It’s been another very busy year but as the year comes to a close the Women’s & Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee and I would like to thank you for your support throughout the year and wish you all the best (and a big rest) over the festive season.
I would like to acknowledge the work of the committee and thank them for their fantastic contributions, especially with Annual Conference Women’s Caucus and Women’s Conference. The members of the committee elected for this Council biennium have been - Narelle Hill, Natalie Hudson, Kat Hand, Terri Quinlan, Kylie Dawson and Jenny Moes.
We would also like to remind you to save the date for Women’s Conference 2019. Next year the conference will be held at Federation House, Surry Hills, on Saturday 24 August, 2019. Information, including that application forms, will be posted on the Federation website early in the New Year. Please remember that the closing date for applications for the conference will be the at the beginning of August so we suggest that Associations consider electing their delegates at their AGMs in Term 1 and get the application forms in as soon as possible thereafter.
Leeanda Smith, Women’s Coordinator
NSWTF Women’s Conference - August
This year we celebrated not only the Centenary of the Teachers Federation but the 40th Anniversary of the Federation’s Women’s Conference. The theme for this year’s conference was “The strength of our stories” and approximately 200 women from across the state joined together to hear amazing guest speakers, participate in skill-building workshops and hear from an historic panel of all of the Women’s Coordinators since 1975.
Women’ in Leadership TUT - September
This year we introduced a new Trade Union Training course called ‘Women in Leadership’ registered with NESA at Highly Accomplished. We’ve just completed the first course, women members from across the state attended, and we are pleased to report that the feedback has been excellent.
We will be running the course again in 2019. The course aims to develop the knowledge and skills for women members to feel confident to undertake leadership positions at various levels. There is an online group for participants in order to build productive links and support networks on the topic of leadership. The course runs over three days – two days initial training and then a third day later in the year after participants have completed an action research task.
The course contributes 20 hours of NESA registered PD. Next year the course will take place on Thursday 30 & Friday 31 May and Monday 16 September 2019 (all three days must be attended to receive the registered NESA hours).
AEU Federal Women’s Conference - October
The conference was held at AEU Federal Office in Melbourne on 5 & 6 October 2018. The theme of the conference was ‘We are women, we are union!” to reflect the fact that women make up the majority of the union movement in Australia.
Keynote speakers included Sally McManus and Professor Raewyn Connell. In recognising the theme a panel of AEU leaders shared their stories about their pathway into leadership. Maxine Sharkey, Deputy Secretary (Post Schools) was invited to be a panellist. There were workshops and a special presentation from Robynne Murphy of the ‘Jobs for Women’ film project.
Our delegates elected by Council were – Cathy Anderson, Sharryn Usher, Narelle Hill, Leonie Atkinson, Jenny Moes, Annette Bennett and Linda Hazel.
‘We won’t Wait campaign’ and 10 Days Paid FDV leave - November
Federation welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government that it will introduce 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave per year for NSW public sector employees, including teachers.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward and Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Dominic Perrottet issued a joint statement on 15 November confirming the provision will commence on 1 January.
The issue of domestic violence leave has been a long-standing Federation campaign in conjunction with Unions NSW and other unions.
Council Decision - December
Sexual harassment and gendered violence is under-reported, especially in schools and TAFE. Delegates at Federation’s December Council meeting voted to “change the rules on gendered violence”.
Federation will make a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. The submission will seek changes regarding the work of agencies such as Fair Work, the NSW Industrial Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission, NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and the relevant legislative framework.
GEA Conference - December
The international Gender and Education Association conference was held at University of Newcastle from 9 December- 13 December, hosted by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHEE).
The theme of the conference was “Gender, post-truth populism and pedagogies: challenges and strategies in a shifting political landscape” [#GEAconf2018, @UON_CEEHEE, @genderanded]. This was an amazing opportunity to hear from researchers about a range of studies from around the world.
Keynote presenters were Professor Sondra Hale (University of California), Professor Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney), Emeritus Professor Jane Kenway (Monash University) and Professor Susan Page (University of Technology Sydney).
Anna Stewart Program
The Anna Stewart Program was established in 1986 in honour of a Victorian union official and long-time campaigner for women’s rights, Anna Stewart. This program is an affirmative action program aimed at developing the skills, knowledge and confidence of women members and empowering them to be actively involved in Federation in their workplace, local association or state level. The Department of Education supports the Anna Stewart Program.
Participants write about their experiences during the two week program:
‘On the Voices’ recognises and honours the contributions of women public education activists throughout the 100 years of the New South Wales Teachers Federation (1918-2018).
This considerable work by Susan Doran includes profiles of women - their stories told both through their own voices and the words of their peers - overviews of each decade, and comparative charts indicating the social and professional status of women in each decade.
Here are some suggesred reads from Narelle Hill, Women’s and Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee.
Bad Girls Throughout History, by Ann Shen, Chronicle Books
Fight Like a Girl, by Clementine Ford, Allen & Unwin.
Yassmin’s Story By Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Penguin Books 2016
The NSW Teachers Federation Women's Program was established in 1975 when the Federation received a grant from the Whitlam Government as part of its commitment to women in the United Nations International Year of Women.
As part of the Women's Program the Federation holds an annual Women's Conference, conducts Trade Union Training specifically for women, runs the Anna Stewart Program and has a full time coordinator.