National Conference 2014



The biennial ASU National Conference will be held in 2014 in Melbourne from Monday 17 November to Wednesday 19 November at the ME Bank Centre at the Punt Road Oval in Richmond, an inner suburb of Melbourne.


This year's National Conference theme,"unions shaping our society", is intended to capture the union movement's role in creating a better Australia through participation in community building with collective action. This occurs not just in workplaces and through industrial relations, which is of course our core area of activity, but also through involvement in broader debates. This year's "Bust the Budget" activism is one of many examples. The National Conference agenda will reflect on the union movement's role in shaping a more civil society, with special focus from the keynote speaker, the Q&A session and our workshops.

Civil society, noun, Society considered as a community of citizens linked by common interests and collective activity. [Oxford Dictionary]


Social media hashtag #asunion14

Local WiFi connection at ME Bank Centre: ASUNC14 (no password is needed)

Conference Twitterfeed - 17 Nov 2014 to 19 Nov 2014


  • Welcome Reception will be held on the evening of Monday 17 November at the ME Bank Centre. Sponsored by Vision Super.
  • Women's Lunch, Tuesday 18 November at the MCG. Sponsored by CareSuper.
  • Conference Dinner will be held on the evening of Tuesday 18 November at Zinc at Federation Square. Sponsored by HESTA Super Fund.
  • National ASU Delegate of the Year presentation will be held at the Dinner (see names of nominees below). Sponsored by HESTA Super Fund.
  • Life Membership presentations will be held at the Welcome Reception (see names of recipients below).

  • Brendon Gale, CEO Richmond Football Club
  • Ged Kearney, ACTU President
  • Chris Masters, Journalist and Broadcaster
  • John Osborn, Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI)
  • Emma King, Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)
  • Tim Lyons, ACTU Assistant Secretary
  • Innes Willox, Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)
  • Deputy President John Kovacic, Fair Work Commission
  • Professor Anthony Forsyth, RMIT University
  • Dr Keith Suter, Futurist, thought leader & author
  • The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Federal Member for Gorton
  • Dr Veronica Sheen, Monash University
  • Associate Professor Janis Bailey, Griffith University
  • Anne-Marie Corboy, HESTA
  • Cate Wood, CareSuper
  • Paul Schroder, AustralianSuper
  • Mark Irving, Barrister
  • Associate Professor Andrew Scott, Deakin University
  • Nicole Livingstone OAM, Swimming great and media personality

icon Speaker Profiles (updated 6 Nov 2014)

Following are the key presentations and sessions at the National Conference:

  • Q&A panel session, moderated by journalist and writer Chris Masters, sponsored by AustralianSuper
  • Industrial Relations panel, chaired by Linda White
  • Keynote speaker, Dr Keith Suter, chaired by Greg McLean and sponsored by AustralianSuper
  • Workshop - ASU 2030 – unions of the future - chaired by John Nucifora (filling in for Justin Cooney)
    • This workshop will consider the changing demographics of work, casualisation, technological change, effects of baby boomers retiring, youth recruitment, etc, and how unions can respond to this changing environment to grow membership and influence.
  • Workshop - Superannuation – investing workers' capital - chaired by Joanne Knight
    • Industry SuperFunds use superannuation savings to promote workers' interests. This workshop will consider superannuation issues for women and youth; effects of the ageing workforce, how Industry SuperFunds promote the distribution model in comparison with retail competitors and alternative distribution models.
  • Workshop - Unionism in a hostile environment - chaired by Michael Rizzo
    • Unions have faced a particularly adverse political environment with the election of the conservative right wing Abbott Government, which along with LNP state/territory governments has made the work of unions defending and advancing workers' rights much more difficult. This workshop will consider what the difficulties are and how to work around them.
  • Motivational speaker: Nicole Livingstone, Australian Sportswoman & Media Personality, Q&A chaired by ASU National President Russell Atwood

The National Delegate of the Year Award is presented biennially at the ASU National Conference. It recognises in all nominees the dedication and spirit that makes the union movement great through its activists. HESTA Industry SuperFund is the generous sponsor of the 2014 Awards. Introduced by ASU National Vice President Ingrid Stitt.


Aaron De La Torre, Qantas Tasmania

Read about his win here "Innovative and creative, Aaron De La Torre wins Delegate of the Year 2014"


Chris Wellington, Broken Hill Shire Council, Nominated by: New South Wales United Services Branch

Aaron De La Torre, Qantas, Tasmania, Nominated by: Victorian & Tasmanian Authorities & Services Branch

Adam MacDonald, Jetstar, Coolangatta, Nominated by: Central & Southern Queensland Clerical & Administrative Branch

Rebecca Bull, Target Head Office, Nominated by: Victorian Private Sector Branch

Penny Carr, Tenants' Union of Queensland, Nominated by: Queensland (Services & Northern Administrative) Branch

Keith Boase, City of Kalgoorlie Boulder, Western Australian Branch

icon Delegate of the Year Nominee Profiles

Life Membership of the Union is bestowed on members in recognition of their dedication over the years to the Australian Services Union.

Errold Bryant, Central & Southern Queensland C&A Branch

Kevin Place, Central & Southern Queensland C&A Branch

Kathrine Nelson, Queensland (Services & Northern Administrative) Branch

Robert (Bob) Ball, Queensland (Services & Northern Administrative) Branch

Marion Fielke, South Australian & Northern Territory Branch

Peter Chaplin, Taxation Officers' Branch

Igor Grattan, Victorian & Tasmanian A&S Branch

Barry Miller, Victorian & Tasmanian A&S Branch

icon Life Member Nominee Profiles

Click here to do the Evaluation Survey - a password will be provided to delegates and observers to gain access to the evaluation survey where they can provide feedback on all elements of this year's Conference.


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