Country Women’s Observer Program
The Federation has an ongoing commitment to supporting women’s activism in the Union; reaffirmed by Women’s Conference and Council in 2002, in a decision to continue the Country Women’s Observer Program.
This program provides country women members with the opportunity to attend Federation Council in Sydney as Observers to:
- develop their understanding of the operation of the Union’s decision-making structures,
- encourage them to consider standing for election as Councillors in the future, and
- ensure that each Association’s women members have the opportunity to be represented on Council.
Where an Association is represented only by a male Councillor(s), then that Association is eligible for two funded Women’s Observer visits per year. These visits can be taken by:
- one woman at two different Councils,
- two women at two different Councils, or
- two women at the same Council.
Women participating in the Country Women’s Observer Program are encouraged to attend Women’s Caucus (commencing at 8.15am) to have the opportunity to meet with women Councillors and discuss matters coming before Council on the day.
New Activist Country Observer Program
The Federation has an ongoing commitment to support recruitment and activism amongst country teachers. This commitment has developed from the Recruitment & Activism decision at Annual Conference in 2000. The program was further extended by decision of Annual Conference in 2004 with additional observers able to attend Council.
The program provides country members with the opportunity to attend Federation Council in Sydney as Observers to develop their understanding of the Union’s decision-making structures.
It is envisaged that 24 teacher activists will attend Council as a group of 8 New Activist Country Observers to 3 Councils this year. New Activist Country Observers can attend one Council per year. Priority is given to those applicants who are activists in their local Association and have never attended Council before.
The Councils designated for the New Activist Country Observers program in 2017 are 18 March, 3 June and
There is an expectation that the New Activist Country Observers will become involved in other forums, as appropriate, at the Council they attend. This includes Women’s Caucus (8.15am before Council) and the New Activist lunch (advertised during Council).
Applications close four weeks prior to the nominated Council date to allow time to make arrangements for travel and accommodation; which is arranged and paid for by Federation. As there are less than 4 weeks in the term before the first Council of the year, consideration will need to be given to flight costs relating to Women’s Observer applications for February Council.
Childcare can be arranged by Federation, please contact the Women’s Coordinator (contact details below) to discuss.
For further information, please contact Leeanda Smith, rel. Women’s Coordinator, or Mel Smith, Trade Union Training Officer, on 9217 2100 or 1300 654 369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.