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Leadership

General Secretary – Grahame Kelly

Grahame grew up in Singleton, which is in the heart of the Hunter Valley – a prominent coal mining area with a long-standing history in the coal industry. Grahame’s began in the industry in 1985 at the Warkworth mine, initially as a trade assistant and later as a washery operator.

His dedication to advocating for coal miners’ rights led him to become the Union’s Lodge Secretary at Warkworth in 1996, progressing to the Northern District Board of Management in 2000. Grahame was elected to the roles of District Vice President in 2003 and District Secretary in 2006. He was then elected General Secretary in 2017.

Grahame serves on various boards and industry bodies representing members, including Mine Super, Coal Long Service Leave Corporation, and MATES in Mining & Energy steering committee. He also serves as a Director at Unity Bank.

Grahame’s focus remains on advancing the welfare and interests of coal and energy workers and communities in the mining, energy, port and rail sectors across Australia through the Mining and Energy Union.

General President – Tony Maher

Tony Maher first started work in the resources industry in 1979 at Rio Tinto’s silver lead zinc mine in Broken Hill. Tony has been General President of the Mining and Energy Union since August 1998. Prior to that he held various positions in the MEU’s predecessor union, the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Association (FEDFA).

Tony has been an organiser, industrial officer and campaigner, with many years experience running industrial cases in industrial tribunals on behalf of members. Tony leads the union’s involvement in the IndustriALL international trade union to which the MEU is affiliated.

Tony has been actively involved in issues around the impact of energy transition on coal jobs since 2006. He has been instrumental in developing an Australian model for supporting workers through energy transition and sits on the Advisory Board of the Federal Government’s Net Zero Economy Agency.

General Vice President – Stephen Smyth

Stephen Smyth is a third-generation coal mineworker from Collinsville, Queensland. He joined the coal industry in 1988, working in both underground and open cut mines. Passionate about mine safety and conditions, Stephen has worked as a Deputy, Ventilation Officer, and Industry Safety and Health Representative.

In 2009, Stephen was elected President of the MEU Queensland District. He held that position until 2023, when he was elected to as General Vice President.