The rising role of women in Unions: my story

Marina began working with Unions about twenty years ago and has risen to the role of National Vice President and member of the AWU National Executive. She shares her story with you.

I started my career with Unions some twenty years ago, working as the administration officer for the Federated Ironworkers Association, which eventually amalgamated with the AWU. Part of my role then was to assist with organising duties to help out other officials when needed. At the time there were no other female organisers in my district.  

These early experiences were great opportunities for me to learn more about our Union, its members and industrial issues.  I was encouraged and supported by the branch and officials, which I know doesn’t always happen in other organisations and workplaces. 

Initially, I serviced areas that had predominately female members and for the past twelve years I have looked after the Metals and Construction division of the Queensland Branch.

As an elected National Vice President, I thoroughly enjoy working with our AWU National Women’s Committee and National Executive to resolve some of the issues women face in the workplace. It’s encouraging to see the initiatives in securing better working rights for our female members endorsed by our Union leadership. It complements the values of our Union.

Our Union is progressive, diverse and well resourced to assist and support our members. I am proud to note that nationally we now have more female organisers and staff than ever before.

My experiences in the Union have helped develop my understanding and belief in the movement. Gender has never been an issue when it comes to my working life in the Union, and it shouldn’t be an issue out there in your workplaces either.