I rise to pay tribute to Helen Davis, who passed away last week. Helen was a lifelong union and community activist. Helen’s working life in Victoria started at Mistral Fans, where she became a shop steward for over 300 people, serving them for more than eleven and a half years. Then in the early 1980s she broke through to become the first woman organiser with the Metal Workers Union, now the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. Helen served as a Preston councillor for sixteen and a half years, including two terms as the mayor. She was an active member of the Australian Labor Party at a grassroots or branch level, as well as being a delegate to state conferences. Helen was awarded ALP life membership by the Premier at the time, Steve Bracks.
Helen led a very full and active family life, raising four boys with much love and care. Helen’s contribution to making this world a better place was endless, and I am sure her work will live on. I take this opportunity to extend my sympathy to Helen’s partner, John Speight; her sons, Terry, Gary, Arthur and Mark; and her daughters-in-law, step-daughters and grandchildren. Vale Helen Davis.