Transport Workers' Union

The TWU’s rank-and-file National Council has elected former Chief of Campaigns Emily McMillan as the union’s first female National Assistant Secretary.

It follows the election of former National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh as NSW/Queensland interim governance Branch Assistant Secretary to work with members of the TWU’s largest branch to utilise new legislative powers in road transport and to rebuild aviation.

Emily McMillan, a First Nations woman, was unanimously endorsed by the National Committee of Management and elected unopposed by the National Council after eight years leading national campaigns for the TWU and 21 years as a union official.

Next week, the TWU’s annual National Council meeting will take place in Fremantle, WA. The union’s rank-and-file governing body will discuss the plan ahead to best utilise reform recently passed by Federal Parliament to set enforceable standards in road transport, including the transport gig economy.

In aviation, the council will discuss the plan to rebuild good, secure jobs following the High Court ruling that Qantas illegally sacked 1700 ground and cleaning workers. The TWU is campaigning for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance the industry.

The council meeting will be opened by WA Minister for Road Safety and Assisting Minister for Transport Hon David Michael MLA, followed by a keynote address from National Secretary Michael Kaine. Minister for Industrial Relations Hon Tony Burke MP and ACTU Assistant Secretary Joseph Mitchell will address the National Council dinner on Thursday, while Senators Glenn Sterle and Tony Sheldon will join panel discussions throughout the week.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said:

“Since National Council last met, TWU members have achieved significant wins in aviation and road transport. The focus now turns to the next phase of our strategy to lift standards for all transport workers and their families. With powerful new tools in our belt, the rank-and-file governing body will decide on the path ahead to make transport safer, fairer and more sustainable.

“Nick McIntosh and Emily McMillan have led TWU members to great success and take up their new positions as transport workers are on the cusp of enacting new legislative powers to save lives, livelihoods and businesses in road transport, put an end to gig exploitation, and reconsolidate a fragmented aviation industry.”


Nick McIntosh – a qualified lawyer – has been with the TWU for 18 years, including nearly six years as National Assistant Secretary. Under his guidance, the TWU:

  • Staved off mass job security threats to win industry-leading agreements at major transport operators in 2021;
  • Secured landmark agreements with gig companies DoorDash, Uber and Menulog on standard-setting reform;
  • United transport employers, owner drivers and associations over the need for legislated minimum standards; and
  • Won against Qantas in the Federal Court, Full Court of Appeal and the High Court over 1700 illegal sackings.

Over two decades in the union movement, Emily McMillan has worked in a variety of public and private sector unions in industrial, organising and campaigning roles. Over the last eight years, Emily has led the TWU’s organising and campaign plans to:

  • Win transport reform through member-led national days of action, convoys, vigils, lobbying trips to Canberra, and Senate Inquiries;
  • Led a period of mass protected industrial action to make transport jobs more secure;
  • Led the aviation campaign to rebuild jobs, pay and conditions after the pandemic; and
  • Oversee a member-led recruitment campaign, which has welcomed roughly 10,000 new members in target areas of retail and aviation over the last two years.

/Public Release. View in full here.