The ALP is Australia’s oldest political party. It was formed in 1891 and then became a federal party when the former Australian colonies federated in 1901. As a federal party; we are 20 years older than the Country Party and 45 years older than the Liberal Party. The origins of the Labor Party go back to before federation – to the governments of the colonial States. Separate Labor parties were formed in the states during the formative decade of the 1890s. These parties were sponsored by the trade union movement – which participated actively in the foundation of the infant political movement.
The Australian Labor Party is a genuine labour party in the sense that trade unions are part of its structure. This distinguishes a labour party from social democratic parties, although they may have common ideals and philosophies, and from broad-based progressive parties like America’s Democratic Party. In Labour parties, the trade unions do not merely support the party – they form part of its structure by being affiliated to it.
The ALP, like Australia, is a federal organisation. Each state and territory has its own branch, with its own membership, rules and policies. These branches come together to form a national ALP organisation which is expressed most visibly through the National Conference and the National Secretariat, responsible for determining the Party’s national direction and administration.
The Victorian Branch of the ALP was formed at Federation. The branch was built on a history of labour movement involvement in Victorian politics, which included Trades Hall supported candidates in the Victorian parliament. The Victorian Branch is one of the biggest: it currently has around 14,000 members and a number of affiliated trade unions.
Victorian Labor is currently in opposition under the leadership of Daniel Andrews MP (pictured left).
Interesting in joining a local branch? Here are the ALP Branches in the District of Albert Park:
Albert Park: Meets at 7.30pm on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 46 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne 3207.
Port Melbourne: Meets at 7.30pm on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Port Melbourne Bowling Club on Spring Street, Port Melbourne.
Elwood: Meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month at Aree Bah! Restaurant, 61 Glenhuntly Road, Elwood.
South Melbourne: Meets at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of the month at the Cricket Club Hotel, 435 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne.
For more information on the above meetings please give our office a call on (03) 96467173.