AEU Women's Conference 2016

The AEU Women’s Conference, held in October, is a once-a-year opportunity for women delegates and observers to focus exclusively on the issues that impact on the AEU’s women members, while also offering them a training ground and giving more experienced women in the union a chance to share their expertise with newer activists.

Among the QTU delegates to this year’s event were Keri McNeilly and Leah Olsson.

Keri McNeilly:

Networking with and learning alongside my sisters in the QTU is always worthwhile, and the solidarity and comradeship present was abundant due to coming together with women from other teacher unions across the country.

It was both enlightening and heartbreaking to learn of conditions and realities for women just like me – or just like my mother or best friend – and reaffirmed the need to keep fighting the good fight.

I particularly enjoyed learning about the Respectful Relationships curriculum pilot in Victoria, and have been able to use some of the resources presented with my class since I came back.

The rich discussions and deeper understandings of my students have been amazing!
It was my first AEU Women’s Conference and I sincerely hope I get the chance to go again. 

Leah Olsson:

This year’s AEU Federal Women’s Conference featured many guest speakers. One of the highlights of the conference for me was the QTU’s very own Julie Streeter, who spoke about “Ageing in the classroom” (see over). There were three speakers on the panel discussing “Insecure work is a feminist issue”.

A TAFE teacher from NSW, Terri Quinlan, addressed the insecurity around her job as a contract teacher of 22 years and the challenges she has faced with it. Interesting also is that the fact that research tells us that the majority of people employed on a casual basis in Australia are women.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 121 No 8, 11 November 2016, p16