Welcome to the Semester 1 Women’s Newsletter. It’s been another busy start to the year, especially with the state and federal elections and the campaign for Fair Funding Now! for public schools.
This year also marks the beginning of a new Women’s and Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee biennium. Every two years six women are elected by state Council to the Women’s and Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee. The new members of the committee for 2019-20 are Charmaine O’Sheades, Sharryn Usher and Hannah Archer–Lawton, with Narelle Hill, Natalie Mae Hudson and Jenny Moes re-elected.
The main work of the committee includes planning for Federation’s Women’s Conference, the Anna Stewart Program and Women’s Caucus structure, developing gender equity policies and resources, and the composition of the Women’s Newsletter.
I would like to thank the members of the 2017-18 committee for their dedication and commitment to the women’s program and acknowledge our former committee members Kat Hand and Terri Quinlan. Also, the committee acknowledges the contributions and sad loss of Kylie Dawson, who passed away on 25 January, 2019, aged just 43.
Leeanda Smith, Women’s Coordinator
Women's Conference 2019
Keynote speaker: Jane Caro - author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator.
The conference is open to all women financial members of Federation. There will be keynote speakers, workshops and a panel session.
The Federation has an ongoing commitment to supporting women’s activism in the Union. This program provides country women members with the opportunity to attend Federation Council
If you think your Association is eligible for this program please talk to your Organiser. 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.
International Women’s Day 2019
International Women’s Day (IWD) was marked on Friday 8 March. Federation encouraged workplaces to participate in International Women’s Day activities across the state.
Unions NSW coordinated the International Women’s Day March held on Saturday 9 March. The theme was “Join together, march together for women’s rights”.
New state and federal ministers for women
After the March 2019 NSW election, the Premier announced that the NSW Minister for Women would be Bronwyn Taylor MLC (NSW Nationals). She is also the Minister for Mental Health and Regional Youth.
After the federal election in May, the new Minister for Women was announced as Senator Marise Payne, who also remains the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Anna Stewart Program opportunities By Charmaine O’Sheades, Women’s and Anna Stewart Program Restricted Committee member
The Anna Stewart Program is an opportunity to experience the operations of the union first hand.
The affirmative action program is designed to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of women members to become actively involved in Federation at their workplace, association, or state level.
For the first time in 2019, the program has taken on a new form. It is composed of two-week programs around state Councils for individual women, in terms 2, 3 and 4 and a newly designed course for Association Women’s Contact course for up to 20 women participants, aimed at providing assistance for Women’s Contacts to increase the engagement and participation of women in Federation.
During previous two-week Anna Stewart programs, women have attended a variety of Federation forums, such as state Council, Executive and a variety of local Association meetings. Participants have also observed meetings involving the Department, Industrial Relations Commission and Unions NSW. It is a fantastic opportunity for women to see first-hand how the union operates and to demystify Federation’s decision-making processes.
Applications are now open for the two-week programs; these can be found on the website or by contacting your Organiser. Stay tuned for the dates for the Association Women’s Contact course.
Still Jill podcast and ovarian cancer
Still Jill is a five-chapter podcast by journalist Jill Emberson that recently won the Documentary and Storytelling category at the 2019 Podcast Awards.
A woman’s right to choose
The topic of abortion still carries a lot of stigma. Raising the issue or disclosing “I had an abortion” is met with some kind of judgement and the eyebrows inadvertently going up.
A selection of Women in Education columns and other news of interest
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.