Legal profession's praise for ETU’s in-house lawyer

Nicholas McCallum

ETU's outstanding lawyer stands out among recognised peers. 

The ETU’s in-house legal counsel has been recognised by her peers for her stand-out work performance in all matters of “Employment and Workplace Healthy & Safety”.

Alana Heffernan, who has only just begun her second year with the ETU’s National Office, was given pride of place in Doyles, a who’s who guide for Australia’s legal professionals.

While it’s well-earned and deserved, it’s an unusual accolade to be handed to a union lawyer considering all others on the list are from large corporate entities such as BHP, UGL, LendLease, Macquarie Bank and Qantas.

Alana believes it comes down to the “unique work” she’s been able to undertake at the ETU, as well as the significant amount of litigation she has been engaged in since getting here. undertaken fighting employment and industrial relations matters for the ETU.

“It comes down to holding employers and the industry to account and demanding better pay, conditions and safety for electrical workers,”  she said.

“Not least of all, the ongoing fight in the NSW construction industry.”

It’s been a fast and feisty 12 months for Alana, which saw her in court fighting for the ETU and its members right up until 8pm on the Friday night before Christmas last year.

That alone deserved all the recognition. But it’s not over yet. The ETU is currently progressing claims in the Federal Court and the Fair Work Commission against the employers to seek redress for their conduct and improve the working conditions for members.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks, who has worked closely with Alana in their battle against the Sydney construction cartel in the multi-enterprise bargaining dispute.  

“This an awesome achievement by Alana, particularly given other mentions and where they come from,” he said. 

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