For everyone Women’s matters: staying safe – and positive

Lockdown has not been easy for most of us. But I’ve enjoyed hearing from some of you about the unexpected upsides of being stuck at home, so I thought I’d share what you’ve told me.

Time with family: Making and eating lunch together; lying down with a grizzly toddler to settle her; family walks and bike rides. Some are enjoying the peace and quiet of eating by themselves, without half the students needing medical attention.

Time for self-care: Some say they’ve slowed down a bit, with many of you going for a morning walk to start the day, rather than spending time commuting and dashing into your workplace at breakneck speed.

Older kids looking after younger siblings: Some have been asking older children to help younger ones with their school work – and have been pleasantly surprised that they’ve risen to the challenge.

Positive feedback from students’ parents: Gratitude and appreciation has sometimes brought you to tears. Turns out, our job is harder than some of them thought!

Recognition from the state government: When schools were closed to most students in Term 1 – and for most of Term 2 – you overwhelmingly told us that you felt seen, heard and appreciated by the Victorian government.

Our invisible work has become visible: At times, our unpaid domestic labour can feel never-ending. Coupled with our work responsibilities, it can feel impossible. More men are talking about the impact of work on family life, and vice versa.

Glad to be union: Another important lesson, amid our collective exhaustion, is that it always pays to be a union member. When teachers collectively spoke up, the state government listened and made sure we could do our jobs safely – wherever we were working.

Women’s Conference – What Women Want

On Saturday 22 August 2020, the AEU Women’s Conference was hosted online for the first time. This meant that our regional members, those with caring responsibilities, and anyone who struggles to attend our Abbotsford office, were be able to join us.

If you have attended and would like to give feedback or follow up on anything that was discussed, click here to find out how best to keep in touch.

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