History of the Club

The Barrier Social Democratic Club (affectionately known to locals as ‘The Demo’) was founded in 1903. Its original purpose – the achievement of social democracy – is emphasised in its name.

The Club had a modest beginning. In early 1903, a small group of workers held a meeting for those who were interested in a social movement. The forty or so people present decided to form what is today known as the Social Democratic Club. In the beginning, the Club provided Broken Hill residents with a place to socialise, exchange opinions and discuss the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Through this exchange of values and ideas, the club grew. Through meetings, the creation of a circulating library, book depot and function room, its focus shifted to the education of the people in the principles of social democracy. Women played a large part in the Club’s activities, forming their own committees and governing municipal affairs.

The Demo Club has weathered many storms including:

  • the lockout of 1909;
  • the struggle of the 44 hour week;
  • the fight against military conscription; and
  • the 1912-1920 fight for compensation rights.


However through adversity it has survived and today offers travellers and locals exceptional service, a diverse bistro menu, fantastic weekend entertainment and an all-round welcoming atmosphere.