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MEU women stand strong

May 29, 2024

A delegation of members and staff from across the MEU represented our union at the recent Women in Male Dominated Occupations and Industries (WIMDOI) conference in Cairns.

WIMDOI is a long-running event established by our long-time official Lorraine Usher, now retired, to give women an opportunity to share their experiences.

MEU women got to share experiences from the mining industry with 250 women from many different industries including firefighting, seafaring and maritime, rail, construction, meatworks, and electrical trades.

It was a good opportunity to consider how far women have progressed in the mining industry, and the improvements that we have already managed to achieve as union activists in our own mining workplaces.

Queensland organiser Sheryl Cooney said the conference was very empowering, looking at the challenges women have overcome to succeed and establish supportive networks for each other.

“It was enlightening to see where workplaces have been and where they are now due to the courage of women in male-dominated industries,” said Sheryl.

Clare Bailey, Mount Pleasant Lodge Secretary, said she came away with a view that the mining industry is a better place for women than many others, due to union organising.

“We also discussed what has changed in regards to legislation and how it was fought for by women. There is still a lot of work to be done in workplaces and with Government to create a safer stronger work force that includes women having a voice.”

“These conditions and concerns have been fought for and won by our predecessors and current union and safety advocates through Enterprise Agreements, union activists and health and safety advocates in our industry. However, there remains a collective responsibility to further enhance and uphold these standards.

“I left the conference with a heightened sense of motivation to champion the rights of workers, particularly women, and to serve as a positive role model for future generations of empowered union members.”

Thank you to all the women who represented our Union at WIMDOI and congratulations to Clare Bailey and Logan Muller, from our Moura Lodge, on their recent election as Central Councillors. 

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