The Fights of My Life
Greg Combet has been central to some of the biggest public struggles of our time - on the waterfront, the collapse of an airline, compensation for asbestos victims, the campaign against unfair workplace laws and then climate change. From an idyllic childhood on the Minchinbury estate in the western suburbs of Sydney, Combet's world changed dramatically with the early death of his wine-maker father. The shy child was uprooted to the suburbs and an uncertain future. A scholarship allowed him to study engineering and saw him appreciate first hand the role of unions in the workplace. He rose to lead the Australian trade union movement and become a senior minister in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments. Along the way he has battled his own struggles, with political ideology, the impact of work on families and the loneliness of the parliamentary life. His story is not just a personal memoir; it is an insight into how power works in Australia, who holds it, how it is used and the ruthless ways in which it is snatched. The Fights of My Life is the story of a man who faces up to the power structures of politics, big business and the media.His latest target is the labour movement, arguing that the Labor Party and the trade unions must democratise to engage the next generation of activists to fight the good fight: to achieve a more fair and just Australia.
- Electronic book text
- 01 Aug 2014
- Melbourne University Press
- Melbourne University Press Digital
About Mark Greg/Davis Combet
Greg Combet is well known for his public roles as the leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and as a Labor government minister. Less well known is that his public life has been underpinned by knowledge and experience accumulated growing up in a winery, as a mining engineer, economics graduate and bank director. Greg is a proven leader and crisis manager, with extensive knowledge of Australian industry. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006. Following two terms in Parliament Greg is now pursuing a career in the superannuation industry and the private sector. He retains a key interest in politics and labour history, has had a lifelong interest in Gouldian finches, and lives in Sydney with his partner Juanita Phillips. Mark Davis spent more than 20 years as a journalist covering industrial relations, transport, economics and politics for The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald. He was a deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review and a federal vice-president and industrial officer for the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. He has known Greg Combet since 1988. Davis was Combet's media adviser during the negotiation and implementation of the Gillard government's clean energy reforms to tackle climate change.