Of the 97,000 workers who struck during the Great Strike of 1917 nearly 13 per cent were Victorian. The lack of attention that historians have paid to the Great Strike has been particularly alarming with regard to these Victorian strikers. The aim of this article is to begin to redress this balance, as part of the project of reshaping our understanding of what was, arguably, the greatest period of working-class radicalisation in Australian history. It does so from a perspective inspired by E.P. Thompson’s concept of ‘history from below’. This involves more than simply giving voice to those previously hidden from history; it demonstrates the role of the working class as an agent of history.