The ETU has begun work on a project to display our history. The first stage will be completed and on display towards the end of this year. Shane Cahill talks to Troy Gray.
‘There’s a magnificent history out there that many tens of thousands of electrical workers have been involved in over the past 110 years since the formation of our Union in 1902,’ says Branch Assistant Secretary, Troy Gray.
‘We have appointed Euan McGillivray as consultant overseeing the project. Euan has a wealth of experience, recently designing the Hawks Museum, and has come up with a great proposal that really captures the vision of what we as a Union want to do with a public display of our proud history.’
A Union building shouldn’t feel like a dentist’s rooms
The ETU is one of the oldest craft unions in Victoria. We have, and continue to, operate in power, energy, construction and other areas that are fundamental to the wellbeing and prosperity of the state. In recent years, the Union has grown in numerical and financial strength. The Branch currently has more than 19,000 members and assets of more than $50 million.
Troy says that the current ETU headquarters in North Melbourne will be the Union’s base for the foreseeable future. Besides housing industrial and administrative staff, its offices and meeting rooms play host to more than 10,000 members annually. According to Troy, the Arden Street building is a magnificent office, but he’s ready to admit that, ‘its atmosphere is a bit like a dental surgery’. The only exposure that visiting members (average age, 28) presently have to any of our proud history is seeing the ETU honour boards in the foyer.
‘We’re after everything – from old photos, to relatively current material. We want the whole lot… not to mention old powerline tools, tool belts, lineworker belts – all of which we would be keen to get hold of,’ he says.
Troy emphasises the importance of documenting any items that you’d like to donate. ‘Please make sure you tell us about the photo, document or object – what it was, its use, where it came from, who took it.’
If you have items you wish to donate or lend to the ETU historical display please get in touch.