Brotherhood Talks:
Co-operatives and mutuals – a win-win for workers and communities experiencing disadvantage

The Research & Policy Centre at the Brotherhood of St Laurence is delighted to invite you to our November Brotherhood Talks session.


Our expert panel of Melina Morrison (Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals), Gerrie Mitra PSM (Group Executive Director, Disability and Reform, SA Department of Human Services), Dave Kerin (Earthworker Co-operative Network) and Eleanor Coffey (Redgum Cleaning Co-operative) will unpack the theory and practice of worker owned co-operatives and mutuals. How can such enterprises deliver increased economic security for workers and better outcomes for communities experiencing disadvantage? Should worker owned co-operatives play a more prominent role in Australia? 


Thursday 7 November


12 noon – 1pm. Please feel welcome to stay and chat over lunch afterwards


Father Tucker's Room, Brotherhood of St Laurence Head Office, 67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

RSVP and questions

Please RSVP to attend this event for seating and catering purposes. Replies and queries to jdouglas(at) or (03) 9483 1364.

All welcome at this wheelchair accessible venue. Please advise if any accessibility adjustments would help support your attendance.

We also invite you to enjoy our new Brotherhood Talks podcast, drawn from our RPC seminar series. Listen online at Brotherhood Talks podcasts and on Apple PodcastsSoundcloud or Spotify.

Melina Morrison

Inaugural CEO (since 2013) of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, Melina has long involvement in the co-operative movement. She led Australia's (2012) International Year of Co-operatives campaign, is a founding director of Social Business Australia, produced the flagship International Co-operative Alliance Digest and headed media campaigns for peak co-op bodies. She has played a pivotal role in inspiring and informing recent policy reform processes, including the 2016 Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into co-operatives and mutuals, and the subsequent Hammond Review into access to capital for this sector. 

Gerrie Mitra PSM

Currently Group Executive Director, Disability and Reform, SA Department of Human Services. Gerrie is passionate about social justice and is known for her innovative approach to transforming services.  She led the development of Australia’s first employee-owned public sector mutual, Kudos Services, for which she was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2019. Previously a Director in Housing SA, Gerrie’s career has also spanned senior roles in the not-for-profit sector. 

Dave Kerin

Dave’s community activism – including through the Green Bans in the construction industry – inspired involvement in founding the Earthworker Co-operative Network in 1997 which seeks to build green, dignified jobs in support of a just climate transition through worker-owned cooperatives. He is currently assisting with the first union-supported workers’ cooperative, Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative, which makes solar hot water systems in the LaTrobe Valley.

Eleanor Coffey

Co-founder and worker-member of Redgum Cleaning Co-operative. Redgum launched in early 2018 with 5 founding members to clean homes and offices around Melbourne using eco-friendly methods. It has since doubled in size, and its members are continuously learning about cooperatively running a business. Eleanor is active in encouraging and supporting others to start their own worker cooperatives in ethical industries.

Questions? Contact Jane Douglas: jdouglas(at) or (03) 9483 1364.

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