Statement from ACTU President Ged Kearney

The ACTU joins with the entire Australian Union movement in mourning the loss of Don McDonald, who passed away last week after a battle with cancer.

Don was a fearless advocate for working people and dedicated his life to the improvement of the lives of others. During his time at the Builders Workers’ Industrial Union he was pivotal in winning workers’ compensation, superannuation and redundancy pay for construction workers, historic achievements which have benefited untold numbers of workers in the decades since.

Don also fought to get TAFE courses run during business hours, so that apprentices didn’t have to study at night after working all day.

After the amalgamation Don became a national official with the newly formed CFMEU.

Having experienced firsthand the devastating impact the illness can have, Don established NISAD, an organisation working to discover a cure for schizophrenia.

He will be sorely missed, and my thoughts are with his family and his brothers and sisters at the CFMEU during this time.


Ged Kearney will be attending Don’s funeral, to be held this Friday, the 12th of January in Sydney.