Protests, activism & dissent in Victoria

Research the history of activism, protests, rallies and campaigners in Victoria using pamphlets, posters, badges, images, articles, interviews and books.


Newsletters and journals issued by protest groups and unions are a good source of information about these groups, including their:

  • beliefs
  • campaigns
  • members

Examples in our collection include:

Finding newsletters

Many periodical publications change their names over time. For example Amnesty International's Victorian section published the Amnesty International bulletin (from 1977 to June 1979), which changed its name to the Amnesty International Vic. bulletin (from July 1979 to April 1984). Each publication with a different title has a separate record on our catalogue.

Groups may also change their name - for example Community Aid Abroad became Oxfam. Carefully read a publication's detailed record on our catalogue for clues about its publication history, and for pointers to related publications by re-named groups. The Reason in revolt - source documents of Australian radicalism and Australian Trade Union Archives websites may help you to trace name changes. Organisations may also include information about their history on their website.

To find newsletters, search our online catalogue using:

  • an organisation's name, or
  • topic of interest (for example, feminism) and the word 'periodicals'

Recent issues of some journals and newsletters (as well as articles on the history of different activist groups and campaigns) can be found in the Informit database. It is available to everyone at the Library, and to registered Victorians from home.

The Victorian Women's Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archives at the University of Melbourne includes a significant collection of periodicals.

The Australian Queer Archives (AQuA) (formerly Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives) holds over 1000 different periodicals, totalling over 40,000 issues. A number of key periodical titles have been indexed, and a listing of these titles is available online. Many titles have been made available through the Archives of Sexuality and Gender database, which can be accessed from home by Victorian registered Library members.

Australian Queer Archives periodicals online, Archives of Sexuality and Gender

The Australian Queer Archives (AQuA) is the biggest repository of historical materials about LGBTIQ experience in Australia. The AQuA periodicals collection represents the history of the early gay liberation movement in Australia onwards (i.e. 1970-). The AQuA and Gale have partnered to digitize more than 150 titles from the collection, with particular strengths in 1970s-1980s activism, cultural and social history, community newsletters, support groups, the arts and entertainment, and the AIDS crisis. All six Australian states are represented in the collection, offering LGBTIQ history across the continent. See a full list of periodicals included online.

Carmel Shute Collection

Collected by trade union activist, writer and feminist Carmel Shute, this collection includes newspaper clippings, broadsheets and serials on the subject of feminism in Australia, spanning a quarter of a century (1970-1995).

Some of the collection is listed. See attached list below. The collection is not yet represented on the Library's catalogue. Please contact us for access. Items will need to be requested several days before your visit.

There are many more feminist collection items in the Library's Riley & Ephemera Collection. To find these items, search the catalogue using word combinations like riley feminism or riley women or riley feminist.