Tassie women leading a new charge
Aug 07, 2012
AMWU women on a recent delegate training course in Tasmania.
It’s been a longtime in the making but female participation in the Tasmanian Branch of the AMWU is on the rise, thanks to the recent recruitment of new workplace activists and delegates.
AMWU Tasmanian Secretary John Short said the branch had become more proactive in recent time talking to existing delegates, male and female, about the importance of better reflecting the state’s membership.
“20 percent of our membership are women. That’s a lot higher percentage than other states and we need to be doubling our efforts to get more women delegates.
“In March we had two or three delegates. We now have 12. That’s been really good over the last few months. It’s nine more in the last six months and we’ll be looking to continue that growth in the coming years.”
He said the branch had worked to remove barriers preventing women from becoming active in the union and were now preparing to stage the first ever Tasmanian women’s conference in November.
“We’re hopeful of getting women from across the AMWU in Tasmania and to have guest speakers and women from outside of the union too. It will be an important networking opportunity and a chance for women to develop skills and understand how important they are to the union. They are the future of the branch.”
Sue Creed from Simplot in Davenport, only recently took on senior representative roles within the AMWU, including a national council position, despite being a delegate of 22 years.
“We’ve had women active in the past but it dropped drastically. Hopefully we can now get back to where we’d like to be. The guys are really good at representing all members, but you sort of have a different perspective being a female delegate.”
Ms Creed said she was excited about the prospect of a Tasmanian women’s conference later in the year.
“I think it’s going to be brilliant. I’ve attended the Queensland women’s conference and thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe the level of participation; out of the ones that attended they managed to pick up a few extra delegates too.
“Hopefully we can raise the participation not just in Tassie but across the country. It needs to start at the bottom. You never know we might have a woman as a National Secretary one day.”
Contact Email: news(at)amwu(dot)asn.au