Nurses’ union leader ends 20-year shift

The General Secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, Brett Holmes, was honoured at a special celebration on 12 August to mark the end of his 20 years of leadership and 32 years with the union. “It’s been humbling and rewarding,” he said.

Holmes, pictured above right with IEU Secretary Mark Northam, said he had always been driven by working hard each day in the interests of members.

A former midwife, Holmes spoke at the IEU Council on 19 March, following a huge nurses’ strike in February. “I send great solidarity to all IEU members as you face another battle around improved wages and conditions,” he said.

“We want to see a better healthcare system. We want to see an education system that delivers for our communities. Teachers and nurses deserve to be properly recognised and rewarded.”

Membership of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association grew from 48,000 to almost 75,000 during the term of Holmes’s leadership.

“Brett has done the Nurses and Midwives proud,” Northam said. “The IEU wishes him every success and happiness in whatever he does next.”