If you live in Australia and are a ‘tradie’, you probably belong to a club of some sort, and if you are not from Australia, you might be wondering what a ‘tradie’ is. Australian people like to shorten everything, and a ‘tradie’ is an abbreviation for a tradesman, and qualified tradespeople traditionally join a working men’s club or trade association.
A Sense of Community
Australian people have always had a great sense of community spirit, and during World War II, the working men’s clubs were always a hive of activity, and the women had filled many positions due to the fact that most of the men were called to fight in the war. Today, this sense of community continues, with exclusive clubs like Tradies in Sutherland, where members can enjoy great food and drinks, while catching up with the local news.
Over the course of a year, there would be many community activities, with sports playing a major role in keeping communities close – cricket and Aussie Rules are the favourite – plus they would help local businesses and ethnic groups, giving the people a sense of belonging. In rural communities, the clubs are even more important, as they are places where people can meet and share drinks and experiences.
Old Traditions Die Hard
While tradie clubs were very common in the post war era, there are still many such clubs and associations in operation around the country and they are involved in charity work and community projects that are designed to keep local communities engaged.
Typical Tradie Groups
There are special tradie clubs for construction workers, auto workers, ship builders, the mining industry and other trades, where members can meet up and discuss developments within their industry, while enjoying fine food and drink. Sports leagues are in play and most tradie clubs have competing teams, which is another way to strengthen the community, and when there are problems, these people come together to offer support.
In the event a club member is made redundant or faces a large medical or legal bill, the community clubs will do what they can to support the community member during a hard time. By spending their free time together, they create bonds and friendships that keep the community together, and this really helps when people face adversity.
Funding Community Projects
While the state would fund certain projects, community clubs and associations also provide the money when a project is lacking funding, and this empowers communities to provide essential recreational services for the young people. This is especially important in remote rural areas, of which Australia has many, and in the Outback, there are many such community clubs that play a vital role is sustaining remote communities. In such cases, you could say that necessity is the mother of invention, as the remote communities do not have the luxury of urban areas, and it is natural for people to congregate when they live in remote regions.
Next time you pass, why not pop into a Tradies near you and enjoy a great meal and stimulating conversation.