Being elected to serve the members of the Australian Services Union was a very proud moment in my life and I have dedicated myself to their interests every day that I have worked here.
In my time at the union, we have done some extraordinary things together.
Some of these things are written about in the media, such as our achievement of equal pay for social and community service workers, putting the issue of women’s unequal superannuation outcomes on the map and the first domestic violence leave provisions in the workplace anywhere in the world.
I am also proud to have played a significant role in some of the most disruptive industrial issues of the past 20 years such protecting workers’ entitlements in the Ansett collapse and more recently fighting for the right to income for members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the less publicised things matters just as much – being there for members dealing with the loss of their job, preparing workers for their future career with our professional development tool Career Launchpad and helping individual members affected by natural disasters.
This is the hard day-to-day work of unionism which binds us together in solidarity and I am proud to be associated with every person in the union over the years who has faithfully played their role to ensure we are by our members’ side at all points in their working life.
Today the Australian Services Union is a strong, unified and purposeful organisation. This is only because of the dedication of hundreds of smart, effective, committed and collaborative people, prepared to put the group ahead of themselves.
The organisation is growing and that is partly because of the work we have done to modernise and respond to the currently world of work in the services we deliver and how we engage and communicate with our members and the community.
I have been fortunate to have a great team. Those strong women have stepped up into critical roles, including in the current negotiations with airlines about our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our members could not have a better group of people by their side in tough times.
I look forward to continuing to play a role in the labour movement and intend to further explore new opportunities on the wider issues I am passionate about – including in my role with the superannuation industry, and other Boards.
For now, I will continue to play my role at the union in the coming weeks until early October. Once again, thank you to all of the members of the Australian Services Union and the many officers of the union who are too numerous to name.