Long term ASU member Fran McKechnie’s experience as a union member and commitment to action for refugees has led her to become president of Unionists for Refugees. Just over a year ago Fran, aware of the need for more women delegates, stepped up as an ASU delegate. Fran says ‘…it has been an honour to work with members when they need the support of their union.’
Over the years Fran became more aware of social injustice globally and locally. As a young person Fran lacked confidence and didn’t feel she had much of a voice. Over the years her confidence has grown. Working with women and children who came to Australia seeking asylum Fran learnt of the harrowing journeys, no one wanted to take, but endured to come here for the sake of the safety of their families. As Fran became more active in the refugee space her observations of women leaders at the ASU working for change inspired her to take a more active role.
It was light bulb moment for me when I realised my unionism and deeper commitment to social justice and refugee rights could join together, this is how I became involved with Unionists for Refugees Victoria. Our aim is to keep sending the message to the government that cruel refugee policies will not be tolerated and call for policies which are humane not based from fear.
Fran encourages other ASU members to step up to become or support their delegates. From her experience she knows we all deserve to be heard and you just never know where your union journey will take you.