2013 Women’s Conference the best yet
- Created on Friday, 05 April 2013 13:30
On March 27, the ASU held its annual Women’s Conference – this year titled ‘Stand Up For Your Rights’ – in front of a packed room of members and delegates at the Mercure Hotel.
This year’s version was regarded as the best women’s conferences ever held. ASU Women’s Officer Jane Karslake was thrilled with the feedback from participants on the day, with rave reviews of the ASU Great Debate in the afternoon session.
“I want to thank all the wonderful women who came to the 2013 ‘Stand Up For Your Rights’ ASU Women’s Conference and helped make the conference a terrific success. We had a great attendance and the contributions of ASU women throughout the day were thought-provoking and inspiring.”
“We were very proud to have Dr Anne Summers present an extract from her yet to be published book The Misogyny Factor, and to hear Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick speak to ASU women about her priorities for the remainder of her term.”
“We had a record attendance of well over 100 ASU members and the feedback has been delightful.”
The day also saw the latest Women’s Tile Award winner Lily Romano accept her honour after proving to be an outstanding member of our union.
Lily - a delegate at Origin Energy - won against tough competition against fellow nominees Ann Beck (Branch Executive & Women’s Committee member) and Dianne Smith (Home Care delegate at Whittlesea Council). Lily is a member of a female-dominated workforce working in an Origin call centre where she has proved her metal. Described as ‘proactive, passionate and a person who recruits like crazy,’ Lily has been an exemplary delegate actively recruiting new members and providing support and assistance to members at Origin. Dianne and Ann each received special commendation certificates for their excellent work and commitment.
ASU Assistant Secretary Lisa Darmanin said the conference was a huge success and gave the union some impetus to continue to push from the rights of women across all sectors covered by the ASU.
“This conference was the perfect tonic for the union and its members to get energised for the challenges that the rest of 2013 would inevitably bring. To see advances such as one million Australian workers covered by the Family Violence clause – thanks to the advances by our union – shows that progress is being made and our message is reaching a wider audience.”
What ASU members had to say about the day…
“Theme very relevant – and modelled the intent all the way through.”
“Fantastic - learnt a lot, had my eyes opened to some initiatives that are happening and find them very inspiring”
“Upbeat and positive – explaining realities of the work for women”
“Love the commitment and passion”
Check out our Facebook page for more photos
Anna Stewart Memorial Project: Kara Parker
- Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 10:58
City of Moonee Valley child care worker Kara Parker is the ASU’s latest Anna Stewart Memorial Project (ASMP) participant.
Anna Stewart was a former journalist and active Victorian union official from 1974 to 1983. Tragically, she died in 1983, aged 35. In her memory, the Anna Stewart Memorial Project is run annually through most state trades and labor councils to increase women’s involvement in the union movement through training. The two-week program brings together women trade union members from diverse workplaces, learning the processes involved in running a successful union.
Kara – who works at an early-learning centre in Flemington – has been an ASU delegate for four and a half years, and was keen to further improve her skills in the role and to find out a little more about how a union runs from within.
“ASU Organiser Martin McDonald said the ASMP would be something I would be interested in and he was not wrong. My two weeks at the ASU has given me a greater appreciation of the areas covered by the union. Membership covers such a diverse range of people and I have a great deal of respect for the amount of work that goes on and how organisers need to switch their brain from one organisation to another in the space of a few hours. I’ve certainly learnt a great deal watching people in my two weeks at the ASU,” said Kara, who is proud of the loud voice emanating from the ASU regarding women’s issues.
“My experience is that the ASU is really on top of women’s issues in the workplace. It is hard to push women’s issues in male-dominated workplaces. The family violence clause and equal pay campaign are two of the great things this union has brought to the table and pushing to get women paid appropriately for the work they do.”
