Born: 1954

Special Achievements:

Sharan Burrow AC is the first woman to become General Secretary of the ITUC since its foundation in 2006, and was the second woman to become President of the ACTU

2000: Sharan Burrow became the first woman President of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) Asia Pacific Region.  

2004: Became the first female ICFTU President

2006: Became the first woman President of the  International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - the world’s peak labour union body representing 181 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 340 national affiliates)

2010: First woman elected General Secretary of the ITUC (re-elected 2014). 

2000-2010: Sharan was also the second woman to become President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Additional Information:

Sharan was educated at the University of New South Wales.  After teaching for some years, she took a more active role in the Teachers Federation.  She became Vice-President and then Federal President of the Australian Education Union in 1996-7. 


  • Image - Sharan Burrow

    Image courtesy of Sharan Burrow, NPWHF collection

  • Image - Sharan Burrow at the World Economic forum 2013

    Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability gestures at the Open forum interactive session 'Unemployed or Unemployable?' at the Swiss alpine high school (SAMD) at Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2013.

    Copyright by World Economic Forum.