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In the lead-up to the triennial ACTU Congress at the end of May, the peak union body’s Secretary Dave Oliver will discuss the rise of inequality and threats to the rights and living standards of working Australians, the impact of technological change on employment and working conditions, and the need for a common vision from unions and industry to build a more prosperous Australia.
Dave Oliver is the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He was elected at the 2012 Congress, following the retirement of Jeff Lawrence.
In 2007, Dave was elected National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. He was re-elected in 2011.
After leaving school in 1977, Dave began his working life as 15 year old apprentice at JR Simpson Engineering in Botany, NSW.
On completing his trade as a fitter, Dave went to work for the Sydney lift company, Johns Perry Lifts (later Boral Lifts).
He first became a union site delegate while working on the construction of the elevator in the new NSW Industrial Relations Commission building at 80 William St, Sydney.
After 10 years in the industry, and as a union activist with a passion for safety and asbestos issues, Dave became an organiser with the AMWU in 1988.
As a NSW Branch official, Dave led campaigns to protect workers’ entitlements from company collapses, before moving to Victoria as the Assistant National Secretary and then becoming Victorian Branch Secretary in 2002.
As AMWU National Secretary, Dave played a key role in the Your Rights at Work campaign and the Manufacturing: Australia’s Future campaign, as well as several government taskforces on apprenticeships, skills and the resource sector.
He is currently a director of Australian Super and a member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing.
Dave is married with four children and lives in Melbourne. He is a member of St Kilda Football Club and in his spare time likes to escape on his touring motorbike.