Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

‘It All Started on the Mines’? The 1934 Kalgoorlie Race Riots Revisited

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2001), 80, (1), 21–40.

Abstract

Previous studies of the 1934 anti-southern European riots in Kalgoorlie have predictably focused upon racial division. This article will address the other side of the story - examples of solidarity across perceived ethnic boundaries. While competitive labour relations in Kalgoorlie’s goldmining industry undoubtedly created rifts, some attention should be given to the fashion in which the mines cohered a multi-ethnic workforce, sharing similar living and working conditions. It is suggested that this environment created as much basis for unity as it did for division. The article also contends that the Returned Services League played an ideological and practical role in fanning the outburst.

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Author details

Gregson, Sarah

Table of Contents

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