“The struggles that made us" Design Prize

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of our union, the Maritime Union of Australia is pleased to announce the ‘The Struggles That Made Us’ Poster design prize. Working class communities have always been thriving with a rich cultural life, and the MUA has long woven our industrial and political work into the social fabric of the communities from which we’re drawn. 

The MUA was forged in struggle on the lands and waters of the First Nations people.  Our struggle for a just society is and will always be entwined with justice for our Indigenous comrades.

In this tradition the MUA is launching the Maritime Union of Australia “The struggles that made us” Poster Design Prize.

The Poster

We are calling for submissions of a “The struggles that made us” poster or artwork that addresses or is inspired by the struggles, events or historical figures amongst Australian maritime workers.  E.g., Harry Bridges, Elliot V Elliot, Jim Healy, Brian Manning, 1998 Patrick dispute, Boonaroo or Japarit, Charles “Chicka” Dixon or the Dalfram Dispute.

The basic specs for the posters are simple:

  • 210mm x 294mm (A4) to bleed (so designed with no crucial material on the edges).  We are using these dimensions so the poster can be printed in A4, A3, A2 or A1, depending on the purpose
  • Full Colour (Digital Printing)
  • Portrait orientation (so tall, not wide)
  • It must say "The Struggles that Made Us" somewhere on the poster

The Prize

The winning design will attract a $5000.00 prize (second place $1,000.00) as well as featuring in a special 2022 edition of Overland Magazine, and the artist will be flown to Sydney for the launch of the poster or artwork on in October 2022. 

The judging panel will be made up of two MUA National Executive members and a delegate from the Workers Art Collective.

Posters and artworks will be judged according to:

  1. Ability to draw on history to inspire progressive working-class solidarity and action. 
  2. Creativity and originality
  3. Relevance to the subject and connection with the movement and/or issue
  4. Effectiveness of political, industrial, and social message

Printing and Promotion

The winning poster or artwork will be launched physically in Sydney at the MUA 150th Anniversary event in October 2022.  The winning entrant will be printed in Sydney and distributed for sale from MUA branches around the country. 

The winning poster or artwork will also be printed in full colour in Overland Journal (https://overland.org.au/) in 2022. The Union is in discussion with a variety of other publications to promote the winning poster.

The MUA will create a ‘Struggles that Made Us’ website.  This website will hold all of the submissions and aims to become a website that can be used to promote future ‘Struggles that Made Us’ posters or artworks.  The MUA anticipates that other unions, working class political organisations and working-class art collectives will seek to run similar poster competitions as stand-alone projects or be involved with this one in the future in collaboration with the MUA. 

The website can be used to hold and promote these posters.


Submissions are open and should be made before August 20, 2022 by emailing MUADesignPrize@mua.org.au

Once submitted, the MUA may put the artwork on the website along with the winning designs.  If the MUA seeks to use submitted artwork in future in a non-profitable manner for union activity, education or organising, every attempt will be made to contact the artist for discussion prior to utilising the work.


If you have any queries about the prize please contact us at MUADesignPrize@mua.org.au


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney