Social Justice and Advocacy

Federation has a proud history of campaigning to reverse patterns of social inequality. The union encourages you to join with your member colleagues to challenge inequities and be part of transformational change. 

The union has ongoing campaigns informed by Federation policy. 

As a materially rich country, there are no further excuses for Australian governments to remain indifferent to the plight of the First Peoples of this nation. This country has a poor commitment to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families, their communities and their history.  

Federation believes that the realisation of our policy objectives, aimed at ensuring the highest standard of public education for all students, will be our greatest contribution to closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. 

Underpinning these initiatives is the need for genuine acknowledgement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a profound call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples for constitutional change and structural reform to their relationship with Australia. It calls for a relationship based on fairness, truth, justice and self-determination where Indigenous cultures can flourish, and the Australian nation can reach a fuller potential. 

The union supports and advocates on multicultural education matters. Our communities are populated by people from a diverse range of cultural and linguistic (CALD) backgrounds and public schools reflect this diversity. Federation has a strong commitment to campaigns and initiatives that promote inclusivity, specialist support, funding and resourcing based on identified need and policies to address access and equity in our schools.  

Multicultural education includes English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D), Intensive English Provision and specialist Intensive English Centres, the Secondary College of Languages (formerly known as Saturday School of Community Languages), multicultural, migrant and refugee education policy and programs, anti-racism and asylum seeker and refugee support.  

Federation is actively pursuing the reinstatement of systemic support, more permanent EAL/D specialist teacher positions and an increase to funding and resourcing in schools to better equip them in meeting the additional educational needs of students from CALD and EAL/D backgrounds.  

Public education teachers, in their role as educators and unionists, have an ethical responsibility to eliminate racism in all its forms. Challenging racism requires an on-going commitment from all educators and school communities. This includes explicitly teaching students about racism and how to challenge it, teachers applying their knowledge of the needs of their culturally and linguistically diverse background students to their teaching practice, schools electing and training an Anti-Racism Contact Officer and all staff being professionally developed in anti-racism policy and procedures. 

By members working together, we can ensure the Government is held accountable in their responsibility to provide equity and support to all students with disability, including improvements for Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs) and school support units across the state. 

Federation is committed to protecting the industrial, professional and civil rights of its members of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and sex, as well at the rights of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) members of society more broadly. It is also essential to the wellbeing, safety and productivity of our members and students that all educational settings are supportive and inclusive of LGBTIQ people.  

Federation is committed to the embedding of gender equity strategies across all employment and curriculum areas in all educational settings and the eradication of gendered violence and sexual harassment in all workplaces.  

The union supports affirmative action programs designed to encourage and support women to become active leaders in Federation’s campaigns, in their workplaces, local Associations and the broader union movement.  

We acknowledge the importance of intersectional perspectives and inclusive practices that encourage people of different genders in a range of roles, in all phases of education, across all curriculum subjects and in all leadership positions to ensure the provision of quality education programs. 

The preservation of our natural environment and addressing environmental challenges such as climate change is union business. Our members have a role in encouraging the growth of a clean economy that will be safe and prosperous for future generations.