‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’. The IEU recognises the centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australian culture and embraces our responsibility to strive towards reconciliation and work to redress unfair and unjust policies and practices of colonisation. In our own Union work we specifically aim to play an active role in pursuing the industrial and professional interests of Aboriginal workers in non government education.
In 2015 IEUA NSW/ACT Branch established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee with a role to advise IEU Executive and Council on issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members in both their direct employment and more broadly. This role includes strategies for recruitment, provision of services and training, representation on relevant bodies, lobbying government and promotion of these issues across our membership.
At a recent meeting of the advisory committee the members determined to make recruitment a 2019 priority. This is important and timely as we currently have only a small number of IEU members identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on our membership.
We estimate approximately 56 of our members have identified through the membership system, in the category of Aboriginal Education Worker (AEWs) or both. We strongly encourage members who identify to contact our membership department. We are certain that the number on our membership is not an accurate reflection of our genuine membership.
The Union also supports the committee in its focus on recruiting more Aboriginal members. We encourage IEU Reps and members to invite Aboriginal colleagues to join the Union. The IEU actively seeks improved wages, conditions, roles and permanency for Aboriginal Education Workers, but also advances such outcomes for Aboriginal colleagues in more mainstream teaching or support staff roles. The Union’s professional learning program includes Aboriginal education and the IEU has an annual training workshop for Aboriginal members.
IEUA NSW/ACT Branch is now represented on both the Unions NSW First Peoples Network and the ACTU Aboriginal Umbrella Body. Committee member Vincent Cooper represents our Union on NESA’s Aboriginal Education Committee.
Join the IEU today and work with us on advancing these important initiatives.