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About Me

I am currently the Vice-President (General) and National Councillor (General) for the Adelaide Branch and have previously served on the Melbourne Branch Comnmittee (VIC). In addition to my trade-union experience, I have recently served as National Chair of Democrats Abroad Australia and migrated to Australia 10 years ago. 


Having migrating to Australia 10 years ago, I bring a dual persepctive of living and working in two distinct political climates that has given me fortunate insight into organising, political change and direct insight into leadership and collaboration.

I have learned very quickly that leaership is about empowering others and supporting one another. It is facilitating and including many voices to cultivate change. As one who has a bold vision for what kind of union we can create, we must build it together and bring everyone with us to make it.

 

Plan for our Union - Our Priorities

A New Vision

Let’s envision what our University and sector can be. What do we want tertiary education to look like? How do we want our education to inform a better vision for our democratic future? What would teaching, research and our working conditions be in this ideal university?


These questions invoke what we can articulate into a collective vision that should frame all debate around the future of tertiary education. It’s time we set the agenda. We have a proud history in our union of winning great working conditions, but I know we can go further. We can go further than simply resist attacks on our sector. Instead, we can set the agenda.


My priority as Division Secretary is to ensure that our vision and our narrative for the union and sector are at the forefront of the debate. With your support, I will lead a consensus approach to determining what our core values are across our Branches and membership so that our message is the terms on which we negotiate, all the time. This approach will inform our public messaging, as it will inform our confidence in how we have our one to one conversations.

Supporting Members

Our union is as strong as its members. We work best when we feel supported in our workplaces, feel supported in what we do, contributing to the learning, teaching, research and administrative work that holds up our noble cause for tertiary education.


Unfortunately, we can often feel isolated in our roles with ever-increasing scrutiny on our tasks, whether they be increased workloads for academics or working conditions for professional staff. In my years of experience as a delegate, I have heard countless stories of members intimidated by wanting to do a good job in supporting students. We take these issues home and they can be overwhelming, an effect that leads to feeling isolated. In our union, we have to work better in supporting each other through these challenges.


We need to create peer and member support networks to resist this sense of isolation that many of us feel. That means formal and informal networks where we genuinely support both our workplace issues. We must build our ideal workplaces with different tools to those used to divide us. This will look like ongoing area meetings or union contacts that we can rely and lean on when we need help. This will start with regular meetups, either over lunch or breaks, even online where we can build this support structure. This will be an informal arm coming out of our Delegates & Contacts Network.

Delegates & Contacts Network

Delegates and Union Contacts are the real power behind a union. Delegates and Contacts are those who naturally care about our working conditions and in small to big ways, advocate for the issues affecting us and the conditions we fight so hard for.


We have started a great Delegates & Contacts network in South Australia and we need to take this further. Our network has begun training and regular meetings and we must continue and expand so that our confidence builds so that we can advocate for the conditions we care so much about.


As your Division Secretary, we will expand these networks, hold monthly in-person or online training so that we build our confidence and knowledge about industrial matters. This network will also help others across work areas and even Branches, so that we work together, as a union. An increased network will mean more union awareness in our Branches, visibility in our workplace and the ability to recruit more members.

Recruiting More Members

We all know that the union brings us the conditions that all staff benefit from. It is no secret that we need higher density in our union so that we can have even better conditions.


As an avid recruiter and one who enjoys the challenge of winning over more members, we must do this formally and informally at all times. We have great talent in our membership, but we have not utilised it to the full potential.


Building off of the networks we will create, we will hold ongoing and regular recruiting training so that the conversations we have feel effortless and natural. As your Division Secretary, I will ensure that we work across Branches to support each other in more training and on-the-ground experience in having expanded recruiting conversations.

Public Campaigns

From our vision that we create, we need a public campaign for the future of tertiary education. This campaign will be state-wide and taken to all decision makers who have any degree of influence to shape the future of tertiary education for a better future.


This campaign will shape that vision for what we want, based on larger shared societal values. This is several-fold in a grassroots campaign in and outside our workplaces and also to the larger community with allied interests who share our objectives. As a leader within this union and an international organisation, I have been a bridge between other organisations which share a common purpose. Our goals are those that the majority of South Australians care about and we have the ability to create a rallying cry for how much our universities matter.

 

Media

My leadership experience comes both from the NTEU and as a National Chair of Democrats Abroad Australia. The media below is of the latter in my leadership of the Australian arm of several thousand members with an international organisation.


We need a leader who represents a hopeful vision of what we can achieve and willingness to articulate that in mainstream media. I know how to be a spokesperson to a large and diverse membership and to advocate for the shared vision and values we deserve even when we face immense challenges.



Interview with Senior Political Correspondent Katharine Murphy of the Guardian, 3 October 2020

Grace Aplin and Aidan Moller of The Wire, Radio Adelaide, 4 March 2020

Cait Kelly article in The New Daily, 23 August 2020

David Ross article in The Australian, 4 November 2020

Video, Channel 9 News of US Election coverage, 4 November 2020

Radio interview with Jim Wilson of “Drive”