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Rocking the Foundations

1h 32m Documentary 1985

Pat Fiske’s vital documentary charts the rise of post-war social change and its relationship to the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation, who challenged the notion of what a worker’s union could and should be.

In the post-war era, Sydney’s population and economic wealth swelled, leading to increased pressure from developers and government to radically rethink the urban landscape. Key residential areas such as The Rocks, historic parklands and buildings were all threatened.

Alongside this, the social fabric of the country was also being reshaped with protest movements emerging around Indigenous Land Rights, opposition to the Vietnam war and the rise of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Within this milieu, the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) spearheaded the historic Green Bans movement which worked to preserve much of the historic, environmental and socially diverse areas of Sydney.

At a time when many aspects of modern cities are again under threat from economic interests, Rocking the Foundations serves as a timely reminder about the need for community action and cooperation to secure urban environments that are sustainable for all.

Proudly presented in association with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s digital restoration program, NFSA Restores: reviving our cinema icons.


Pat Fiske





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