The NSW ALP’s Irish Friends of Labor Committee has announced the holding of the inaugural Brigid Awards, recognising the contribution of women of Irish origin to the labor movement. Irish Friends of Labor is one of a number of special interest groups of ALP members active in the NSW ALP.
According to Dermot Ryan, Chair of the Irish Friends of Labor, ‘There is a rich history of activism in the Australian Labour movement by Irish-Australian women’.
The award presentation night occurs on January 29th next year just before St Brigid’s Day, and St Brigid of Ireland is the inspiration for the name of the awards. ACTU President Ged Kearney, head of the trade union wing of the labor movement, will be the keynote speaker at the Gala Awards Dinner in Sydney at which the 2016 and first Brigid Awards recipients will be named. Ged Kearney herself is of Irish descent.
According to ALP Senator Deborah O’Neill, Patron of the Irish friends of Labor, the awards are very timely.
‘As 2016 will be the 100th anniversary of the 1916 rising, it is a fitting year to begin to pay tribute to the ancestors of the many participants of that movement, who left Ireland and went on to play such a significant role in the labour politics of their adopted country. This is an opportunity to say thank you to those women with Irish heritage who have made, or indeed are making, an outstanding contribution to their community through the ALP or their Trade Union.’
Nominations for the award must be made through NSW ALP and Trade Union Branch Secretaries, or through NSW based State and Federal ALP MPs and Senators, and a number of other relevant nominating bodies, although the organisers say that a person outside of NSW may be nominated. Details and the nomination forms can be found on the NSW Friends of Labor webpage: http://act.nswlabor.org.au/stbrigids [note page two details the categories and nominating bodies and pages three and four have the nomination forms].
There are two categories of awards: for contributions to the ALP and to the trade union movement. Nominations must be made by December 4th 2015.
Irish Friends of Labor can be contacted via Twitter [@laboririshaus] and Facebook [www.facebook.com/irishlabornsw/] or via the web: http://act.nswlabor.org.au