Anna Stewart program

We have a range of opportunities to support and grow your union activism
Federation’s Anna Stewart Program was conceived and established as an annual on-the-job training program for women unionists, to provide a unique level of awareness of the way unions can work in our society.

This affirmative action program aims to develop women members’ skills, knowledge and confidence, empowering them to be actively involved in Federation in their workplace, local association or at state level.

More information about Anna Stewart and the program is available in this flyer.


The Program is available in two forms:

  1. The two week Council program in Terms 2, 3 and 4
  2. The Association Women’s Contact Training Course

The two week program:

Dates for Term 1 2022

14 Feb – 25 Feb 2022  
14 Mar – 25 Mar 2022  
Click here to apply Applications close in Week 5 of the previous term

Dates for Term 2 2022

2 May - 13 May 2022  
30 May – 10 Jun 2022  
Click here to apply Applications close in Week 5 of Term 1 – 25 February 2022

Dates for Term 3 2022

8 Aug – 19 Aug 2022  
5 Sep – 16 Sep 2022  
Click here to apply Applications close Week 5 of Term 2 – 27 May 2022

Dates for Term 4 2022

24 Oct – 4 Nov 2022  
21 Nov – 2 Dec 2022  
Click here to apply Applications close Week 5 of Term 3 – 19 August 2022


As an Anna Stewart Program participant you will be given the opportunity to work with a range of Federation Officers to develop an understanding of the processes and practices in Federation dealings with the Department of Education or TAFE NSW, and experience the internal workings of the union, including attending state Council and related Officers’ meetings. You may have the opportunity to:

  • attend meetings with the Department of Education (and other organisations)
  • attend workplace and Association meetings
  • observe cases in the Industrial Relations Commission
  • prepare journal articles and research issues of concern to women
  • attend other union meetings, such as Unions NSW.

Do not let your location in relation to Sydney hinder your decision to nominate for the Anna Stewart Program. Country members are encouraged to nominate and if selected will be provided with accommodation within easy commute to Teachers Federation House in Surry Hills.

All financial women members of Federation are eligible to nominate. Application forms are available here.

The application form requires you to indicate your Federation experience (for example, positions held, attendance at meetings, conferences, Trade Union Training or activity in campaigns). The two-week position also requires a short statement outlining what you hope to achieve by being involved in the program.

The nomination form must be signed by either the President, Secretary or Organiser of your Association, or another Federation officer.

The Women’s and Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee is responsible for selecting program participants.


This three-day course is held annually for Association Women’s Contacts. This course assists Women’s Contacts to develop their role and work with their Association to increase the engagement and participation of women in Federation. Invitations are issued to all registered Association Women’s Contacts by the Women’s Coordinator.


This three-day course is held annually for women Federation Representatives, workplace Women’s Contacts, Federation Workplace Committee members, Association office bearers, state Councillors and Annual Conference delegates, to support these important leadership positions and develop participants’ activism. Apply online.


Anna Stewart worked as a research and industrial officer for a number of Victorian unions from 1974 and was a campaigner for women’s rights. When she entered the industrial arena, women made up one third of the paid workforce, usually in unskilled or semiskilled positions. They were poorly paid, lacked job security and satisfaction and rarely had access to promotional opportunities.

She worked tirelessly to devise ways to involve women directly in deciding the principles and priorities to put to unions and government that would help them achieve real equality of status and opportunity. Anna campaigned to ensure the union movement and employers began to recognise the needs of working women. She focused on areas such as maternity leave and childcare facilities and headed up a campaign to draw attention to sexual harassment as a form of exploitation of women.

Anna died tragically in 1983, aged 35.

After Anna’s death, a number of her trade union friends and colleagues met to determine the most appropriate means by which her work and life could be remembered. This was felt to be particularly appropriate in light of statistics that showed despite the large numbers of women joining trade unions, women were still under-represented in decision-making structures.

The Anna Stewart Memorial Project began in Victoria in 1984.

Share this