Peeling back history to reveal Melbourne’s faces from the past

Victoria’s Trades Hall has been standing for more than 100 years. Now a team of conservators from The University of Melbourne are discovering the rich history under layers of paint ahead of a large-scale heritage redevelopment project supported by the state government.

The Trades Hall building in Melbourne has been witness to history.

It was here that Victorian workers won the world’s first 8-hour working day in 1856 - as well as being the birthplace for organisations like the Victorian Labor Party and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Some of those who fought for the rights of the underprivileged or changed Australia’s political landscape were commemorated - their likenesses painted on the walls of the Old Council Room.

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Peeling back history to reveal Melbourne’s faces from the past