Management Seminars: Ruth Barton (RMIT University, Melbourne)
Ruth Barton (RMIT University, Melbourne)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndall's Park Road, BRISTOL BS8 1PQ
Title: “Our Tarkine, Our Future”: The Australian Workers Union Use of Narratives Around Place and Community in West and North West Tasmania, Australia
The Australian Workers Union represents the miners on the West Coast of Tasmania. When the future of mining on much of the West Coast was threatened by the environmentalists’ proposed National Heritage listing of the Tarkine region, the union campaigned to prevent the listing. Using imagery and through its embeddedness in place, the AWU was able to use a sense of place, memory and identity to construct a community campaign that moved beyond the West Coast into the North West Coast where many of the miners lived. The union was able to renew its narrative resources by moving work out of the workplace and into the Tarkine. In this way the AWU was able to mobilise community support and shift political power to the local where workers could regain control over their lives and the place where they lived and worked.