Ged Kearney has been elected as the next President of the ACTU following the closure of nominations today for an upcoming casual vacancy.
Ms Kearney, currently Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation, has been elected unopposed to replace Sharan Burrow, who is set to take up a major international union position later this year.
Ms Burrow will continue to actively serve as ACTU President until the end of June, and Ms Kearney will formally take office as ACTU President on 1 July.
ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence congratulated Ms Kearney on her election.
“Ged will be a fine successor to Sharan Burrow and continues a proud tradition for the ACTU of women filling senior leadership positions in the Australian union movement,” Mr Lawrence said.
“I very much look forward to working closely with Ged to advance the union movement’s agenda to improve the lives of working Australians and their families.
“Ged has been at the helm one of Australia’s biggest and fastest growing unions and has successfully led important policy initiatives improving outcomes for nurses and the health sector more broadly.
“In particular Ged has led the ‘Because We Care’ campaign raising community awareness and support for quality aged care services and to improve the employment conditions of aged care workers. She will be an excellent representative for working Australians and all of us at the ACTU are looking forward to working with her.”
Ms Burrow has announced her intention to resign following her unopposed nomination to General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, based in Brussels.
Ms Kearney said she was honoured to have been elected to directly represent more than 1.8 million working Australians and their families.
Ms Kearney is a member of the ACTU Executive, has been Federal Secretary of the ANF since 2008, and part of the leadership team of the ANF for the past six years.
She said she would continue as ANF Federal Secretary until the end of June.
“It is an incredible honour to join Jeff Lawrence in leading Australian unions to provide a voice for working Australians and their families, particularly in an election year with the very real threat that the Liberal Party will re-introduce WorkChoices if they are elected,” Ms Kearney said.
“Sharan Burrow has done an extraordinary job at the ACTU. Her energy and commitment is an inspiration to all and it is a great achievement for her to move onto this new international role.
“I am committed to progressing the interests of working Australians and to making sure their voices are heard in the debates that matter.
“I intend to work co-operatively with all ACTU affiliates, big and small, to put our agenda into action, grow the union movement, and achieve positive change for workers and their families.”