New General Secretary Grahame Kelly: top priority is welfare of our Members

Published: 7 Nov 2017

Our new General Secretary, Grahame Kelly, will be well known to many Members, particularly to those in the North.  Grahame grew up in Singleton in the Hunter Valley and started work in the coal mining industry at Warkworth Mine back in 1985.

Since his start as a trades assistant he has recognised the strength that comes from being a Union Member.  He knows that a Union’s strength comes from its Members and Lodges, and he has made the Members’ interests his focus from the start, as an OHS  rep, a Lodge Secretary, District VP, District Secretary and now as General Secretary.

Grahame wants to make a difference to Members’ lives.  That means taking up the challenge when Members are under attack.  It means fighting for fair wages and conditions, and pushing back against the ever increasing scourge of casual employment arrangements in place of permanent, secure jobs.

He knows the importance of job security to families and the local community, and he fights for community well being too, which is why he was fighting at the front of the community battle against the Singleton mining camp a few years ago.

The Union’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of our Members; it’s an issue we will never back down on.  Health and safety is a particular focus for Grahame, both inside and outside work.

Grahame is our Union’s representative on the Mates in Mining Steering Committee, a role he was keen to take on.  Each year a number of our Members take their own lives, each one of them an unacceptable statistic.  As he explained, “Mental health is an issue that cuts across all industries and communities.  We are determined to be in the front line of supporting Workers in tackling mental health problems.”

As General Secretary, Grahame Kelly looks forward to representing the Union at a National level, working with the Executive, Central Council and all Districts to develop strong policy and strategy that will deliver results to our Members and their families and communities.

At Singleton in July, a mass rally to demand job security from Glencore