Changing of the guard

I think that the ordinary person needs unions, not only for support during their working lives, but because healthy unions are vehicles to social justice and integrity in the world.

Federal Secretary (right) Chris Watt with Carol Matthews (Deputy Secretary elect) and Mark Northam (Secretary Elect).

There was a changing of the guard at the IEU AGM on 19 October with some new faces welcomed as Executive members as some old friends farewelled.

Angela McDonald is the new Vice President (ACT), taking over from Leah Godfrey.

Executive member John O'Neill with son Justin and wife Noeleen O'Neill

“I hope that I can continue the work with the same enthusiasm and passion that Leah previously bought to this role. I’m looking forward to ensuring that the ACT is represented at the Executive level of the IEU,” Angela said.

An active member of the Monaro Branch and on the IEU/Catholic Education Consultative Committee, Angela has been on Council since 2016.

President Chris Wilkinson (right) with outgoing Secretary John Quessy and Helen Gregory

She combines her IEU work with a large family. “I am the proud mother of six children and have welcomed my first grandchild this year. I have held many different positions across primary schools, and I am currently working full time teaching Kindergarten.

“I look forward to working for and supporting all IEU members, and particularly those in the ACT.”

Executive member Amy Mead

New Executive member Amy Mead has been a member of the IEU since she started teaching in 2012, mainly in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.

Last year she was President of the IEU’s Hunter Sub Branch. “I’m really looking forward to being on the General Executive, learning more about the IEU and working in collaboration with the other members. I hope to represent the needs of all staff members in schools,” Amy said.

President Chris Wilkinson (centre) with incoming Executive Vice Presidents Bruce Paine and Angela McDonald

Funding diverse needs

Stalwart Patricia Murnane is leaving the Executive. Patricia started on Council in 1996 and on Executive in 2005. She’s been an IEU Rep at four schools and Branch President at Penrith/Blue Mountains Sub Branch.

Standing ovation at AGM for outgoing Secretary John Quessy

“I’ve enjoyed my time participating at sub branch, Council and Executive levels. It has allowed me to learn and grow and enrich my life,” Patricia said.

Outgoing Executive (left to right) Patricia Murnane, Leah Godfrey, Marie McTavish, John Quessy and Louise Glase

“I’ve been especially proud to have been able to communicate my concerns for the better funding of the education of students with diverse needs and for the training and practical support that teachers need in their work with these students.

“I am excited for the Union's future because I think that the basic attitude of the organisation and members is to be open minded and always developing.

“In the years of my membership, the growth and change are evident. This progressiveness has enabled us to really take on the challenge and the reality of our digital age and this is bringing benefits to members especially in the PD area and increasingly through being able to offer online support and organising.

“The diversity of committees had allowed us to be relevant to our members and to also influence those outside our Union. In an era where propaganda and vested interests want to abolish unions, we continue to prove our value and remain relevant and growing.

“I think that the ordinary person needs unions, not only for support during their working lives, but because healthy unions are vehicles to social justice and integrity in the world.

“It seems to me that unions are the constant reminder of the dignity of the worker and the respect that we all should have for our work. I think that the IEU is a lighthouse for us. I am deeply indebted to the IEUA NSW/ACT for personal support in my work life and would like to thank the Union for this. It will never be forgotten. I wish the Union and the whole of the IEUA all the best for the future.”

Voice for young teachers

New Executive member Phoebe Craddock-Lovett has come to the Union through its conscious targeting of young teachers, and she hopes to be a voice for young teachers on the Executive, while she is conscious of representing all teachers.

She’s been a Maths teacher for three years and has served on one of the IEU’s panels for preservice teachers, Ask Me Anything.

As well as a special interest in the needs of young teachers, she wants to make sure teachers and support staff from rural and regional schools are taken into account.

Executive Financial Officer Marie MacTavish is moving on after nearly 40 years with the IEU.

“I have been a chapter rep for most of my teaching career. I became an active rep on issues of social justice. In my career in infants/primary schools, I have seen many instances of injustice in the workplace and the need for a strong voice to be an advocate for others and to counter this along with IEU support and backup.

“I have been an active member in all areas of the Hunter Valley – being an Executive, past President and Councillor.

“I have been an Executive member of the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch before becoming a Financial Officer. This time on the state body represents close to 20 years.

“Thank you for placing your faith and trust in me for the years I have served being an Executive member and Financial Officer.”

Rural and regional profile

New Executive member Bruce Paine wants to ensure there is a voice for teachers and support staff who work in rural and regional areas.

He wants to work toward improving conditions for teachers in the independent sector in terms of workloads, burnout and work intensification and to lift the profile and working conditions of support staff across the sector.

Louise Glase has union in the blood, attending her first IEU industrial action when she was in primary school. Louise’s first few years on Council was alongside her mother Dawn. Louise said she felt “very blessed” to have served on Executive for two terms.

‘I saw how the Union operates at that level and had a chance to give a voice to Catholic independent schools, who represent a smaller part of the Union’s membership.

“I have been proud to witness the Union’s strong support for the Equal Remuneration Order case where other unions have not stood up. I feel now is a time to give another person a voice on the Executive, but I shall still be attending all the Council meetings and every Chapter meeting.”

New Executives: Angela McDonald; Amy Mead; Phoebe Craddock-Lovett; Libby Lockwood. Outgoing: Ross Conlon; Patricia Murnane; Leah Godfrey; Marie MacTavish and Louise Glase.

NSW/ACT Branch

Delegates to Federal Council

• Moore, Carolyn • Smith, Pam
• Matthews, Carol • Penson, Suzanne
• Baker, Bernadette
• Cotton, Amy
• McHugh, Denise • Jervis, Marilyn
• Fitzgibbon, Therese • Heron, Verena
• Wilkinson, Christine • Griffiths, Liam
• Collins, Carolyn
• Caton, Lyn
• Towson, David
• Northam, Mark