Our Stories

My family's a Holden family

My family’s a Holden family. Dad’s worked at Holden for almost 35 years, and 27 years ago (a number that makes me feel ancient), I followed in his footsteps. I’m proud to say my uncle, aunty and two brothers-in-law have made their careers at Holden and my son Jack is Holden-mad too. What can I say, clearly it’s in the blood.

Making cars here isn’t just about what’s good for the economy. It’s about giving people like me opportunities to get skills and training we wouldn’t find anywhere else.  I started off as an apprentice fitter and turner and moved into manufacturing engineering.  Now I’m a senior technical officer.  I don’t want to turn to my son Jack and say, sorry – those were the good old days. There aren’t the same opportunities for you.

This afternoon, I met Kevin Rudd at a Family Day BBQ in Salisbury North, South Australia. The PM is really passionate about manufacturing. You could just see he gets it. Thank goodness one leader in politics does.


There are around 50,000 people like me working in the Australian car industry. We’re one of only about 13 countries on earth that can create cars from the design board to the showroom. I reckon that’s something to be proud of, and something we can build on if we have leadership from the top down to buy Australian with pride and support Australian industry. 

Kevin Rudd and Labor are in this for the long-term. He’s guaranteed that, with ongoing smart investment in our future. And when he gets on TV and says it’s a no-brainer that government fleets should be Australian, my family, friends and workmates stand up and cheer. 

We’re already working together – employees, employers and union representatives – to ensure our company’s long-term prosperity, a great product, and solid jobs you can be proud of.

But during this campaign, Tony Abbott has refused to make that commitment. He’s flat out said he will cut $500 million in automotive support between now and 2015, and hold a special review before deciding whether there will be any investment in our car industry at all after that.

That strikes real fear into the hearts of families like mine. The stakes really couldn’t be higher for us, or the communities whose lifeblood comes from this industry. We have history here. We have pride here. I don’t know why Tony Abbott thinks that cuts will help our jobs, our communities or our economy, but his cuts won’t do one bit of good for us.

I need your help to get the message out. Just as Campbell Newman’s cuts have hurt Queensland, Tony Abbott’s cuts will hurt Australia – we need your help from down here in South Australia to stop Tony Abbott’s cuts wrecking everything we’ve worked so hard to build.


Shawn Matthews 


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.