Changing gear:

Movements within the IEU

One of the IEU’s key responsibilities at federal level is improving all elements of members’ working conditions. So we’re pleased to report on two moves supporting this.

Our Queensland colleague Christine Cooper will step up from Assistant Federal Secretary into the Acting Federal Secretary role for a year. Cooper brings a wealth of experience to this role, from both the teaching profession and union roles.

When she was a graduate teacher in 1986, the first school Cooper joined had a strong union culture. “It was there I learned the power of being part of the collective – a lesson that has supported me well through the years,” Cooper said.

Cooper became Queensland Branch President in 1994, then Branch Organiser, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. She moved to the Federal office as Assistant Federal Secretary before stepping into the Acting Secretary role in July this year.

Cooper is enthusiastic about her move. “Leadership is more than position or title – it’s about action,” she said.

IEU members in the ACT and Riverina regions will also be pleased to hear that Organiser Lyn Caton has also taken a role with the Federal IEUA for the next 12 months.

Caton sees this as a great way to contribute her experience and expertise to the union’s work, particularly with teacher regulatory issues and the Australian Curriculum Review. She’ll focus on equity issues and lobby professional bodies and politicians on members’ behalf.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity to pursue a national perspective on education issues,” she said.

I learned the power of being part of the collective – a lesson that has supported me well through the years.

Caton too is a former teacher. She began her career in 1983 in the government sector and has been a member of the IEU since 1995. She too became a Branch President and was elected to the IEU Executive before becoming an Organiser with the ACT office. She has long looked after the Riverina Sub Branch and Monaro Sub Branch.

“As a union we are open and responsive to a system of industrial relations that recognises the history, ethos, organisational and professional practices of the various educational institutions in our sector,” Caton said. “I look forward to being involved in any and all matters that present themselves.”

Cooper has been instrumental to the IEU’s BOLD movement (Building Our Leadership Development) that seeks to increase the number of women who are active in the IEU, in their workplaces and in society. She’s also been a longstanding member of the IEU’s Women and Equity Committee which organises the IEU’s biennial Women’s Conference.

“When women lead by using their voices to call for change and supporting and empowering each other, we all win.”