Anna Booth

In 1987, Anna Both was the first Australian woman to become federal secretary of a union.

Honour Roll

Raised on Sydney's North Shore, Anna Booth attended Hornsby Girls' High School before studying for a Bachelor of Economics at the University of Sydney. Her father was an architect and her mother encouraged her in her endeavours.

After writing a thesis on the clothing industry, Anna joined the Clothing and Allied Trades Union as a researcher in 1977. She joined the Department of Trade for two years before returning to the Union. She counts one of her achievements as gaining the right to afternoon tea breaks for clothing workers in 1981.

In 1987, she became the youngest and first female federal secretary of a union when she took over the amalgamated Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union. A few years later she was a member of the executive of the ACTU as joint national secretary of the TCFU and by 1991 was Vice-President of the ACTU until she resigned in 1995.

Through her work in the executive of the ACTU, Anna gradually moved more into the corporate sector. In 1990, she was appointed to the board of the Commonwealth Bank. She attributes this appointment partly to the support of then Treasurer, Paul Keating. Anna also became a Director of NRMA Ltd. (1993-95). In 1995, she became Government Affairs Officer with the Sydney Harbour Casino. Anna was a board member of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games from 1995 and Chairwoman of the Olympic Torch Relay Committee.

She then became spokesperson for the Property Council of Australia and as part of this, for its Shopping Centre Council. Part of this council's role is to create policy which will serve to improve landlord-tenant relations in these centres.

Among Anna's proudest moments was when she carried the Olympic torch down the steps of the plane onto Australian ground at Uluru and handed it to the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, to begin the torch relay lead up to the Olympic Games in Sydney, 2000.