Emma Miller – a century on, her legacy continues

Michelle Giles has been named as the 2017 QTU recipient of the Emma Miller Award, which is presented annually by the Queensland Council of Unions to celebrate the commitment and achievements of rank and file union women.

Michelle is a special education teacher at Kin Kora State School, where she is a Workplace Representative.  She has been an active member of the QTU since the early 1980s and has been active in our Campaign Action Group, as well as in our EB, YR@W, federal election, Gonski and teacher accommodation campaigns.

Having worked across Queensland, Michelle has held numerous honorary positions across many branches of the QTU, and has been an active voice on our State Council since the late 1980s. 

Michelle (pictured centre receiving her award from QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan) is well respected in all parts of the QTU, she is key to QTU activism in the Gladstone area and has proudly stood up for her fellow QTU members and state school students, even in the face of adversity.  

The Emma Miller Awards pay tribute to Emma Miller (1839-1917); unionist, suffragette and foundation member of the Australian Labor Party. At the age of 73, she (allegedly) thrust her hat pin into the Police Commissioner’s horse during the 1912 tramways strike (though her family maintained that she dug it into the Police Commissioner himself).   Recipients of the award are presented with a hand-made hat pin in honour of this event.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 7, 6 October 2017, p25