The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) has announced that Paul Farrow will become the union’s 22nd National Secretary, succeeding Daniel Walton who will officially step down on 14 July.
Mr Farrow, a seasoned trade unionist with more than two decades of experience, was endorsed to succeed Mr Walton by the AWU’s National Executive, meeting in Darwin.
“I am hugely honoured to take on this role and humbled by the long history of AWU national secretaries that precede me, stretching all the way back to 1886,” Mr Farrow said.
“While much has obviously changed the fundamental goal of our union remains the same: fair pay and conditions, safety on site, and a strong voice for workers on political issues that affect them.
“Dan has set the bar incredibly high on all these fronts with his leadership and service. He helped save the steel industry from the brink of collapse. He helped improve conditions for vulnerable workers like fruit pickers. And he’s had a positive impact influencing the national agenda, especially on energy prices and a fair go for manufacturing.
“He’s also modernised our processes and structures and our union is now growing strongly. I’m energised to take the baton on behalf of our members.”
Mr Walton said he was grateful to leave the union in safe hands.
“Stepping down has not been an easy decision. I love the AWU. And I’m so grateful to our members, officials, and staff for their unwavering commitment over the time I have been fortunate to lead,” Mr Walton said.
“I know Paul will do an amazing job as National Secretary. He became an AWU delegate at 19 and ever since then his commitment, passion, and determination in fighting for our members has been inspirational.
“His strategic thinking is second to none and I have watched him lead countless campaigns and negotiations that have improved the working lives of AWU members across a broad range of industries. He knows how to cut a deal to get the best outcome for AWU members and he’s not scared to have a blue when he can’t.”
AWU President Marina Chambers said the union was in a strong position to face the future.
“Dan’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping the AWU into where we are today – fighting fit,” Ms Chambers said.
“As my predecessor, Bill Ludwig, often remarked: ‘Nobody owns the union, we are all just passing through.’ In this spirit, we acknowledge Daniel’s tremendous contributions and warmly welcome Paul Farrow as our new National Secretary. We are excited to embark on the next chapter of the AWU under Paul’s leadership.”