by Errol O'Neill

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by Errol O'Neill

“In Errol O’Neill the events [of the 1891 Shearer’s strike] find a true Queensland voice” -- Aubrey Mellor, Program Notes, 1991

When landowner Frederick Fairbairn asks the shearer’s – including old hand Mick Keegan and the more youthful Frank Connolly - to pay for their own equipment and take a pay cut, the ripples begin to spread …

On the Whipping Side chronicles the drama and politics of the 1891 Queensland Shearer’s Strike and challenges audiences to consider issues of worker’s rights, fair representation, and the employee-employer relationship. Squatters, shearers, unionists, journalists, business owners, politicians, their families – all are represented in Errol O’Neill’s sweeping epic.

On the Whipping Side offers audiences insight into the impacts and a legacy of Australia’s early labour movement and, in so doing, gives context to Australia’s contemporary industrial landscape.

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