Picture of Irene Munro candidate for President

Irene Monro

I am running for the position of QLWN President.

In these challenging times we must have a strong and united Labor Women’s Network which brings to the table a depth of ALP and lived experience, who proudly bring diversity, who are committed to being inclusive, representative and courageous in the pursuit of our convictions. We are that Team!

As Labor women we know what it is like to challenge injustice and inequity.

We know that in our communities there is still discrimination, gender-based harassment and issues concerning consent and affirmative action within our political system.

Pay equity, the growing gender Superannuation gap and the associated growth in homelessness amongst women in their retirement, continues to remind us that even though we’ve come a long way – we’ve still got so much work ahead of us.

Like all of the women on my team, I have a proven track record of campaigning for women across workplaces, communities and numerous political campaigns. We are unionists, community activists and most importantly advocates for women across our community. Apart from my long term career as a representative of working people in the union movement for over 26 years, I am involved in national and international women’s organisations that campaign for economic, climate and political justice.

As a proud PNG born woman, I am particularly passionate about working with our South Pacific Island sisters and committed to working side by side with our extraordinary indigenous women leaders in QILN.

I am committed to working with women across all party units and regions to ensure that our voices will be represented in those places where critical decisions are made that impact on Labor women.

Jan Sheppard

Hi, my name is Jan Sheppard and I am running as Vice President of LWN.

I was the Secretary Treasurer of LWN who delivered regional representation setting up local LWN and practical support for women candidates from the top of the state to the border.  I believe now is the time for me to step up into a leadership position and be that steady hand needed in such uncertain times. I am proud to be part of a team that brings diversity and is inclusive and will be courageous in pursuit of our convictions.

Though we have made strides as women there is a lot of work to be done especially in the areas of affirmative action, consent, discrimination, harassment, pay equity and superannuation. I have a proven track record of advocating for women across workplaces and in the community.  

I have been a member of the QCU Women’s Committee and a Committee Member and Treasurer of the Queensland Working Women’s Service Committee for many years.

I have been a long-term ALP member and I have been an active Branch Member of the Mansfield Branch for more than 20 years.

As a proud Mother and Grandmother, I want to leave a legacy that will allow my granddaughters to live in a safer, more inclusive world. 

Virginia Clarke

Hello, my name is Virginia Clarke and many of you may know me. 

I am committed to work hard for the Labor Women’s Network  to generate the change for women that we so desperately need within the party and our wider community. Decades of involvement in the Party at Branch and Electorate level has seen me hold most positions within the branch structure and in the MEC, SEC, and FEC.  I have been elected onto policy committees and as a delegate to State Conference, as a member of LWN and the National Labor Women’s Network.  Notably, I am a veteran of several preselections, the hardest trial of all in the party.

Campaigning in regional areas has always been a priority for me, as well as always being a lot of fun. I have worked in forty campaigns and was myself a candidate at local (Booval Ipswich City Council), State (Lockyer & Nanango) and Federal elections. I am particularly proud that I ran in the ‘98 federal election, in the new seat of Blair, against Pauline Hanson. Not only have I electioneered in many regional campaigns in Queensland, but I have, at my own expense, worked interstate supporting many regional women. 

Lifelong membership in the union movement has always been a given in my family, and that family involvement goes back to the shearer’s strike.  I have been a member of eight unions during my life.  I have volunteered and worked on union campaigns since I first stood on a picket line at the wharfs as a teenager fighting live exports. I am proud of the four awards I have received from my unions, including one from the ACTU for the BLF and my Emma Miller Award from the QCU for my work in the CFMEU.

Involvement in community is also part of my passion; in the aftermath of Pauline Hanson being elected in Ipswich in 1996, I was a co-convenor of the Ipswich Anti-Racism committee.  We set the standard at the time for involving and bringing communities together in a united front against racism and the prejudice of One Nation.  During that time, I was a member, for over a decade, of the Ipswich Heritage Committee. That committee also set standards across the state for protection of our local heritage.

During this period of my life I also spent nearly a year, with three children under six, in a women’s refuge in Ipswich.  The violence I experienced during my marriage has left me with a real understanding of the pain and shame that so many women experienced during the year of Covid.  We must do better.

