Gerardine “Ged” Kearney is an Australian trade unionist. Since 2010 she has been the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the peak trade union organisation in that country.
Gerardine Kearney was born the second-youngest of nine children in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, her father being a publican. She qualified as a registered nurse in 1985 and participated in the nurses’ strike in 1986. She also gained a Bachelor of Education. She worked as a nurse and nurse educator, including a period managing clinical nurse education at Austin Health.
She was elected an official of the Australian Nursing Federation in 1997. She served as Assistant Federal Secretary, Federal President and Victorian Branch President, before being appointed Federal Secretary of the Federation in April 2008.
Following the departure of Sharan Burrow, Kearney was elected President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions from 1 July 2010.
On 31 May 2013 she indicated she was considering nominating for Australian Labor Party preselection for the seat of Batman in the Australian House of Representatives, to contest the 2013 federal election (at that time scheduled for 14 September). The seat was to become vacant following the retirement of Martin Ferguson prior to the election. On 1 June she said she had decided not to seek preselection