Former workers being sought for history of Holden in Australia

Those who worked at Holden between 1945 and 2017 are being sought for an oral history of the company and its workers.


Historians from the University of Adelaide and Monash University are looking for those who worked at sites in South Australia and Victoria – such as Woodville, Elizabeth, Fisherman’s Bend and Dandenong – for the Social Histories of Holden in Australia project, to be housed at the National Library of Australia.


Holden was the second-last of the three automotive manufacturers to end assembly operations over 2016 and 2017. This came at the cost of 14,000 jobs at the car companies and their suppliers, according to a recent analysis.


“South Australia’s largest private employer for much of its lifespan, and the linchpin of the state’s manufacturing sector, Holden’s final factory closure evoked grave concern for its workers and the hundreds of smaller component manufacturers and local businesses that figuratively and literally fed its factory and workforce,” said Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk of the University of Adelaide’s School of Humanities in a statement.


“The role that workers, and the working-class communities in which they lived, played in Holden’s business warrants thorough investigation, as does the effectiveness of the company’s attempts to help its workforce transition to new jobs.


“Whereas most histories of Holden – and histories of automotive manufacturing in general – focus on the mercurial careers of senior executives and the cars, this project puts manufacturing workers and places at the centre of the story.”


Those interested can find out more at, by emailing [email protected], or by phoning (08) 8313 6352.


Picture: Holden FX


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