Diane Zetlin

Interviewed by
Peter Cross and Danielle Miller
Feb 08 2013
Diane Zetlin
Time Summary Keywords

Diane Zetlin discusses her early life and education, and her progression from high school straight on to the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland

Diane Zetlin describes her initial impressions and experiences of the University of Queensland, and discusses the conversion from conservatism to radicalism that the university campus and student body underwent during the 1960s.

student activism, University of Queensland, Vietnam War

Diane Zetlin discusses her involvement in social issues and social action groups during her time at university. In particular, she speaks about the Foco Club, which operated between 1968 and 1969.

Foco Club, Society for Democratic Action, student activism, University of Queensland

Diane Zetlin reflects on the weakness of the Labor movement during the 1960s, and discusses the reaction to this within the more left-leaning factions of the Labor movement.

Alan Anderson, Alex Macdonald, Arthur Calwell, Barbara Bacon, Brian Laver, Communism, Foco Club, Larry Zetlin

Diane Zetlin discusses the decline of organisations such as the Eureka Youth League and the decline of Communism in Queensland in relation to the radicalism of students during the 1960s.

Alan Anderson, Communism, Eureka Youth League, student activism

Diane Zetlin describes the problems she encountered when dealing with trade unions as a more radical member of the Labor movement.

Foco Club, Jack Egerton

Diane Zetlin discusses the interactions between the Trades and Labor Council and the student Labor movement. She speaks briefly about the end of the Foco Club.

Don Cameron, Foco Club, Trades and Labor Council

Diane Zetlin discusses travelling overseas, starting in 1969, and describes the similarities and differences in the radical movements occurring in Britain and America.

Alan Anderson, Alex Macdonald, Dave Nadel, Larry Zetlin, unions, Vietnam War

Diane Zetlin describes the different environment she came back to when she returned to Australia in 1971. The changes were particularly in the relationship between trade unions and students.

ABC, student activism, unions

Diane Zetlin discusses finishing her Bachelor of Arts with Honours and getting her first academic job at the University of Queensland in 1976. She speaks about joining the Federated Australian University Staff Association (FAUSA), and becoming a union official. She became President, and later, in 1986 General Secretary.

Dawkins reforms, Denis Murphy, FAUSA, Hawke Government, HECS, NTEU, Roger Scott, union positions, universities, University of Queensland, women

Diane Zetlin speaks about the amalgamation of two organisations to form the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) in the late 1980s, and the issues associated with the union becoming affiliated with the ACTU.

ACTU, Dawkins reforms, education reform, FAUSA, Hawke Government, NTEU, union amalgamation

Diane Zetlin discusses the amalgamation of universities and the Colleges of Advanced Education, and the anxiety over this within FAUSA and the general university atmosphere.

Dawkins reforms, FAUSA, universities

Diane Zetlin discusses the creation of the NTEU in 1993, and her presidency of the new union.

Graham McCullough, NTEU, union positions

Diane Zetlin discusses the possibility of the NTEU affiliating with either the ACTU or the ALP.

ACTU, NTEU, peak bodies

Diane Zetlin describes the main challenges she faced as a union official within FAUSA and the NTEU.

FAUSA, HECS, industrial disputes, NTEU

Diane Zetlin talks about union membership and the strategies employed to gain more members in the NTEU. She discusses the question of whether or not to include general university staff in the NTEU.

Federated Clerks Union, NTEU, Public Sector Union, union membership

Diane Zetlin discusses education policy under both the Keating government and the Howard government.

education reform, Howard Government 1996-2007, Keating Government

Diane Zetlin reflects on the process of corporatisation in universities that has become common, from the early 1990s onwards.

John Hay, Smart State, universities, University of Queensland

Diane Zetlin discusses the role of women in unions, and particularly her own experience of discrimination and sexism as a woman in leadership in the NTEU.

NTEU, sexism, sexual discrimination, unions, women

Diane Zetlin describes her relationship with the Queensland branch of the Trades and Labor Council, and particularly with women's issues associated with the TLC.

Emma Miller Awards, Trades and Labor Council, women, Working Women's Charter

Diane Zetlin considers methods that could be employed to attract more women to unions, and keep them involved.

union membership, women

Diane Zetlin reflects on communism in the 1960s, and communism within the Trades and Labor Council.

Communism, student activism, Trades and Labor Council

Diane Zetlin states that she has no regrets from her time as a union leader, and reflects on her greatest achievements, which include the award restructuring she oversaw, as well as her part in bringing universities into the wider dialogue of education and training.

FAUSA, NTEU, universities

Interview ends