“The two weeks were a great learning opportunity for me and I loved being able to attend interesting meetings and go out with organisers covering a range of different sectors. I took great delight in learning about the other industries and issues that are affecting them and issues affecting women in the workforce. I also got to attend my first rally on the back of Baillieu’s cuts to TAFE funding, which was a great experience for me.”
“Information is power, and knowing what our rights are at work and knowing what employers are legally responsible for is very important. If there is ever a situation that arises, it feels great to know I have the backing of the ASU for advice. I don’t sit down and read legislation, so having the peace of mind that I have people to explain things to me ensures my rights as a worker are looked after.”
“It’s safe to say the ASMP has lit a fire in me that inspires me to learn more and become more involved with how I can have an impact on the workforce as a woman.”
If you are interested in taking part in the Anna Stewart Memorial Project, contact ASU Women’s Officer Jane Karslake today!
Deb and Donna share 2012 ASU Women's Tile Award
- Created on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:43
Hume City Council employee Donna Mantello and SACS worker Deb Batterham are this year's winners of the ASU Women's Tile Award, presented at the ASU Women's Conference in late March.
The two women were selected from a list of four nominees, which also included Elenora Tambourini from Darebin City Council and Allison Barton, from Kildonan Child/Family Services.
Jaro Caro - freelance copywriter, lecturer, author and media commentator on the ABC's The Gruen Transfer - presented both Donna and Deb with their awards for their outstanding contribution in promoting women’s participation in the ASU.
The Tile Award presentation was one of many highlights at this year's conference, which also included a light-hearted look at the world from a women's perspective with Jane Caro, a keynote address from Cath Bowtell on what union agenda means for the lives of women and a gender equality presentation from Vic Health's Renee Imbesi and Emily Maguire.
ASU Women also had their say in a number of specifically-designed workshops throughout the day.
Check out photos from the 2012 ASU Women's Conference.
What workmates of Tile Award winners Deb and Donna said:
Deb has been an ASU member since December, 2007, and an active delegate since April, 2010. Deb completed the Introductory Delegates training and Advanced Delegate training shortly after. She has attended many SACS Metro Delegate committee meetings with useful contributions.
Her enthusiasm and involvement with the SACS Equal Pay campaign has been instrumental: She was one of the key choreographers for the Equal Pay Dance (She works hard for the money), which became a turning point of the Equal Pay Campaign and the flash-mob becoming world acclaimed on YouTube (listed worldwide as one of the top 10 worst flash mobs).
Her contribution at her workplace as delegate has been consistent, and she has no hesitation in representing members in grievances, disputes and negotiations with management at all levels. She has advanced skills and abilities with research, communication and surveys and has directly assisted in developing the recent Hanover member’s survey and EBA log of claims.
She has also encouraged other women at Hanover to step up as delegates and has been a mentor to many. We currently have six new delegates recruited in the last 12 months. In her professional life, she recently won Junior Researcher of the year at AHRC 2012 and the Federal Housing Ministers award for early career research.
Donna is an inspirational union leader who works tirelessly, often in her own time, to raise the awareness and influence of the union in Hume City Council. Her work during the EBA negotiations, her membership of a range of committees and working groups and her efforts to represent people are just some of the ways in which she continues to promote the importance of unions to the Hume constituency. Add to this her passion, her drive, her loyalty and her deep sense of social justice and you have a member is more than deserving of the award.
Donna has proved herself to be extremely active ASU member. She is a State Conference delegate, a Branch Executive delegate and a Workplace delegate. In addition, Donna regularly attends state and women’s conferences. Her participation is dynamic and she ensures that information flows both ways ensuring that other delegates and members of her constituency keep informed whilst also making sure that their interests are represented at these events
Donna works passionately and tirelessly to provide a quality service for the union, including the implementation of information packs for new union members which are now included as part of the induction process for Hume City Council and the mentoring of delegates, especially those new to the role.
There are lot of women who would be deserving of this award. However, I believe you would have to go a long way to find someone with the skills, drive, determination and passion that Donna has for both the union movement as a whole and for the well-being of her constituent members.