As this edition of Independent Education goes to print we’ve just seen the result of a federal election in which a major issue for Australian voters was the increasing inequality between the wealthy and the working class.

It is timely then to reflect on the achievements of the union movement in narrowing the inequality gap and using our collective strength to make changes in our workplaces, communities and society.

Our commitment goes beyond industrial matters like wages and conditions.

Fundamentally, unions are about diverse groups of people working together and supporting each other to improve their lives.

Social justice is a recurring theme underpinning the articles in this edition of IE.

We speak to union activist and charity CEO John Robertson about how he is giving a voice to the powerless and helping those less fortunate (John Robertson).

An excellent new documentary, Women of Steel (Let’s get women of steel into schools) tells the incredible story of how women overcame discrimination in the workplace and is a must-watch for students and staff in schools.

Teacher members from all around Australia discuss the impact of teaching dual-mode lessons during the pandemic and how they are pushing back against the unsustainable expectation of employers and parents to continue this practice (Members say ‘no way’).

Another article explores how the war in Ukraine is affecting education and the extraordinary lengths teachers inside and outside Ukraine are going to ensuring children remain engaged with education (Ukraine keeping education alive).

Our journalists investigate why some children are prone to school refusal and how to help them overcome this (School refusal) and speak to experts about why school belonging improves students’ mental health and academic performance (School belonging).

We unpack the results of the latest Australian Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey (2021 Principal Survey) and investigate new research about how teachers can measure creativity in students (Considering creativity).

Enjoy this edition of IE, which we hope sparks conversation and inspires union members to continue working towards a fairer world.

Terry Burke Secretary
IEU Queensland and Northern Territory Branch