Anna Stewart Memorial Project
The Anna Stewart Memorial Project (ASMP) is held annually by SA Unions and the AEU funds its women members to participate.
This training program is designed specifically to give women an insight into how unions operate and ways that women can be more active and get involved in their union.
The Anna Stewart Memorial Project is an opportunity for women from different unions in South Australia to learn how other unions are organised, what their focus is and the overall relationship that exist between the various unions in SA.
There are opportunities for participating women to have time in their own union where they are able to become involved in the issues which are important to members and participate in day-to-day union activities with officials and other trade unions.
The first Anna Stewart Project was held in Victoria in 1984. SA Unions held its first program in 1985.
The Project aims to increase women's active union involvement and to increase the union movement's acceptance and understanding of women members and their specific issues and needs.
To learn more about the ASMP or enquire about the program please contact the AEU Women's Officer on [email protected] or phone us on: 8172 6300
Active members' opportunity
In 2021 there were 3 AEU participants in the Anna Stewart Memorial Project. Kristie Williams, Ashleigh Stevenson and Rebecca Brooks.
In 2022 there were 4 AEU participants in the Anna Stewart Memorial Project. Tina Longin and Susan Garwood who work in TAFE Campuses with TAFE SA; and Sadie Gent and Chantelle Lucas who work in schools with the Department for Education.
Anna Stewart (1947–1983)
Anna Stewart was a journalist and active Victorian union official from 1974 until her tragic death in 1983, pioneering the rights of working women particularly working mothers.
At a time when female workers were largely ignored, she fought hard to make sure they were involved in their union's decision making processes.
She knew that strategies needed to be developed to address the issues confronting working women and to highlight the important contribution that women make to the trade union movement.
Anna successfully led the first blue-collar union campaign for maternity leave award provisions; she fought for childcare facilities in car plants and led campaigns that saw sexual harassment recognised as an industrial issue.
She was a foundation member of the ACTU Women's Committee and worked tirelessly on programs for the Working Women's Charter.
As Senior Federal Industrial Officer with the Municipal Officers Association, Anna initiated women's committees in most state branches of the union and developed strong policies in relation to women workers.
Although Anna Stewart's life ended when she was just 35, she did more for women workers in her ten years as a union official than most could achieve in a lifetime.
Most female workers have gained strength from the fact that she combined motherhood with a demanding career, often breast-feeding her son during Commission hearings or seeking adjournments to do so, demonstrating to the Commission the demands of being a working mother.
The Anna Stewart Project does more than just recognise the outstanding contribution of its namesake but also encourages women to seek positions within the union movement.