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This video is the recording of the launch of the book. It features Luke Whitington (SEARCH) introducing the event, Andrew Dettmer (AMWU) as MC, Anna Booth (Deputy President Fair Work Commission), Bill Kelty (ACTU Secretary 1983 - 2000) and Max Ogden, the author.
About the book:
A Long View From the Left is a memoir by Max Odgen, a longtime Communist Party of Australia member, unionist and ALP member. Tracing Max’s 60 years as a union and political activist, it offers many rich lessons for everyone involved in the workforce.
During his long career Max rose from a metalwork apprentice to shop steward and then a trade union industrial officer, where he worked with and alongside the greats of the Australian union and ALP movements such as Laurie Carmichael, Bob Hawke and Bill Kelty. Using his unique combination of persistence, persuasion and wit, he was instrumental in setting up the AMWU education program (in partnership with Laurie Carmichael and Bob Richardson), and his work was crucial to transforming the standards and work practices of many national industries.
Max was also witness to and involved with numerous campaigns that shaped Australian society – anti-Vietnam protests, the South African anti-apartheid movement, advocating for a shorter working week and universal health care, as well supporting the role of women in the workforce. As always, his main loyalty was to members of the Australian workforce. His desire for them to be treated with fairness, dignity and pride drove him relentlessly.
A Long View From the Left is not only a fascinating and personal record of contemporary cultural and political ideas, but a revealing and valuable contribution to our social history.
About the author:
Max Ogden was born in Melbourne in 1938. Born into a predominantly left-wing family, Max was asked to leave Cubs because he refused to sing God Save the Queen and salute the flag. Max rose to prominence as a union representative with the AMWU. Over his sixty-year career Max was involved in many of the pivotal demonstration campaigns that shaped Australian society, and he continues to write and speak on contemporary labour and industrial relations matters today.
‘I know of no one who writes so well about the Australian labour/Labor movement, its past, as well as its possible futures.’ — Brian Howe, former Australian Deputy Prime Minister 1991–1995
‘In many ways the AMWU’s education program set the pattern for worker education in this period, and Max as Victorian Education Officer was crucial to its success ....’ — Andrew Dettmer, National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)
‘Max is one of those people who helped make the Australian social democratic system. His story adds weight and interest to the Australian model.’ - Bill Kelty , Ex-Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, 1983-2000
‘You will be inspired and instructed about how to effectively tackle our future challenges.’ — Anna Booth, Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission
‘Max’s story gives great insight into an important part of our Australian working class and union history.’ - Michele O’Neil, ACTU President.