1956 Shearer’s Strike – Sunday Too Far Away

The film Sunday Too Far Away (1975) describes the tough life of a shearer. Often away from home for week’s on end, doing contract work under poor conditions and at the mercy of graziers trying to cut costs.

In the 1956 shearers dispute their rates were cut by 10% when the wool price dropped at the end of the Korean war. Shearers went on strike and one of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) representatives described a strike meeting held in Western Queensland.

The Labor government and the Qld Shearer’s Strike of 1956 by Joy Guyatt

The shearer’s had the assistance of railway workers, storemen and packers and wharfies who declared ‘black’ the wool shorn at the lower rate by scab labour.

The Labor government and the Qld Shearer’s Strike of 1956 by Joy Guyatt

There were fights against scabs in pubs like a pub in Charleville which served free beer to the United Graziers ‘volunteer’ shearers.

The film Sunday Too Far Away brings to the screen a warts and all account showing how the solidarity of the shearers won this long dispute, the last of its type for more than 20 years.

Ian Curr
Nov 2019


Sunday Too Far Away

20 Nov 2019 | GOMA | Cinema A

Jack Thompson in Sunday Too Far Away

A landmark film in the re-emergence of Australian film production in the 1970s, Sunday Too Far Away 1975 tells the story of a shearer’s strike in the 1950s. The first feature produced for the South Australian Film Corporation, the film sold internationally after being invited to the 1975 Cannes Film Festival.

The screening of this classic film will be followed by an in conversation with APSA Academy President Jack Thompson AM, the star of the film, and renowned Australian actor David Wenham.

The Australian Cinémathèque co-presents this event with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, in association with NFSA Restores, the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program.

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