Grace Grace

Interviewed by
Robin Sullivan and Ruby Ludski
Feb 10 2014
Grace Grace, 2014
Time Summary Keywords

Grace Grace speaks about her childhood growing up in Brisbane as the daughter of Italian migrants. She recalls her educational achievements.

immigrant communities, women

Grace Grace discusses her father's occupation and workplace injury.

cane cutting, workplace safety

Grace Grace speaks about her father's workplace injury and the support he received from the Miscellaneous Workers Union.

Miscellaneous Workers Union, workplace safety

Grace Grace recalls how she became interested in unionism.


Grace Grace discusses how she became an advisor to Gary Johns in the Keating government.

Gary Johns, Industrial Relations, Keating Government, Workplace Relations legislation, workplace safety

Grace Grace describes what she brought to her role as industrial relations advisor.

ACTU, Bill Kelty, Keating Government, superannuation legislation

Grace Grace discusses her working relationship with Gary Johns and her transition to the role of Assistant Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions.

Gary Johns, Queensland Council of Unions, union positions

Grace Grace recalls the union positions she has held throughout her career.

Bank Employees Union, Industrial Relations, Public Sector Union, Queensland Council of Unions, Trades and Labor Council, union positions

Grace Grace speaks about her journey as a woman in the union movement.

unions, women

Grace Grace describes the areas of industrial relations that she became particularly passionate about.

casualisation, superannuation legislation, Workers Compensation legislation, workplace safety

Grace Grace speaks about union links with employer organisations. She describes the agreements and disagreements that arose.

employer organisations, Queensland Council of Unions, Ray Dempsey, smoking, Trades and Labor Council, workplace safety

Grace Grace discusses the importance of Peak Bodies and what they provide to unions.

peak bodies, Queensland Council of Unions, unions

Grace Grace recalls the main industrial disputes she had been involved with. She discusses the importance of the MUA dispute and the Your Rights at Work Campaign.

casualisation, industrial disputes, maternity leave, MUA dispute, women, Your Rights at Work

Grace Grace discusses her role in advancing the rights of women and the other personal contributions she made to the union movement.

superannuation legislation, union campaigns, unions, women

Grace Grace describes why the QCU became involved with the Indigenous Stolen Wages campaign. She recalls what the QCU offered to the campaign.

Indigenous issues, Queensland Council of Unions, social justice, stolen wages

Grace Grace discusses the groups who were particularly interested in the Stolen Wages campaign including blue collar unions and herself. She describes how the QCU became involved and the lack of opposition from affiliated unions.

ETU, Queensland Council of Unions, stolen wages

Grace Grace considers the most effective tactics that unions have used in industrial disputes.

industrial disputes, union campaigns, Workers Compensation legislation

Grace Grace discusses the process of dealing with various union officials and reaching consensus.

Queensland Council of Unions, union solidarity

Grace Grace describes the isolation of workers in North Queensland and the strategies she put in place to maintain links, including the opening of new TLC branches.

North Queensland, Trades and Labor Council

Grace Grace talks about the relationship between the QCU and the ALP.

Queensland Council of Unions

Grace Grace speaks about her opinion of Peter Beattie and describes QCU's relationship with the Beattie government. She contrasts this with the QCU's relationship with conservative governments.

Beattie Government 1998-2007, Howard Government 1996-2007, Peter Beattie, Queensland Council of Unions, Tony Abbott

Grace Grace recalls the achievements unions made while the Beattie government was in power.

Beattie Government 1998-2007, maternity leave, Queensland Council of Unions, Workers Compensation legislation, workplace safety

Grace Grace explains her decision to go into state politics.

Peter Beattie, women

Grace Grace speaks about factions in the Labor Party and the process by which she was endorsed.


Grace Grace recalls her mentors in her union career.

David Harrison, Dick Williams, Gay Hawksworth, John Battams, John Thompson, mentoring, Wallace Trohear

Grace Grace discusses her involvement in Emily's List.

Emily's List, women

Grace Grace speaks about the circumstances resulting in losing her seat in 2012.

2012 election, asset sales, health payroll dispute

Grace Grace discusses her role in the Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) and the three reasons for the decline in unionism. She explains how the QNU has been able to avoid this trend.

casualisation, declining union membership, Queensland Nurses Union

Grace Grace describes how the QNU deals with it's varied membership base.

Queensland Nurses Union, union membership

Grace Grace considers her greatest regret from her union career. She expresses disappointment that the Your Rights at Work campaign did not continue after the 2007 federal election.

Queensland Council of Unions, Your Rights at Work

Grace Grace recalls the greatest achievements of her union career including improving conditions for workers in Queensland and working with workplace delegates.

penalty rates, union delegate, union positions, women, workplace safety

Interview ends