Teacher's activism honoured at Emma Miller Awards
IEUA-QNT member Vanessa Mensah was recognised at this year’s Emma Miller Awards for her passionate approach to campaigning, being a strong advocate for mentoring, and her commitment to social justice.
The award, presented by the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU), was established to honour women in the union movement who embolden the attributes of Emma Miller – a strong advocate and pioneer for workers' and women’s rights in the early 20th century.
PHOTO (L-R): QSuper Relationship Manager Lynn Hart, Vanessa Mensah, and QCU General Secretary Ros McLennan at the 2018 Emma Miller Awards ceremony.
Vanessa’s involvement in our union for the past 30 years has seen her play an integral role in industrial and community action across the sector. From being a strong source of support for her colleagues on an individual level, to being a powerful voice in the public space through collective bargaining campaigns, Vanessa’s commitment and conviction has inspired many.
Vanessa said she believes teachers can be powerful agents for change.
“Teachers by nature are people who want to make the world a better place.
“In an industrial sense, I have always found teachers to be keenly aware of the ability of employers to take advantage of them in the workplace. Teachers are passionate about what they do and give of themselves freely for the benefit of their students and this has, at times, been taken for granted by employers.”
Vanessa said she would like to see a world of work characterised by more women in leadership.
“In the teaching profession I would like to see more opportunities for women to achieve senior management positions.
“As well as this, I also think it is important for women to be involved in the policy-making that guides education in general.
“The only way to achieve this is for women to encourage and support each other to apply for positions, take on further study and to make their voices heard.”