ETU welcomes a new team of trailblazers on the National Women’s Committee

The Australian Electoral Commission has declared the election of the ETU and CEPU Affirmative Action (AA) Officers from each state with five new members on the National Women’s Committee.

The ETU National Women’s Committee is proud to have played a massive role in encouraging more women to take up a trade and join our Union. They are the driving force behind improving conditions for women across the Union and the industry, advocating for action on issues like gender bias, sex discrimination and breaking down employment barriers for women.

Five of the six women members are newly elected except for Amanda Coleman who was elected by Tasmanian branch members for another term, allowing for a continuity of learnings and experiences from the previous team to the new one. We welcome these fresh new voices, who will build on the fantastic achievements of the women leaders before them.

Meet your new Women’s Committee members!

NSW and ACT + National: Raven Maris (pictured)

VIC: Jessie Peckett

QLD and NT: Ariah Goodluck

WA: Belinda Cifelli

SA: Gaynor Bowers

TAS: Amanda Coleman

ETU Divisional Executive, which governs the union nationally, holds a place for an affirmative action officer, to advocate for issues that affect women as part of Union campaigns and decisions. Affirmative action officer Raven Maris from the NSW branch will sit on the executive and lead the National Women’s Committee. And in an exciting first for our union, Raven will be the first ETU AA (Women) Divisional Councillor elected to represent ETU female members on the CEPU National Council. The CEPU is constituted by the Electrical (ETU), Plumbing and Communications divisions. All of the divisions are represented on the CEPU National Council. 

“I’m very proud to be elected to this position, and I’m excited to get stuck in and see how we can work with each of the state AAs to improve things for women around the country, said Raven.

“The reality is, we need more women in the electrical trades to help fill an ever-growing worker shortage. I’m a proud sparkie, and I have no doubt that if our industries can adapt to welcome more women, then we’ll boost female participation, and make the electrical trades a more attractive career for all,” she said.

We thank outgoing AA officers for their efforts advocating for women in the electrical trades, but a major thank you goes to National AA Ellen McNally from NSW for her tireless efforts fighting for women day in and day out.

“Ellen was a driving force on the Nowhere to Go campaign, fighting for the very basic right for women in the electrical trades to always have access to toilets at work,” said ETU National Secretary Michael Wright.

“She is a staunch and vocal unionist on women’s issues with a never say die attitude and has achieved so much both in her own workplace, and on a state and national level,” he said.

Congratulations to all new AA officers. We can’t wait to see what new ideas you all bring!

This article was publised on 30 August 2023.