The Birthplace of the Australian Labor Party
The Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine, Queensland, is renowned as being the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). A significant protest took place at the site of the tree, which is now a preserved truck and monument site. Back in 1891 a group of protesting sheep shearers founded the Australian Labor Party under the Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine, at the time requesting better working conditions. As such, the Tree of Knowledge is considered to be a proud monument to signify the history of unionism.
Historical natural monument fell victim to vandalism
Unfortunately, this historical natural monument fell victim to vandalism, and on 3 October, 2006, the beloved tree was declared dead by an arborist, after being poisoned with glyphosate. At the time, the Australian Labor Party offered a huge reward of A$10,000 for any information that will help identify those responsible.
The Tree of Knowledge Memorial in Barcaldine
Not to disregard what the Tree of Knowledge stood for, the remains of the tree in Barcaldine went through a preservation process. Following the death of this quaint Queensland town’s most significant monument, a new memorial site opened on 2 May, 2009. The memorial site cost approximately $5m to build, and won two significant architectural awards.
Architecturally designed timber structure
When you visit Barcaldine now, you will be welcomed with a huge timber structure where the Tree of Knowledge once stood. Immerse yourselves in the history of the Australian Labor Party at the birthplace of the workers union. Read up on story board displays found within the newly built monument, which not only explain the workers strike back in 1891, but also how the tree came to its demise. Choose to visit the Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine during the day, or visit at night when the monument lights up in the night sky, and the roots of the old tree can be underneath the glass floor. Not forgetting the wooden sculpture’s giant wind chime; a clever addition to the attraction.
A monument to signify the shaping of Australian political history
The Tree of Knowledge plays an important part in Queensland’s political history, and also the nation as a whole. The monument itself is in the middle of the town, and is a must-see if you find yourselves in Barcaldine, Australia. The Tree of Knowledge and the town of Barcaldine, can be found approximately 1215kms north of Brisbane, 580kms west of Rockhampton and 755kms east of Mount Isa. See our Barcaldine Routes page for the latest timetables.
Barcaldine Tree of Knowlege Quick Reference Guide
Travel to Barcaldine with Bus QLD Outback