victoria McGrath, Lizz Murphy and Robyn Sykes, Smith’s Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Civic, $5 entry, no open mic.

19 June: 6pm Oppy: the Life of Sir Hubert Opperman by Danial Oakman launch, National Library of Australia bookshop, free – bookings

20 June: 6am-10pm World Refugee Day Telethon featuring Gillian Triggs, Tamie Fraser and many more – phone 1300 692 772,

20 June: 12:40pm Canberra Grammar Cello Choir Wesley Music Centre, National Circuit, Barton –

20 June: 5:30pm Why the 1940s matter in transforming Australia, David Vines, National Library – RSVP 6262 1111

21 and 22 June: 9am Timor-Leste Update, Hedley Bull Centre, ANU, Liversidge Street & Garran Road, free – RSVP 6262 1111

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Don’s Calendar of Events, May 2018

21 to 27 May: Exercise Right Week,

23 May to 6 June: Palace cinema, German Film Festival

24 May: Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka, 6 pm, Ann McGrath from the ANU launches Alison Booth’s latest novel, A Perfect Marriage – a contemporary tale of friendships, the nature of memory, and middle-class domestic violence. Bookings here.

Sunday 27 May: 8 p.m., Archie Roach and the Tiddas

Monday 28 May: National Gallery, Reconciliation Day events.

Thursday 31 May: 6 pm. China in the World auditorium, Fellows Lane, ANU, a free “meet the author” event, with Jonathan Miler talking about his new book, Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines. Book on 6125-4144 or here.

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May Day Dinner awards 2018

This year’s dinner was held at the QT hotel in town. Among the recipients of the expanded May Day awards was Janice Flaherty of the Vintage Reds, shown here with a black and gold T-shirt which must be very soon a collector’s item. Janice was responsible for our recent submission to the government on aged care.

May Day march 2018

For the first time in some years, Canberra unions rallied on May Day, as part of the Change the Rules campaign.

Two hundred people marched to the Fair Work Commission and listened to speakers on the theme of secure work, fair pay, and increasing casualisation.