Jennie George
Australia Crest

Trade unionist, controversially considered in 1998 to be one of Australia's 100 Living Treasures.

Jennie was born Eugenie Sinicky to Russian parents in a post-war refugee camp.

She trained as a secondary teacher at Sydney University gaining her B.A. Dip. Ed. before teaching at Bankstown Girls High and Queanbeyan High.

Jennie had embraced left-wing politics since she was a teenager and in 1973 she was elected as a full time union official with the NSW Teachers Federation. At the national level she became Acting and Deputy President of the Australian Teachers Federation.

Jennie married communist activist Paddy George to finalise the Anglicising of her name.

In 1983 she was the first woman to be elected to the Executive of the ACTU, becoming Vice President in 1987.

Jennie then had a stint with TUTA, the trade union training authority, before becoming Assistant Secretary of the ACTU in September 1991.

Jennie is a great supporter of Bill Kelty but don't ask former ACTU President Martin Ferguson to join her as a guest at your next dinner party.

In March 1996 she was elected to the position of Presidentof the ACTU, a position formerly held by ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Jennie was an elected delegate at the Constitutional Convention in Canberra in February, 1998.

There is a good unofficial biography by Brad Norington called Jennie George published by Allen & Unwin.

Copyright © Dinkum Aussies 1999 All Rights Reserved,
feedback to Webmaster