About the History Project
The UCS’s 50th anniversary is an opportunity for the community to recognise and be grateful for the dedication and contributions of members, past and present – and an invitation to new members to join. This milestone gives UCS members and our community the opportunity to gather and foster a sense of pride of being part of an enduring cooperative, arising from the many contributions of many workers. The 50th anniversary also provided UBC board members a platform to project a cooperative and sustainable vision for the future in this competitive and rapidly changeable environment, in particular strategic planning around the proposed ‘2L-301 Green’ development at Paddington.
The UCS Living History Project was launched by the project group in July 2019 to celebrate many achievements:
The 50th anniversary of the UCS
25th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives, and 97th International Cooperative Day themed COOPS 4 DECENT WORK
The opening of the refurbished Brisbane Workers’ Community Centre
An announcement about the UCS’s ‘2L/301 Green’ development plans
The UCS history project team are finding the story of the UCS, or the ‘Co-op’ as it is more commonly known, is a fascinating one. A story worth sharing and learning from.
[Image of the ‘treasures’ from the storeroom?] picture of Sue at work
The History Group first met in August 2018 to begin the work, embracing the spirit of the esteemed George Georges, the co-op’s leader of many decades. UCS members and staff held working bees to sort out the storeroom. They found lots of treasures – papers, photos and paraphernalia. There were moments of joy as they uncovered posters for the Palm Sunday marches, old minute books from the UCS board, deposit books of members past and many photos. This UCS Living History Digital Repository is a result of their work.
What is the UCS Living History Digital Collection?
[image of historical artefacts – brochures of BWCC /deposit slip etc]
This collection presents the history of the UCS from its inception in the late 1960s to the present. Past and present UCS members and allies share their stories, adding new information and challenging ideas and facts to build a deep and textured picture of the UCS, its organisational values and its contributions to social and economic progress in Queensland. You can read and hear stories about people and their exploits. On this accessible digital platform, there is also information about the places from which the UCS operated from and key events that have shaped the UCS.
This UCS Living History Digital Collection seeks to enlighten, entertain and educate people, while sharing the importance of UCS values. It also helps to digitally perverse the UCS’s and individuals’ historical artefacts. The UCS History Project contains interviews, corporate documents, photos and copies of assorted esoterica. The project will forever be an incomplete but growing record of the progress of UCS through time. Perhaps you and your family can add to it? Check out this website, look in your files and cupboards at work and home and see if can contribute to the project to make it richer and more interesting. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Key contributors to History Project to date
In 2018 the board members of the UCS started to think about how to celebrate the UCS 50th anniversary. The board sought to commission a written history, particularly based on interviews with elderly Coop members and documents found in the storeroom. Over time, the project morphed into the UCS Living History Digital Collection. Key contributors to the project were UCS member and former board member Sue Yarrow, Liz Hardie, Anthony Esposito, Greg Mallory and Ross Gwyther. These individuals hold links to the Brisbane Labour History Association, the George Georges Scholarship at UQ, Australia China Friendship Society, Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and the Combined Union Choir as well as the Union Coop itself.