Expanding IEU opens Lismore office

The IEU was delighted to open its Lismore office on Thursday 25 March, after celebrations had been delayed by COVID-19 restrictions.

Opening a union office is always an occasion as it indicates strong and increasing membership, said the Secretary of Unions NSW, Mark Morey, who spoke at the opening. (Unions NSW is the peak body representing more than 600,000 union members throughout the state.)

“The thing about the IEU is it is a big, diverse union, and one of the growing unions in our movement,” Morey (pictured right, third down) said. “That the IEU is opening a new office in a regional area – that’s the strength of this union, it is across the whole of New South Wales. It’s a union that builds community hubs.”

The IEU advocates for members’ rights at work no matter where that workplace is. “Unions have always been part of the fabric of regional towns,” said IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam (pictured right, second down).

“This new office is in the heart of a growth area. We are proud to open an office serving our members in this region. It is always important to have active union support in regional areas.”

The Lismore office supports two of the IEU’s Sub Branches: North Coast, which boasts 2543 members; and Mid North Coast, which has 2156 members.

Also speaking at the launch was IEU President Christine Wilkinson (pictured right, fourth down), who acknowledged that the Lismore office is on the lands of the Bundjalung Peoples.

IEUA Assistant Federal Secretary Christine Cooper came from Brisbane for the occasion. Also in attendance were IEU Deputy Secretary Carol Matthews, IEU Rep and Executive member Suzanne Penson of Mackillop College, Port Macquarie, and representatives from the Lismore Catholic Schools Office. Retired organiser Peter Bishop came from Sydney, along with Sandra White, retired North Coast Organiser.

“Opening this office is a significant milestone,” said Northam. “Members on the North Coast are well served by this office. The union is rightly proud of supporting its purchase and fitout.”

IEU Organisers Steve Bergan, Carolyn Moore and Richard Ryan are based in the Lismore office, with professional support from Cassie Barnes.

Monica Crouch