My other great passion since my early years is getting women elected.  I am a founding member of Emily’s List and was one of the first federal candidates to have Emily’s support.  And yes, I am passionate about getting more women into our parliaments. But it’s also about the nuts and bolts of everyday life.  We need more women in policy, committee positions and chairing the meetings.  We need to be seen and heard, not doing the backroom stuff and letting others take credit. 

Stephanie Saal

I’m putting my hand up for Secretary & Treasurer to continue the fight for women’s rights in Queensland Labor. Labor Women’s Network should be the platform for all women who are struggling and want to see better representation of their issues, which is why it’s so important that the network is a diverse group of women that can discuss and engage with different policies. As a young woman who is both CAH-intersex and bisexual, I will use the challenges I’ve faced to make sure that Labor Women’s is inclusive to all people who are working-class women.

I understand that all women must be empowered to get involved with our group, and have actively boosted greater feminist participation through my involvement in our March4Justice events, social media management of Queensland EMILY’s list, as well as active recruitment of young women to join the party, in addition to my activism in Young Labor and Rainbow Labor.

I want to use my experiences and knowledge to develop policy and activism that best represents intersectional feminism, as well as fight to advance women’s rights at work. I look forward to working hard to promote change and activism in the Labor Women’s Network.

Jamila Clark

I’m Jamila (Jah/my/ah) and I am nominating for the role of Executive Member on Queensland Labor Women’s Network.

I come from a proud union mother who always taught me that to succeed in life you need to stand up and fight, nothing is ever handed to you and I believe Labor stands for the same thing.

As a young proud woman of colour of Kenyan heritage, I believe we need to stop talking about diversifying our party and executives and start taking action to do so! I want to make sure we promote people from diverse and multicultural backgrounds to the decision-making table.

I’m an active branch member from the Gold Coast (the region of the Yugambeh people) and have had experience in Federal, State and Council campaigns as well as in Party Office. Throughout these experiences I became acutely aware of leadership roles being male-dominated, while we have some incredible women in power across the state, I think we need more.

When I was QYL VP I saw firsthand how hard it can be for regional, young women to enter the inner-city Brisbane bubble, that’s why I was proud to move and speak to several motions at QYL conference this year. I’m currently on the Multicultural Labor executive and am already working hard with the team to realise progressive policy.

We all know that no positive change was ever achieved by sitting down. I believe now is the best time to stand up and make sure our voices are heard.

Jo Justo

Hi my name is Jo Justo. I am a long time Labor party member, a retired union (ASU) official, founding member of Rainbow Labor and have over the years held many positions within various party structures.

I am an active community member with years of experience in my community including Committee membership of Children by Choice (retired as Vice President), belong – Acacia Ridge Community Centre (retired as President), Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group, Sisters Inside and convening the Sunshine Coast March4Justice.

I moved to Maroochy River on the Sunshine Coast and have been actively involved in my Branch, FEC and election campaigns. We have reignited the Sunshine Coast Labor Women’s Network with a great newly elected Committee and I am Convenor. 

I am an organiser, a connector and from time to time I have been able to make things happen! I want to bring these skills, and the voices of the women in my area to the Labor Women’s Network. I am not afraid of the hard work required.

I ask for your support in this ballot not just for my region but all women across the State.

Emma Gambin

Living, working and raising a family in Toowoomba, one of the most conservative seats in the state, I believe we should have representation on an executive that influences how our party engages regional women on important policy issues.

As a QLWN executive member and secretary of one of the most successful regional LWN’s I was instrumental in bringing the QLWN conference to our region. Together with other inspiring women I have celebrated the life of Emma Miller and brought local women and female ministers together during community cabinet.

I am passionate about supporting and empowering local women. The Groom/Maranoa electorates is one of the most conservative electorate in the state and geographically covers a third of Queensland. Women in our area have fought to obtain party roles and my recent election to Toowoomba South branch president makes me the first female in that role for our branch. I actively work to promote women in all roles and for the first time in our region we had two female candidates at the recent state election.

