Last Friday night, along with a number of vehicle workers, I attended the Geelong Trades Hall Council annual dinner at Buckley’s in Geelong. It was a very well attended function. Tim Gooden was the master of ceremonies.
For me there were three highlights of the evening. The first was the announcement of the woman trade unionist of the year award, which went to Sharon Rowlands, an ASU (Australian Services Union) member who works at the Surf Coast Shire Council. Sharon was able to negotiate the inclusion of a domestic violence clause in the council’s enterprise bargaining agreement, and that has been a groundbreaking clause for a number of industries. I congratulate Sharon and her team on that breakthrough.
The second highlight was seeing Anne Morrison awarded life membership of the ASU by the state secretary of the union, Ingrid Stitt. Anne is a favourite person of many people around Geelong. She has been a long-time employee and administrator of the Geelong Trades Hall Council. She does all the nuts and bolts work behind the scenes and organised the dinner last week.
The third highlight was the launch of a 100-year history of the Geelong Trades Hall Council, written by Allan Sargent. It traces the history of the hall from 1909 to 2009. I would urge all those who might be slightly interested in the history of workers to contact the Geelong Trades Hall Council and purchase a copy.
I congratulate Tim, Anne and the Geelong Trades Hall Council executive for their fine work that evening.