Members of the Teachers and Education Support Staff Alliance (TESA) have been re-elected to the state-wide council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) in elections that took place in October. TESA also contested the four senior officer positions: branch president, branch deputy president, branch secretary and branch deputy secretary.
Former police prosecutor Peter Murrihy is the new councillor for the Kildare ward after winning the recent by-election in the Greater Geelong Council. Murrihy defeated 10 other candidates to win the safe Liberal ward with 27.41% of the primary vote. Although Murrihy said he was politically unaffiliated, he received preferences from Liberal Party member Trent Sullivan. Much was made in the local media of the fact that Murrihy put forward no political promises or commitments during his campaign.
Geelong Trades Hall Council president Jackie Kriz gave the following speech on October 12 at a rally in protest against Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons' sexism. Kriz is also a member of Socialist Alliance. *** We have to ask ourselves — is what the mayor did really that bad? I mean, he only wore a t-shirt depicting a naked lady with some captions. We've heard the comments — it's only a t-shirt, or it's political correctness gone mad. What's the fuss? It's a trivial matter. We hear this rhetoric all the time, but it is not a trivial matter.
A rally was held in Geelong on October 12 to protest mayor Darryn Lyons’ sexism. Lyons was photographed at a local Octoberfest event on October 10 wearing a t-shirt featuring an image of a naked Madonna hitchhiking, taken from her 1992 book Sex, paired with the caption “Gas, grass or ass, no one rides for free”. Fellow Geelong councillor Jan Farrell was the first to speak out about the photos. She posted on her Facebook page: “This is what passes for leadership at Geelong. As a woman who lives and works in Geelong I am beyond offended at [Lyons’] ongoing disrespect for women.”
A rally was held in Geelong on October 12 to protest sexism from the city's mayor Darryn Lyons. Lyons was photographed at a local Octoberfest event on October 10 wearing a tshirt featuring an image of a naked Madonna hitchhiking, taken from her 1992 book Sex, paired with the caption “Gas, grass or ass, no one rides for free”.
About 500 people attended Geelong’s first marriage equality rally on September 19. It was largely a young crowd with the visible presence of the local Socialist Alliance branch, the Greens, local Deakin University students, and the Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Project, a local support service for LGBTI youth.
Following the announcements of the closure of Ford, Alcoa and Target’s head office, workers in the Geelong region have been dealt another blow. Barwon Health, now one of the largest employers in the Geelong region, announced on May 29 that its laundry service LinenCare would close by June 30, making 94 workers unemployed.
On June 12 the Geelong Women’s Unionist Network (GWUN) hosted a book launch for Women of Steel at Geelong Trades Hall. The purpose of the event was not only to launch the book recounting the Jobs for Women campaign which took on BHP in Wollongong in 1970s but also to raise funds for the Jobs for Women film project.
The opening night panel of the Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance conference discussed the recent invasion of Iraq, the rise of Islamic State and the Kurdish struggle in Kobane. Filling out the hall at Geelong Trades Hall on December 5, about 50 people heard from speakers Farooq Tariq from the Awami Workers Party in Pakistan, Dilek Geyik from the Australian Kurdish Association and Jemma Nott from Resistance.
About 100 people joined the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and other unions in Geelong at a rally to support the striking Tandara Spirit workers on December 1. Viva Energy, which owns the Geelong oil refinery, ordered the ship to sail to Singapore where the Australian crew would be made redundant and the ship returned to its owners. The crew defied those orders with a three-week sit-in. The Tandara Spirit is one of just five Australian-operated tankers left. Workers are concerned that Viva Energy could replace them with workers earning as little as $20 a day.