Alison Cranley: teacher and union leader.

Alison Cranley was a dedicated teacher and passionate union leader.

Alison was born in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in 1910.

At the age of 16 she became a student teacher, before training at the teachers’ College. After graduating, she began a long career teaching in schools around Melbourne’s inner-North.

Alison was a dedicated activist in the Victorian Teachers’ Union, joining its Council in 1947.

She was a fierce advocate for her union’s members, and particularly for women teachers.

In 1965 she became president of the Victorian Teachers’ Union, just the second woman to have held that post.

She campaigned hard to improve conditions for teachers, and especially against the sexist discrimination women teachers experienced in the industry.

This included spearheading a successful campaign for equal pay, which was implemented from 1967 to 1971.

She also campaigned for women to be able to achieve promotion to the rank of principal – which they had previously been barred from.

Alison was dedicated to her union, and to her profession. She spent her career working for the betterment of educational standards for her fellow teachers, but also for her students.

Alongside her hefty workload as an educator and a unionist she was also involved in supporting educational programs for migrant children, was involved in curriculum committees, assisted in getting childrens’ television programs off the ground, and was involved in the childrens’ library movement.

Alison died on the 29th of August, 1987, after a career dedicated to her students, her fellow teachers, and her union.

 

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