Cesar Melhem is a Member for Western Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council in the Parliament of Victoria.
Cesar migrated to Australia at the age of 23. 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.
Cesar was elected to the role of Assistant Secretary of the AWU in 2001. He went on to be elected State Secretary in 2006 following the resignation of Bill Shorten.
During his time as State Secretary, Cesar played a key role in the business of one of Australia’s largest and most progressive unions with a turnover of millions of dollars a year, spent looking after the well-being of tens of thousands of blue collar members. A typical example was Cesar’s fronting of negotiations with Alcoa executives in Pittsburgh USA to successfully make the case for the Point Henry Smelter to stay open, to re-organise, and provide an ongoing source of employment for the Geelong region in the face of an international review by the company that threatened to close it down.
Cesar 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.
Cesar was appointed to the vacancy in the Western Metropolitan Region on 9th May 2013.
Cesar was a voice for Melbourne’s West and the broader State of Victoria during his tenure as Secretary of the AWU, and continues this support and representation in Victorian Parliament.
Cesar married his wife Jane in 1997. Together they have two children. The family has settled in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where Cesar has lived since his arrival in Australia in 1988. Cesar is a staunch and vocal supporter of the Western Bulldogs Football Club.
Electorate Western Metropolitan
Party Australian Labor Party
House Legislative Council Parliament of Victoria
Memberships Australian Labor Party, Australian Workers’ Union and Western Bulldogs Football Club
– Secondary Education (Year 12) 1983
– Dip. Electronics, 1986
– Williamson Community Leadership Program 2002 (Leadership Victoria)
– Union official, Australian Workers Union 1990.
– Assistant Secretary, Australian Workers Union 2001-06
– Victorian Secretary, Australian Workers Union 2006-13
– Board Member, CBUS Superannuation Fund 2007-13
– Member of the Members Services Committee CBUS 2007-2013
– Member of the Audit & Risk Committee CBUS 2007-2013
– Board Member, Chiefly Financial Services 2012-13.
– Appointed MLC for Western Metropolitan May 2013
– Elected MLC for Western Metro November 2014
– Acting President Panel Legislative Council 2016 ongoing
– Economy and Infrastructure Legislation Committee and Economy and Infrastructure References Committee May 2013-November 2014.
– Legal and Social Issues Legislation Committee and Legal and Social Issues References Committee April-May 2015.
– Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee since April 2015.
– Legal and Social Issues Committee May 2015-August 2016.
– Environment and Planning Committee since August 2016.
– Chair Western Melbourne Local Automotive Transition Taskforce
Parliamentary Party Positions
– Government Whip (Council) 2014/2015