australia

Footplate Classics

Summer 1988/1989

I am a lesbian feminist. Between 1979 and 1984 I worked as a locomotive assistant training to be a train driver for the  Victorian Railways in Australia. At one time six women were training at South Dynon Loco and four women in country areas. Dianne Brown became qualified as a train driver in 1985. Unfortunately the other women left. The attitudes of many of the men working in the railways added to on the job pressure. I have put some of these attitudes into poetic form.

‘Equal Opportunity’ in 1988 – A Balance Sheet

Summer 1988/1989

The limitations of seeking employment equality within the existing structures are clear. Equal opportunity programs only provide the option for some to get nearer to the top of an unequal system. We need to defend and extend such reforms by using them as tools to protect existing rights and gains. But reforms cannot finally redress the inequitable position of women and other oppressed groups in the labour market, let alone society as a whole.

Lesbians and Gay Men say “Our relationships are not ‘pretend’ ones” — Fighting Clause 28

Summer 1988/1989

Since Clause 28 has become law it has meant that any positive lesbian or gay male programs that promoted lesbian and gay male relationships as a viable alternative have lost their funding. It has virtually outlawed the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by prohibiting discussion and distribution of information. This attack by the right wing is happening world-wide, not only in Britain. There is a strong push by the right wing to strengthen the image of the monogamous, heterosexual nuclear family as the only ‘acceptable’ and ‘proper’ relationship.

Launching the Public Sector Fightback

Summer 1988

We must all encourage and build the leadership of the most oppressed within the struggle. This task is all to clear in the public sector where, in many industries, women are a clear majority yet, almost without exception, we are, as a group, at the bottom of the heap.