The panel was chaired by Brian Howe, AO. Mr Howe was Deputy Prime Minister for the Labor Government between 1991 and 1995. He was a Member of Parliament for the seat of Batman from 1977 to 1996, and a Minister between 1983 and 1995, whose portfolios included Social Security, Community Services and Health. Brian Howe is a Professorial Associate at the Centre for Public Policy at Melbourne University, and author of Weighing Up Australian Values: Balancing transitions and risks to work & family in modern Australia (UNSW Press, 2007). He lives in Melbourne.
Hon. Paul Munro
The deputy chair was the Hon. Paul Munro. From 1986 to 2004, he served as Justice Munro, a Senior Presidential Member of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. He was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1961, and between then and 1986 served in legal practice, interspersed with periods of service as a national public sector union official, including about five years as a member of the ACTU Executive. He served on the Royal Commission into Australian Government Administration chaired by Dr H.C. Coombs in 1974-76. Since retiring from the AIRC, Mr Munro has written papers for or spoken at a number of academic and policy institutions, industrial relations or law conferences and has maintained an active role as an occasional consultant and mediator. Paul Munro is Vice-President of the Australian Institute of Employment Rights. He lives in Sydney.
Jill Biddington is a union official and educator. She entered the union movement as a rank-and-file member in the finance industry, and was leader of the one of the five unions that amalgamated to form the Finance Sector Union. She has also worked for the New South Wales Nurses’ Association, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, Unions NSW, and the ACTU Organisation Centre.
She has a particular interest in the training and development of union leaders and managers specifically around change, development and democratisation for the increased participation of rank and file members.
Sara Charlesworth is Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Work+Life, University of South Australia. She was a member of the Equal Opportunity Board (Victoria) from 1988 – 1994 and a member of federal Social Security Appeals Tribunal from 1995 – 2001. With qualifications in social work, political science, government law and legal studies, Associate Professor Charlesworth’s research interests centre on gender inequality in employment at the labour market, industry and organisational levels, focusing on the intersection of job quality and sex discrimination. She has published and presented widely in a range of academic, policy and community forums and has been involved in a number of key gender and discrimination policy reviews and debates. Associate Professor Charlesworth is a co-convenor of the Work+Family Policy Roundtable, a member of the Discrimination Law Experts Roundtable and a member of the Regulating for Decent Work Network. She is currently working on two Australian Research Council-funded projects on decent work & gender equality and on sexual harassment in Australia. She lives in Adelaide.