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Study Guide : Australia (1750-1918): Living & working conditions in Australia (1900)

Working Conditions : In the early years of the 20th century

In the early years of the 20 th century, Australia offered the following working conditions...

  • A guaranteed basic wage
  • An eight-hour day (with a half-day on Saturday)
  • A pension if he lived to 65 or over
  • Assistance should he be disabled or unable to work before turning 65 years old


  • Many factory workers worked in unsafe and unhealthy conditions
  • Some  factories were poorly ventilated, hot in summer and cold and damp in winter
  • There were no safety regulations for the people employed to work on poorly maintained machinery
  • Injuries were common
  • Many factories were located in working-class areas and often polluted to air and waterways with chemicals and other waste 
  • Workers  were not paid overtime
  • Workers had no protection in times of short-term illness (no sick-leave from their employer)
  • No unemployed benefits

SOURCE: Information taken from Oxford big ideas humanities 9 (Victorian curriculum)

Part 1 : Growing up in Colonial Australia 1788-1901

Development of Public Health in Australia

  • In Chapter 4 of this clickview video you will find information on the History of Public Health in Australia  during the 1880's  in  colonial Australia . 

Growing up in Australia in the 1900's

IMAGES : Slums in Melbourne : c1900's



Images show the inner city suburbs of North Melbourne & Collingwood c1900's

Source: State Library Of Victoria

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.30 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. Extended hours for Year 12 students: 8.00 - 5.30 Mon-Thurs. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.