Cesar Melhem

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Cesar Melhem
MLC
Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Western Metropolitan Region
Assumed office
9 May 2013
Personal details
Born (1965-01-04) 4 January 1965 (age 51)
Lebanon
Political party Australian Labor Party

Cesar Melhem (Arabic: سيزار ملحم) (born 4 January 1965) is a former State Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Workers' Union (AWU), and current Member for Western Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council, Parliament of Victoria.

Background[edit]

Born in Lebanon, Melhem migrated to Australia at the age of 23.[1] He worked as a process operator before being elected as a union organiser for the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia (FIA). In 1990 he stood for and was subsequently elected as a full-time union organiser. He remained in this role until the FIA amalgamated with the AWU in the 1990s.

He was elected to the role of Assistant Secretary of the AWU after its amalgamation with the FIA. Melhem went on to be elected State Secretary in 2006 following Bill Shorten's resignation.

He is also a former director of superannuation provider to building and construction workers CBUS, and of Chifley Financial Services, an organisation providing advice, investments, superannuation, insurance and mortgage lending.

On 6 May 2013 Melhem announced he was resigning as AWU state secretary after 7 years, to enter the Victorian Legislative Council as the member for Western Metropolitan Region, succeeding Shadow Attorney General Martin Pakula, who resigned to contest the Legislative Assembly seat of Lyndhurst.[2] Melhem was appointed to the vacancy on 9 May.[3]

On 1 June 2015 Cesar Melhem was accused of cutting a "side deal" with an employer to drive down their wages and conditions in return for the members dues of unsuspecting employees. In December 2015, Melhem was one of over 40 current and former trade union officials referred by the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption for possible prosecution.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Melhem married his wife Jane in 1997, who together have two children. The family is settled in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where Melhem has lived since his arrival in Australia in 1988. He is a staunch supporter of the Western Bulldogs FC.

References[edit]