Dear comrades

It is with much regret that I write to advise of the death of NTEU’s first elected National President Carolyn Allport.  Carolyn was President from 1994 to 2010 and served the Union with distinction at national and international levels, including membership of the ACTU Executive, negotiation and representation with eight Federal Education Ministers and an ongoing relationship with Universities Australia.

Carolyn was known as a strong voice for university values (including academic freedom), a passionate advocate for the rights of women, a dedicated campaigner for recognition of, and restorative action for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a life-long supporter of social justice and the labour movement.  She was an active and often boisterous contributor to ACTU debate and policy making, and maintained a critical but deeply collaborative relationship with senior Labor Party ministers and spokespeople up to and including the Prime Minister.

In the early years of NTEU building deep loyalty to the labour movement amongst sections of the university workforce was not always easy.  Today the loyalty and dedication of our membership to the cause of the ACTU and the labour movement is deeply felt and rusted on.  Much of this came from Carolyn’s tireless dedication and advocacy. 

Carolyn was also an active contributor to the work of our international trade union federation – Education International – having attended the Washington, Jomtien, Porto Alegre and Berlin Congresses and represented EI in OECD and UNESCO higher education fora.  She was also an active contributor to the EI Asia-Pacific Region and the author of a major EI study on academic freedom in the Asia Pacific.

Carolyn’s passing is a profound moment in the history and culture of NTEU and a memorial service is scheduled for Monday 30 January at 2.00 pm at Montsalvat, 7 Hill Crest Avenue, Eltham, Victoria.  I would very much appreciate the attendance of all ACTU affiliates at this important tribute event.

We have already received a large number of condolence and tribute statements and any ACTU affiliate can post a statement at this link on NTEU’s website

Please note that Sharan Burrow (former ACTU President and General Secretary of ITUC) is forwarding a video tribute.

In memory and solidarity,

Grahame McCulloch

General Secretary

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)