Keynote Speakers

Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at Salford Business School, University of Salford, UK. He is the author/editor of six books, including The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (1991; What’s the Point of Industrial Relations? In Defence of Critical Social Science (2009); and Radical Unionism (2013), as well as numerous journal articles on historical and contemporary features of industrial relations and trade unionism. He is currently researching and writing a book on The Great Unrest 1910-1914 to be published by Pluto Press. Ralph is an editorial advisory board member of Employee Relations, executive board member of the International Association of Strikes and Social Conflicts, honorary member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, and council member of the Manchester Industrial Relations Society.


Latest Publication: Ralph Darlington, “The Leadership Component of Kelly’s Mobilisation Theory: Contribution, Tensions, Limitations and Further Development,” Economic and Industrial Democracy 39, no. 4 (2018),

Diane Kirkby FASSA, FAHA, is Professor of Law & Humanities, UTS, and Research Professor (Emeritus) at La Trobe University. She has written extensively on women’s labour history in both the US and Australia, and has edited or authored nine books, including Barmaids: A History of Women’s Work in Pubs (Cambridge, 1997) and most recently, Labour History and the Coolie Question  with Sophie Loy Wilson. She won the W. K. Hancock Prize for her biography of Australia’s first trained woman journalist Alice Henry  (Cambridge, 1991) and was short-listed for the Frank Broeze Prize in Maritime History for her study of the Seamen’s Union of Australia, Voices from the Ships (UNSW, 2008). She currently holds an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant with the Maritime Union of Australia tracing their international connections with countries of the Asia-Pacific region, most notably India and Japan. And with Emma Robertson and Lee-Ann Monk is working on an Australian Research Council-funded project on women in non-traditional employment. Since 2016 she has been the editor of Labour History.

Sally McManus, Secretary Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Sally McManus is the 10th elected ACTU Secretary in the organisation’s 90-year history and the first woman to hold the position. Sally was previously an ACTU Vice President directing the ACTU’s campaigns. Prior to joining the ACTU, Sally was the Branch Secretary and an Organiser with the ASU in NSW and ACT for 22 years. During Sally’s time as ASU Secretary their membership grew and she led many successful campaigns such as the Equal Pay Campaign for community workers.