ANMJ Featured Story

Editorial Lee Thomas, ANMF Federal Secretary

Friday 22nd September, 2017

With the ANMF’s Biennial National Conference upon us final preperations have commenced.

As I wrote in last month’s editorial, much of this conference is dedicated to discussing and debating resolutions on industrial, professional, political and social justice issues as put forward by members.

The Biennial is also an opportunity to review outcomes of past resolutions and to reflect on how much we have achieved.

Many of these achievements have helped positively shape what nursing and midwifery is today and if you read the back page of this month’s journal, you’ll realise just how far we have come.

The article, written by ANMF Assistant Federal Secretary Annie Butler, is about her mother’s experiences working as a nurse in the 1950’s and 60’s.

When Mrs Butler commenced nursing in 1954 conditions were tough. But over time they improved significantly with the introduction of penalty rates, sick leave, carers leave, a 38-hour week and removal of non-nursing duties. Wages also increased considerably and access to education, information and support became a reality.

Mrs Butler attributes these outcomes to the union and according to Annie she gets fired up when people don’t appreciate the achievements of the ANMF and its members.

Change is not always easy. It can be hard and uncomfortable but positive change can result in growth, and growth is necessary and is always worthwhile.

Making change also takes courage and leadership. To this end I commend our job representatives (however they are titled in each state and territory) for the magnificent job they do in standing up and advocating on behalf of members collectively and individually.

The ANMF views these delegates as its most valuable asset. Without them positive change to protect and grow the rights of nurses and midwives would be challenging and without a doubt the union would not be as strong as it is today.

This month’s feature looks at the role of the job representative, as well as showcasing some of our best.

Following the theme of change the ANMJ is looking at ways to transform communication to members. Given the highly digitalised age we live in we think the time is right to embrace this environment by developing more of an online presence and reducing the number of journals we produce.

To this end we are looking to develop a specialised ANMJ website giving readers timely access to information and reducing the production of the journal to either quarterly or bimonthly.

But before we make this decision we want to know how often you would like to see the ANMJ printed, either every second month or quarterly. Email us at:

We look forward to hearing your views.

To read more articles from ANMJ, view the full journal online at