The AWU has strict governance policies and structure in place to ensure that the organisation conducts its business lawfully and ethically at all times, and to protect the integrity of union funds.

We adhere to the highest standards financial management, and our accounts are formally audited by an independent accounting firm.

The AWU is a registered organisation under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.


The AWU is a federally structured union, comprising seven separate Branches and a National Office.

The AWU Branches are:

  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania

The National Office is the head office of the AWU.

The supreme decision-making body of each Branch is its Branch Executive, which are responsible for most of the daily operational decisions of the union. In turn, the Branch Executives are subject to the over-riding authority of the National Executive, and the National Conference.

The National Executive meets at least on a quarterly basis. Membership of the National Executive comprises National Officers and Elected Representatives from each of the Branches. The National Executive operates in a similar way to a Board of Directors, and has similar scope.


The AWU is structured and governed by its Rules, which are akin to a constitution. The Rules of the AWU (and Branches) determine the capacity and authority of the union's decision-making bodies and of individuals within the AWU, and for the basis for how the AWU acts. The Rules of the Union are subject to the provisions of the relevant legislation.

Here is a listing of the latest rule changes:

AWU Rule Change 16 April 2018: Clarifications being made to AWU Nominations Process

Some alterations are being made to the Rules of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). These alterations are being made in response to feedback from the Australian Electoral Commission regarding the clarity of the current AWU nominations process. The alterations have been approved by the AWU National Executiveand will take effect from the day the Fair Work Commission certifies the alterations. The notice setting out the particulars of the alterations has been lodged with the Fair Work Commission.

AWU Rule Change 7 February 2017

On 7 February 2017 the AWU filed an application with the Fair Work Commission seeking consent to an alteration of its eligibility rules. The effect of the alteration is to insert additional coverage in Western Australia so the AWU’s eligibility rules mirror those of The Australian Workers’ Union West Australian Branch, Industrial Union of Workers (AWUWA). A copy of the application can be accessed here. Please contact the National Office if you require any further information.

AWU Rule Change 13 December 2016

AWU Rule Change 1 December 2016


The AWU has a Code of Conduct and a Financial Management Policy.

The Code of Conduct states that AWU officials, employees and contractors must at all times comply with the relevant legislation concerning Industrial (or Workplace) Relations, Occupational Health & Safety, Anti-Discrimination, Freedom of Association, Trades Practices, Competition and all other relevant legislation. The Code also includes obligations around integrity and diligence, equal opportunity, respect, and the management of private and confidential information.

Financial Management

The AWU's finances are managed in accordance with the Union's Financial Management Policy, and with the oversight of the Union's Finance Committee.

The Finance Committee is established by the National Executive, and is responsible for:

Reviewing the expenditure and financial performance of National Office and each Brach before each meeting of the National Executive; Reviewing the financial management of the Union by the National Secretary; andMonitoring the performance of National Office in relation to the Budget.


The AWU is a democratically-run organisation. Elections for all officer positions - including those of the National President, National Secretary, National Assistant Secretary, National Vice Presidents, Branch Secretaries, Organisers, Delegates to National Conference and so on – are held every four years.

National Office and each Branch also employ a number of unelected salaried staff who perform specialist, administrative and advisory roles.


The AWU declares the remuneration of all senior officers in its annual financial reports. From 2012, the AWU has determined to release details of the remuneration of all elected officers in future financial reports.

Wages of elected officials are set by National Executive and reviewed on an annual basis. Wages and conditions of appointed officials, industrial officers, administrative and specialist staff are determined by the relevant Branch (or National Office) to which they belong.