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Vale Keith Westgarth

We remember a life well lived by a man who was a leader of integrity, dignity and generosity

We are sad to report the passing of Life Member and former FSU Joint National President Keith Westgarth.  Keith died on 9 June 2017 at the age of 80. Keith worked for National Bank of Australasia which merged with the CBC bank to become NAB. In the bank Keith made it to the position of Branch Manager where he spent many years as a relieving manager. This allowed Keith to dedicate his skills and a substantial part of his time to his role in the union.   His long and distinguished union service saw him reach the office of Federal President of the ABEU from 1986 and then Joint National President from 1991 to 1995.

Keith was active at the local, national and international level in his pursuit of the rights of working men and women.  He was President of the NSW Division of ABEU when that Division the union elected ABEU’s first woman Secretary and he was at the bargaining table when the union succeeded in abolishing the discriminatory wage scales that locked women into low paid jobs in banking.

He led the ABEU into two amalgamations with four other unions to form the FSU in 1991 and 1994. Keith saw the union transition to meet the challenges of enterprise bargaining and industry de-regulation in the late 1980’s and he played an active role in building global unionism in the emerging service industries across Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.  

Keith was a leader and a mentor to many members and he was respected by the banks as a tough but honest man.

Our thoughts are with Keith’s family as we remember a life well lived by a man who was a leader of integrity, dignity and generosity.

* The Australian Bank Employees Union (ABEU) was the largest of five unions that amalgamated to form the FSU in 1991.

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Authorised By: Julia Angrisano, National Secretary
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