Labour Day commemorates the granting of the eight-hour working day for Australians. Throughout the nation, Labour Day is an occasion for unions, community groups and the general public to join in celebration. This is a big event in Queensland, with many festivities including gala dinners and marches taking place across the state. They are often led by the state's political leaders and influential key figures.
A number of Maurice Blackburn employees from the Brisbane and surrounding offices attended the Labour Day Dinner held at the grand ballroom in the Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday 4 May.
Maurice Blackburn Principal Rod Hodgson presented an award, and attendees heard from speakers including the new Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk and in-coming ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver. Maurice Blackburn Trainee Lawyer Alana Heffernan was one of two people presented with a certificate of completion for the Qld Council of Unions Graduate Program.
Alana joined the firm's Employment and Industrial law team in Brisbane earlier this year and previously worked for the QCU. She said she always looked forward to the Labour Day dinner. "It is a great chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and have a lot of fun," she said. "I really appreciate having the opportunity to attend the dinner."
The Friday dinner launched a long weekend of festivities, with staff from Maurice Blackburn's offices in Ipswich, Maroochydore, Southport, Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville and Brisbane participating.
Maurice Blackburn staff marched with a variety of unions including the AMIEU, AMWU and the TWU during the Brisbane Labour Day March on the public holiday Monday, 7 May. They arrived at the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) Showgrounds shortly before lunch for the Family Fun Day, where each of the unions had a tent and provided lunch for their members.
There was live entertainment on the centre stage, where the crowd was entertained by various bands and the Combined Unions Choir. Maurice Blackburn Administration Assistant Amanda Tagaloa said she really enjoyed the march.
"It was great to be part of an event like this - the energy was fantastic - and everyone seemed happy to be a part of it," she said. "It was our first Labour Day march and my husband and I are really looking forward to marching with our unions again next year."