Sharan Burrow begins with acknowledging the fortitude and strength of indigenous peoples. She talks of her family heritage in the labour movement and how her mother was a moral compass. Burrow praises the achievements of Gough Whitlam, before outlining her career as a teacher, union delegate, union organiser, senior official of NSW Teachers Federation, president of the AEU and the president of the ACTU.
Burrow believes in a common cause and shared values and that unions have been critical to the success of Australia. She then pays tribute to Greg Combet, before outlining achievements of the union movement – affordable childcare, paid parental leave, end to AWAs, unfair dismissal protection, safety net of awards and collective bargaining rights. Burrow talks about the “important job of sending John Howard packing” and the need to win the next election.
Burrow praises the work of other women union leaders, praises Joan Kirner’s work in the Labor Party for women, praises Bill Kelty, MUA mates and firefighters. Her speech concludes with a presentation of flowers by two firefighters in their firefighting clothing.
Published on disc 1 of the Congratulations & Farewell Sharan Burrow DVD – a collection of speeches, interviews and a short documentary in tribute to Sharan Burrow, on her departure from the ACTU as President, taking up a position as President of the International Trade Union Confederation.
Author: J Bird, 2023