Marnie Scobie (R)”Strong, Committed, Role Model” and Sarah Brunton (L) “Adaptable, Passionate, Knowledgeable” (pictured with State Secretary Peter Ong) – were awarded the ETU’s Emma Miller Awards for 2018 the first such awards presented by the ETU in Ten Years.
A little bit about the woman the Award is named after.
Emma Miller was a strong advocate for workers’ and women’s rights in Queensland during the last century. A foundation member of the Australian Labor Party, Emma Miller was one of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement which saw Australian women vote in 1902—the first women in the world to be able to vote in a Federal Election. She not only witnessed, but also contributed to the political and social changes that took place during the late 19th and early 20th centuries – a turbulent period of Queensland’s history.
From childhood Emma spent her energy in the cause of freedom and the progress of humanity, and always retained the lifestyle and attitudes of the working class. Her action during the 1912 tramways strike at the age of 73 — of thrusting her hatpin into the Police Commissioner’s horse became legendary, although her family maintained that she actually dug it into the Police Commissioner himself. Orations at her funeral lauded a humane woman of courage, fearless in expressing her convictions and staunch in her beliefs; a pioneer and propagandist of the emerging labour movement; a recognised leader of Queensland women’s fight for the right to vote; and a friend and Organiser of women workers and active supporter of the Trade Union Movement.
The QCU proudly hosts the Emma Miller Awards each year as a tribute to the pioneering spirit of this woman and to celebrate the achievements of contemporary Union women. The awards recognise rank and file female Members for their commitment to and achievements within their Union. It is a great honour in our movement to receive an Emma Miller Award. The Award is given to woman Members who emboldens these “Emma Miller” attributes and lives up to the traditions of this prestigious Award.