Term 4, 2017 [pdf version]

This month the QTU is highlighting the positive working conditions that we as union activists can support to help us try to manage the ever increasing demands that we experience as professional women.

One of the areas we are highlighting as part of WWAM is support for employees who may be impacted by domestic and family violence.  

A suite of materials has been developed to provide practical assistance to people who have been impacted by DFV, along with material to assist managers in providing support.  These support materials are available on OnePortal (or by phoning QTAD). 

Details can be found on the WWAM pages. 

The other key areas covered by WWAM are:

  • Workload
  • Occupational violence
  • Climate control
  • Practical subjects (WHS)
  • Online safety
  • Safe and supportive workplaces (LGBTIQ+)
  • Healthy, wealthy and wise.

State Election

The outcomes of state elections are always important for QTU members: this is when you get to have a say on who your employer will be, with direct influence over your working conditions. The 2017 election offers an unusually stark choice, based on the records of the two major parties – the ALP and the LNP – when recently in power.

Find out more at www.qtu.asn.au/state-election-2017

We won't wait campaign

While DET and Queensland Government employees can access 10 days paid leave under the Domestic and Family Leave Directive (04/15) and it is included in our state employment standards under the Industrial Relation Act (2016), the capacity to access paid leave from work to deal with the very pressing and challenges issues arising from dealing with DFV is not currently included in the national employment standards (NES).

That’s why Australia’s peak union body, the ACTU, has launched the We Won’t Wait campaign, with 16 days of action planned nationally.  The QTU will direct its action on 30 November.

We must send a collective and strong message to our Federal Minister for Women and Industrial Relations that paid leave matters!  All the talk about making changes to DFV is just lip service if the federal government and employers won’t put their money where their mouths are.

Five cents, per employee, per day is all it costs to fund this essential entitlement

What YOU can do on November 30

Girls Uniform Agenda

In the last edition of this newsletter, I highlighted this important national campaign focusing on the fundamental right of girls and young women in our schools to have access to genuine uniform choices which do not mean they MUST wear dresses or skirts as part of their school uniforms. 

It is really important that we start with the schools we work in!  

Does YOUR school’s uniform policy make the grade?  

Women’s Contacts in QTU branches

Many of the people reading and receiving this newsletter may hold women’s contact positions in branches.  It is really important that you are able to have a reporting role in the branch meeting’s agenda, and convey relevant, timely and important information to our members.  These roles are sometimes dismissed as “less important” than other branch positions.  A new information sheet about this role will be distributed in early 2018.

[Michelle Giles – 2017 Emma Miller recipient, receiving her award]

2017 Emma Miller Awards

Michelle Giles was the 2017 QTU recipient of the annual QCU Emma Miller Awards.  This prestigious award recognised Michelle’s long-standing dedication and activism, both in her workplace and also throughout the QTU structures (local branch, Area Council and State Council). 

The Emma Miller Awards celebrate women activists and pay tribute to Emma Miller (1839-1917), who was a truly remarkable woman; unionist, suffragette and foundation member of the Australian Labor Party.   Emma Miller (allegedly) thrust her hat pin into the Police Commissioner’s horse during the 1912 tramways strike, at the age of 73 (though her family maintained that she dug it into the Police Commissioner himself).   Recipients of the awards are presented with a hand-made hat pin in homage to this history.

[from left, Rachel Bos and Keri McNeill]

Anna Stewart Memorial Project – a strong legacy that continues!

The Anna Stewart Memorial Project is a work-shadowing initiative designed to enable women union activists to engage with their own union, and visit and work with another trade union.  Coordinated by the Queensland Council of Unions, it is now in its 21st year, and is still going strong.   

In 2017 the QTU hosted guests Margaret Connelly (QNMU), Ariah Goodluck (ET) and Rachel Bos (Toolooa SHS) and Keri McNeill (Blair SS).  QTU women activists are able to nominate for the annual program through the first Journal of the year.

AEU Women’s Conference - She Persisted – Stand Up, Speak Out, Make Change!

More than 70 women of the Australian Education Union (AEU) gathered in Melbourne at the federal office on the weekend of the 7-8 October for the national women’s conference. 

Olivia Brown was recently appointed as the AEU’s federal women’s officer.  Her keynote outlined herstory and background as a gender equity officer in the Australian military.  Engaged in positive discrimination recruitment practices and unconscious gender bias training, Olivia’s unique skill set and experiences will be provide AEU women with fresh leadership and new perspectives.

Over the two days of the conference, each state and territory branch, as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQ+ and TAFE Caucuses, met and conferred over the conference statement.  A big focus of the discussions centred on the AEU 5 Year Gender Equity Plan.  Each branch of the AEU will now analyse their individual branches and begin the development of a distinct plan to address gender inequity in union structures and workplaces.

This conference brings together women from across our nation, women who are passionate about public education and gender equity.  It was inspiring, uniting and brings focus to the sometimes overwhelming work that is still to be done.  Yet, she persisted!


International Women’s Day – Planning your 2018 celebration!

Many QTU women host IWD celebrations for staff and students in their workplaces.  In planning your term 1 activities in your schools, don’t forget to lock in events for Thursday 8 March!  Grants are available to help with your event, through the Queensland Office of Women, which has supplied the following information.

Grants extended!
Now closing Friday 10 November 2017

We are pleased to announce a two-week extension to the Queensland Women's Week 2018 grants program closing date.

In 2018 Queensland Women's Week celebrations will be held from 3 to 11 March.

Community organisations, local councils and P&Cs are encouraged to apply for a share of $150,000 to deliver activities and events across Queensland's urban, rural, regional and remote communities during Queensland Women's Week.

Apply for grants of $3,000 to inspire women to improve their health and wellbeing, and raise awareness in the community that improving women's wellbeing has benefits for families, children and the wider community.

Applications will now close at 5pm on Friday 10 November 2017.


YWCA Queensland is administering the Queensland Women's Week 2018 grants on behalf of the Queensland Government. All enquiries should be directed to YWCA Queensland between 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) on 07 3230 3400 or email.

More information about Queensland Women's Week, including an events calendar and online ordering for promotional materials, will be made available on
our website in the coming months.

For enquiries about other women's programs and initiatives, please contact Women's Infolink on
email or free call 1800 177 577. You can also join our mailing list, or follow the Queensland Women Facebook page for news, stories and information for Queensland women and girls.

More information

This newsletter aims to provide QTU women with relevant information and resources to support and encourage the women of our Union.  Feedback and enquiries can be emailed attention to me, Penny Spalding, at services@qtu.asn.au.