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Childcare, Industrial Relations

Leadership change introduces IEU’s first female Secretary

Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) NSW/ACT Branch 2 mins read

Monday, 6 November 2023



The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch welcomes Carol Matthews into the role of Secretary after a unanimous vote at its Council meeting on 28 October 2023. The vote came after Mark Northam, Secretary since 2019, stepped down from the role.  

On her priorities as Secretary, Carol said, “Our union is an activist union that seeks to use the power of members to achieve positive change for teachers and support staff in all of our coverage”.

“Our members work in large city-based independent schools, small independent schools, Catholic systemic schools and early childhood education and care services and other educational services based all around NSW and the ACT. We want to provide the best support we can to all these members,” Matthews said.

“Workload is a crucial issue for all teachers and we will continue to address it with state and federal governments and employers,” she said.

“This year we have achieved big pay rises for many members, but others are still waiting. Changes in legislation introduced by the federal Labor government may help us achieve this goal.  

“All teachers must be treated with the professional respect they deserve. A focus in the coming year will be improving the status of early childhood teachers who been seriously undervalued for a long time.” 

Matthews paid tribute to Northam’s leadership. “Mark received two standing ovations at the IEU’s Council meeting. This reflects the enormous support and affection members have for him.” 

Northam said, “Unionism is about members coming together to make a difference.”

He said it had been a privilege serving the IEU for 23 years. “Our union is in good hands going forward.”

David Towson was elected as Deputy Secretary. Lyn Caton, elected as Assistant Secretary in August 2023, continues in her role.  


IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews


Authorised by Carol Matthews, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch





About us:

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 32,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post-secondary colleges.


Contact details:

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews 041827290

Media: Katie Camarena 02 8202 8970

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