Emma Miller Award for Kerry

The 2016 Emma Miller Award has gone to Kerry O’Connor.

The award is presented by the Queensland Council of Unions to celebrate the commitment and achievements of rank and file union women.

Kerry, who is a language teacher at Browns Plains State High School, has been at the forefront of QTU and union campaigns for more than 20 years, including Leading Schools, Gonski, Meeting the Challenge and YR@W.

She has encouraged many women, particularly those early in their careers, to join and be active in their union, encouraging them to nominate for positions and the rich experiences that come from them. She is thoughtful and strategic in her work and is highly respected, with her ability to run a tight, fair and worthwhile meeting resulting in branch activism and growth.

The awards are presented in honour of Emma Miller, one of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, which won Australian women the vote in 1902, making them the first women in the world to vote in a national election. Her action during the 1912 tramways strike - during which, at the age of 73, she thrust her hatpin into the Police Commissioner’s horse – inspired the design of the award itself, a hatpin.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 121 No 8, 11 November 2016, p21