New recruits strengthen IEU team

Three new organisers have recently come on board to offer their services to IEU members.

Patrick Devery began his teaching career in 1989 at Mt Carmel Catholic College, Varroville and spent some time at St Gregory’s College in Campbelltown before embarking on the ‘obligatory’ overseas odyssey.

He worked as a semi professional trumpeter before returning to St Greg’s in 1994, and then moving to St Mary's Cathedral College Sydney, where he became curriculum coordinator.

More recently he has been teaching casually and working as a timetabling consultant.

Pat is no stranger to IEU circles, having served on IEU Executive for 10 years, as well as serving as a rep and branch president.

“I got the sense that the employer was reluctant to give any ground and the Union was the only driver of any improvements to industrial conditions in the workplace.

“As a young teacher I enjoyed feeling like I was part of a decision making body that could effect change.”

As a full time IEU organiser, Pat hopes to empower and inspire members to engage with the Union, and understand that they are the Union, and that its success relies on their input.

“Now that all teachers, pre-2004 and early childhood, must do accreditation, I feel like there are some things that can be done industrially in the professional development space,” Pat said.

Some members may also know Pat for his work with the annual school bands festival, a non competitive event which attracts 320 bands and 10,000 students every year.

Former high school English teacher Aidan Anderson has unionism in his DNA, with his great grandfather a 50 year financial member of ABTEF, and his mother an active PSA delegate who strongly influenced him to get involved.

Teaching is an all consuming profession and the IEU is so well positioned to assist teachers and support staff.

Broad background

Aidan began his teaching career in 2013 in Broken Hill, and has since taught in inner city Sydney schools, primary schools and at university, so he has a broad background in education.

Recently he has been combining PhD studies with some casual teaching and lecturing at university.

He’s looking forward to helping members negotiate the more complicated side of industrial issues and generally building up an active membership base in schools and centres.

“I want to build union culture, especially among young teachers and support staff who may not be aware of the history and benefits of unionism.”

Professional voice

Valerie Jones began teaching in 2005, fulfilling a lifelong dream that along the way saw her involved in education in a variety of roles from school office administration to a school support officer in a special education unit.

After training at a tertiary Christian education institution, Valerie had her first posting in the Christian sector in New Zealand in 2005 at a junior high school.

In 2006 she and her husband moved to Australia as new scheme teachers and joined the Diocese of Wollongong, where she taught in three primary schools.

She became the IEU rep pretty soon after arriving in Australia.

“The rep, who was leaving, saw a passion in me and asked me if I’d like to take over.

“I just wanted to a be a voice for the teaching professional.”

Valerie served as the South Coast Sub Branch rep, president, on Council and on the BOSTES (NESA) Primary Curriculum Committee.

With 10 years’ experience as a rep, Valerie has worked alone and on a committee, and she will use this experience to advise and support reps and members.

“It wasn’t a hard decision for me to apply to the IEU. I see it an extension of what I’ve been doing in the classroom and as a rep.

“Teaching is an all consuming profession and the IEU is so well positioned to assist teachers and support staff. I have a great belief in supporting those, who for whatever reason, feel they don’t have a voice.

“There’s so much the IEU can do to make things easier for teachers, as teaching is a very tough job.”

Sue Osborne