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2015 Women's Conference

The biennial NTEU national women’s conference was held in Melbourne Friday 7 and Saturday 8 August in Melbourne. Delegates from all Branches and Divisions of the Union had the opportunity to engage with our guest speakers and each other on some of the most salient issues facing women in higher education today.

This year’s conference theme was Women in Higher Education. Now. While women are now the majority of staff and students in our universities, we also continue to face petty and serious sex and gender based discrimination. We have made tremendous gains in participation across disciplines and occupations and yet both women students and staff still report feeling they are a minority with limited voice and agency. What do we want now? What changes do we need to make? How can we be more effective? The 2015 Women's Conference addressed these questions and more, over two engaging days.

Organised by the national Women’s Action Committee, which has an academic and general staff representative from each NTEU Division as well as a nominee from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee, the Conference also launched the NTEU's Bluestocking Week (10-14 August) on Friday evening, featuring a live performance by Melbourne comedian Monica Dullard - for more information see the Bluestocking Week page.

We were pleased to see a great contingent of NTEU women take part in the conference, making our voices not only heard, but matter!

This website will be updated over the next few weeks with the notes from the workshops from the conference, as well as copies of presentations where these have been made available. Reports on the outcomes of the conference will be also be published in the NTEU's upcoming edition of out women's magazine, AGENDA.

If you require further information regarding the 2015 Women's Conference please contact Terri MacDonald at [email protected]



NTEU National Women’s Conference 2015

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August

Ground Floor, 120 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne


Women are now in the majority at our universities – as staff and as students.  However, when it comes to determining our own narrative, it still feels as though women are a minority, with limited voice and agency. The 2015 NTEU Women’s Conference is themed around the many issues confronting women in higher education and asks the important question – what do we want now?

 The Conference will seek to reframe the narrative and encourage women to reclaim and enact their own agency.  Women need to address the expectations that are made of them, both within our universities and more broadly, and question whether these are realistic or even what we want.  The view that women must work twice as hard to do half as well as their male counterparts only excuses a system where inequity remains stubbornly ingrained.

 The Conference will also launch the 2015 Bluestocking Week, 10 -14 August, held on campuses across Australia, sponsored by NTEU with the National Union of Students and Council of Postgraduate Student Associations.

 Conference objectives:

  • To challenge the hiatus in the status and advancement of women in higher education
  • To empower women to take on the corporatist, masculinist power structures and practices still in our universities
  • To ensure that women and gender equity continue to explicitly feature in NTEU political and industrial priorities
  • To better position the Women’s Action Committee and women’s networks at the centre of division and branch activities
  • To increase women’s capabilities as union activists, delegates and representatives.

To download the draft conference program please click on the link below. Please note that this is still being updated and will be finalised shortly. 


  NTEU Women's Conference 2015

(451 KB) - PDF

  The workshops for the conference can be seen via this LINK.

(28 KB) - DOCX

(17 KB) - DOCX