Acting for a purpose

I don’t want to bombard them but to make sure they are clear on the severity of the situation we find ourselves in.

When he was a youngster, Simon Goss wanted to be an actor, but his family talked him in to a ‘steady career’.

“There was talk about joining the police force, becoming an accountant or teaching,” Simon said.

As it has turned out, teaching was the top choice for Simon, as he's been able to blend his thespian skills with his teaching and Union activism.

The Riverina Branch President was recently elected a general member of the IEU executive, and said he was looking forward to playing a role in Union governance.

He became IEU rep at Holy Spirit Primary School Lavington in 2003, one year after he became a member of staff.

“Previously they’d been taking turns once a month being the Union rep. That wasn’t really working, with the lack of continuity, so I put my hand up.”

Service to a greater cause runs in the family, with Simon’s father Harry having been as a state MP and Mayor of St Arnaud, their home town.

Harry was certainly a principled politician rather than a party man, as he stood for Labor, Liberal and Democrats in his time.

Simon hasn’t given away his interest in the arts. He is Performing Arts Coordinator at Holy Spirit and has set up his own company, the Other Theatre Company, to help aspiring actors and directors receive mentorship. He also does some acting, paid and amateur, on the side.

Those skills have been very useful during the current Catholic campaign, with good communication and motivation from the Union Rep vital.

“I’ve been trying to make sure staff understood the issues at hand without being sideswiped by misinformation from the employer,” Simon said.

“Some of the younger staff are uncertain and some have a belief that the Catholic employer would not do anything to reduce their working conditions.

“I don’t want to bombard them but to make sure they are clear on the severity of the situation we find ourselves in.”

Simon was a speaker at the Albury rally held during the stop work for the Catholic systemic schools campaign, and he said he was “humbled” by the response from the audience.

At his first IEU executive meeting recently Simon said he felt humbled again and “in awe” to be in the presence of union executives he had long admired from afar.

“It’s a great thing to be part of a large team all working together to do things in the best interests of all employees.”