I rise to pay tribute to Wally Curran, who passed away on 24 March. Wally Curran was a member of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union for over 60 years, serving as the Victorian assistant secretary for 16 years and as state secretary for 24 years.
Wally Curran was a driven man who made sure that sacking people in the meat industry just before Christmas was a practice of the past, that occupational health and safety were paramount and that equal pay for women was an issue for all workplaces. Wally Curran was able to see beyond the day-to-day industrial matters. His vision for ordinary workers to have sufficient funds for retirement culminated in superannuation. Superannuation is now a reality, and many workers can now live a retirement that has quality and choice.
Wally Curran also had a love of the arts and fought for the arts to be accessible to all. Along the way he also taught the trade union movement a thing or two about the importance of the arts and the role they play. Wally Curran was a man of many things. At his memorial service at the Williamstown Football Club rooms last Thursday the fullness of his character came to life, not only through the wonderful eulogies from those who knew him in his public life but also through his family, especially his granddaughters. Both were instructive in giving us a wider appreciation of Wally, all of which will keep a smile on our faces as we remember not just the solid contributions Wally Curran made to the working class but also his antics, which are appreciated across all generations. Vale Wally Curran.