ACTU President, Ged Kearney

Ged Kearney - President

Gerardine (Ged) Kearney commenced as ACTU President on 1 July 2010, and is the third woman to hold the position following the departure of Sharan Burrow to the Brussels-based position of General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

Ged believes that unions should not just be concerned with the experience of people at work but they should be advocates for change to improve all aspects of Australians lives. She wants to ensure that unions continue to be at the forefront of public debate in Australia.

Ged’s ambition as ACTU President is to build respect from political leaders and the broad community for the values of fairness and role played by unions in delivering social change so that people feel the need to join.

Ged was elected the Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation in April 2008. The ANF represents more than 250,000 nurses and midwives, and is one of Australia’s fastest growing unions.

She had been an elected official with the ANF since 1997, also serving as Assistant Federal Secretary, Federal President and Victorian Branch President.

Ged became a registered nurse in 1985, and has worked in many settings across the public and private acute sectors, predominantly in Melbourne, and has also been a nursing educator, including manager of the Clinical Nursing Education Department at Austin Health. She has a Bachelor in Education.

As Federal Secretary, Ged saw substantial membership growth of the ANF and the first national combined strategic growth campaign in the private sector aged care industry. Her background in nursing and industrial experience advanced the profession and industrial rights of ANF members.

In collaboration with ANF branches in every state and territory, Ged has worked to improve the working lives and conditions of dedicated nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing throughout Australia.

Ged now strives to improve the working lives and conditions for all Australian workers.

Ged is a director of CBUS Super Fund.

The second youngest of nine children, Ged grew up in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond, where her father was a publican. She was brought up in a household where the importance of the collective, both in politics and society, was emphasised from an early age.

The year after qualifying as a registered nurse, she took part in the famous Victorian nurses’ strike of 1986 which resulted in substantial improvements to pay and conditions.

Ged is a mother of four children aged from 20 - 26, and lives in Melbourne.

Follow Ged Kearney on Twitter at @GedKACTU

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ACTU Secretary, Dave OliverDave Oliver - Secretary
Dave Oliver is the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He was elected at the 2012 Congress, following the retirement of Jeff Lawrence.

In 2007, Dave was elected National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. He was re-elected in 2011. 

After leaving school in 1977, Dave began his working life as 15 year old apprentice at JR Simpson Engineering in Botany, NSW.

On completing his trade as a fitter, Dave went to work for the Sydney lift company, Johns Perry Lifts (later Boral Lifts). 

He first became a union site delegate while working on the construction of the elevator in the new NSW Industrial Relations Commission building at 80 William St, Sydney.

After 10 years in the industry, and as a union activist with a passion for safety and asbestos issues, Dave became an organiser with the AMWU in 1988.

As a NSW Branch official, Dave led campaigns to protect workers’ entitlements from company collapses, before moving to Victoria as the Assistant National Secretary and then becoming Victorian Branch Secretary in 2002.

As AMWU National Secretary,  Dave played a key role in the Your Rights at Work campaign and the Manufacturing: Australia’s Future campaign, as well as several government taskforces on apprenticeships, skills and the resource sector. 

He is currently a director of Australian Super and a member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing.

Dave is married with four children and lives in Melbourne. He is a member of St Kilda Football Club and in his spare time likes to escape on his touring motorbike.

Follow Dave Oliver on Twitter at @actudave

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ACTU Assistant Secretary, Tim LyonsTim Lyons - Assistant Secretary
Tim Lyons has been the Assistant Secretary of the ACTU since 2008.   

Tim’s responsibilities as an ACTU Officer include management of the organising and union education programs, the industrial and policy unit, superannuation and retirement incomes, and the corporate research/strategic campaigning capacity.

Tim represents the ACTU and unions in discussions with government and business on both industrial issues and the broader policy agenda of Australian unions.  He is a member of a range of government committees in relation to workplace relations, the economy, & superannuation including the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council, the Business Tax Working Group, & the Fair Work Building Commission Advisory Board.

Tim is a Trustee Director of HESTA superannuation fund, and sits on various superannuation industry bodies including the board of the Industry Super Network.  Tim is the Australian representative on the Global Unions Committee on Workers' Capital where he chairs the working group on shareholder activism.

Before commencing at ACTU, Tim was an official of the National Union of Workers for 13 years, working as a senior industrial officer and organiser.

Follow Tim Lyons on Twitter at @Picketer

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ACTU Assistant Secretary,Michael BorowickMichael Borowick - Assistant Secretary

Michael was elected as ACTU Assistant Secretary in November 2010.

Amongst his responsibilities he oversees all Occupational Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation matters.

Michael also represents the ACTU as a member of the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council; Safe Work Australia; Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission; Defence Reserves Support Council and Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

Prior to his current position, Michael was an official of The Australian Workers’ Union for 20 years, where he was the Victorian Branch Assistant Secretary and a member of the AWU National Executive. 

Here he serviced members from various industries including steel, glass, metal, manufacturing, carpentry, joinery, building, construction, plastics and chemicals. 

Michael started his working life as an electrician having started his apprenticeship in the building and construction industry and has always had strong union values. 

A current member of the ALP, Michael believes that the interest of working people and their families are best served by strong and active unions working in partnership with the ALP. 


Follow Michael Borowick on Twitter at @unionandlabor

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Affiliated unions
Association of Hospital Pharmacists
Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia
Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union
Australian & International Pilots Association
Australian Education Union
Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers
Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Australian Maritime Officers Union
Australian Nursing Federation
Australian Professional Footballers' Association
Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation
Australian Services Union
Australian Workers' Union
Australian Writers' Guild
Blind Workers Union of Victoria
Breweries & Bottleyards Employees Industrial Union of Workers WA
Civil Air Operations Officers Association of Australia
Club Managers Association Australia
Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia
Community and Public Sector Union - PSU Group
Community and Public Sector Union - SPSF Group
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union
Finance Sector Union
Flight Attendants Association of Australia - Domestic/Regional Division
Flight Attendants' Association of Australia - International Division
Funeral and Allied Industries Union of NSW
Independent Education Union of Australia
Maritime Union of Australia
Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
Medical Scientists Association of Victoria
National Tertiary Education Union
National Union of Workers
New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association
Pilot Association for Virgin Australia Group
Police Federation of Australia
Rail, Tram and Bus Union
Salaried Pharmacists Association of WA Union of Workers
Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
Transport Workers Union of Australia
Union of Christmas Island Workers
United Firefighters Union of Australia
United Voice
Victorian Psychologists Association Incorporated
Western Australian Prison Officers' Union of Workers

Trade & Labor Councils
Queensland Council of Unions
Unions ACT
Unions NSW
Unions NT
Unions Tasmania
SA Unions
Unions WA
Victorian Trades Hall Council

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