Object number: 2007/56/104
In Mutual Obligation Sally Olds looks into unemployment activism in 1970s Australia, when Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister and Milton Friedman toured the continent. The piece tracks the links between unemployed worker unions, the origin of the ‘dole bludger’, and the rise of the unemployment policies we live under and struggle against today.
Sally Olds is a writer whose work has been published by Sydney Review of Books, un Magazine, the Institute of Modern Art, and AQNB, among other publications. In September 2022 she released her first book, People who Lunch: Essays on Work, Leisure, and Loose Living (Upswell). Keep up with Sally via her website, Twitter and Instagram.
This work was made on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong Peoples of the Kulin Nation. Sally pays her respects to their Elders past and present.
With thanks to Jon Tjhia for his support with editing, recording, and producing this work, Ayeesha Ash and Cara Stewart for their curatorial support, Alex Griffin for information about Australia’s economic history, and Owen Bennett for his interview. Thank you to all who shared stories about their experiences of Centrelink.
Oscillations is presented by Jon Tjhia and sound design is by Erin Hyde (Sig Nu Gris).
Interested in learning more? Check out the Oscillations collection set.