I have a daughter and a son and I am dedicated to ensuring they both understand and respect the role of women in our society. I want them to grow up in a world where having women in leadership roles is the norm.

Karleigh Auguston

I am an active member of the Brisbane Southside Labor family, as a 2020 Local Government Candidate in Brisbane, a State Conference Delegate for Moreton and an Executive Member of the Annerley Branch. I am also originally from Bundaberg, and I want to use this platform to raise up the voices of the regional women within our party.

There are so many ways for women to be involved in our party and to have our voices heard- whether that’s through a policy framework, through campaigning or through serving our community through our local branches. We need our Labor Women’s Network to highlight the opportunities for women in our party and to create new ones too.

We all work really hard on local campaigns and to push progressive reform through our party. And while we’ve made many amazing gains, the work never stops. I want to be part of the Labor Women’s Network to keep pushing our agenda up that hill.

Seranna Shutt

Strait to the point 

I’m Seranna. I’ve recently moved to Thursday Island with my ETU member fiancee & 2 young kids – we are a Union strong family.

I’ve been active over the past 8 years with the Labor party. I have 2 decades of progressive campaigning and activism.

We need our Labor Women’s Network to have a strong mentoring framework and for women in our party to listen to each other and learn – as everyone can contribute in meaningful ways. 

I was mentored many years ago by a female labor leader and it truly changed my life for the better. I gained the confidence to run and win a landslide by-election in local government.  Empowered woman, empower woman. 

We can encourage, create and increase opportunities for women in all roles across our Labor party. 

I’ve had a wide range of experiences in my life.  I’ve spent the last 10 years working for unions however I’ve also worked in the disability sector, sexual health, media, corrections & run a small business on the island.

I have sat on many boards including Jr Vice President of Unions NT, May Day committees, & various not-for-profit health boards.

Priorities: Community development, not selling public assets, housing, VAD, mentoring, safe workplaces for all – including sex workers.

I want to be part of the Labor Women’s Network Committee to keep pushing our progressive agenda.

Karin Campbell

I am excited to have the opportunity to join with Irene Munro as our President should we be successful on what could be a much overdue game changer in a chapter of Qld politics. With your support I will be working with a dedicated team of talented women with diverse experiences.  

I believe we can deliver the much-needed support to not only those in our party but to influence policy outcomes that are needed for women of all backgrounds and particularly those in our regional and rural communities. I believe now is the time to improve many aspects of the lives of women and children.  

We must be at the table to insist Qld women be safer, smarter, engaged, secure and empowered to speak with their voice for their own future.  How do we do this? By engaging with you and listening to our First Nations people, those living with a disability, women of different cultural backgrounds, educators, unionists, working mums, our youth and our elders.  

The interest that I have in progressing Women in Labor in Qld is that we are still underrepresented at all levels of politics and within the Qld Branch of Labor. I hope you will agree this is one aspect of the Labor Party that is due to be improved. 

Leili Golafshani

According to the gender gap report of World Economic Forum, Australia continuously has dropped in rank from 15th to 44th among 153 countries since 2006. If I’m elected, I’ll make sure that I’ll fight for the

elimination of structural gender inequality including free childcare and paid paternal leave. I’m a single mother raising a teenage daughter. Following a PhD in English Literature at UQ, I taught gender and literary studies in Iran in 2009. Some of my former students still contact me from around the world and acknowledge my teachings and the impact I had on them.

I have been active at ALP attending all conferences and campaigning at three tiers of government across Brisbane in a variety of capacities since 2015. I’ve moved a motion about gender equality in the National Labor Women’s conference in Adelaide in 2017 and moved a motion for paid paternal leave at QLD Labor women’s conference in Toowoomba in 2019. I’ve been currently selected as executive member of the equity Multicultural Labor Qld. I was a proxy at ALP National conference in 2021.

Speaking six languages of Persian, Dari, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Arabic and English, I’ve usually bridged the gap among different communities by deep understanding of different issues women from CALD background face in my roles as an interpreter and cultural support. My role is to facilitate various communities to connect and communicate with each other to achieve a more coherent society and to make sure no woman from disadvantaged backgrounds falls behind.

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