Ms Jennie George
BA (1969), DipEd (1969)
Teacher and Union Leader
The profile of Jennie George reveals much about post-war Australia: the migration experience, the expansion of secondary education, unionisation of white collar workers. Born in Italy and educated in Australia in the 1950s, Jennie George graduated from both the University and Sydney Teachers’ College. After teaching in secondary schools she became General Secretary of the New South Wales Teachers’ Federation in 1980-82. In 1987, she became the first female elected Vice President of the ACTU. After being assistant secretary of the ACTU in 1991-96, she became President in 1996-2000.
As a member of the ALP, she was elected to the House of Representatives of the federal Parliament for the seat of Throsby in 2001, 2004 and 2007. She was Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Heritage 2004-2007. In 2008, she was elected chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Water Environment and the Arts.
She is a Life Member of the New South Wales Teachers’ Federation. In 1998, she was recognised as being one of the ‘100 Australian Living Legends’.