For thirty years I have had the privilege and honour to serve the great Australian union movement, including five of those as Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

I am extremely proud to have spent my working life improving and protecting living standards for workers and their families.

Now is the time for renewal at the ACTU, with a new generation of highly skilled, diverse and motivated leaders each of whom are capable of fulfilling a critical leadership role.

This has not been an easy decision for me. I have taken it because the time is right for both the ACTU and myself.

I have derived great pleasure and pride from having the privilege to be a part of this great movement and particularly as Secretary these past five years.

Personally I feel a great level of satisfaction at the changes achieved at the ACTU.

I have enjoyed enormously working with Labor leaders in developing and implementing policies that promote the dignity and rights of working families.

The time has now come for me to spend more time with my family.

My family has always supported me and now it’s time for me to support my family.

I want to thank my fellow officers and the fantastic staff at the ACTU, including our Chief of Staff Ben Davison.

The union movement has always been greater than any individual person.

It has been so for more than 150 years and will continue to be one of the most critical institutions that will fight against inequality and stop Australia going down the path of the United States.