Six years is a long time. And yet it’s not.
That’s how long I’ve been away from United Voice WA, before returning and being elected to the position of Assistant Secretary.
Fourteen years ago I was an educator in an early learning centre.
My first union campaign was my own.
My workmates and I fought against wage underpayments, discrimination and bullying.
I experienced how empowering it was to discover my voice had value, my actions made a difference and the strength of the sisterhood.
I was hooked.
This fire in the belly – and a healthy dose of ambition and adventure – led me to the United States labour movement.
I worked with a powerhouse union on different community, political and union campaigns.
It was a game changer.
I proudly stood with workers earning $7.25 an hour as they protested in the snow for a living wage.
Their economy was broken and the system was rigged against them. It was heartbreaking and inspiring in equal measure.
Eventually the United States and Australian parallels became far too obvious.
I watched as conservative governments in Australia attacked workers’ rights, privatised essential services and failed to act on issues like the gender pay gap.
Australia could not become America.
I would not stand for it. I could not stand for it.
This is where I want to put our attention.
- Respect and dignity at work.
- Pay and conditions that take you forwards.
- Retirement security.
- Electing governments that work for all of us.
- I hope to use my position to help take United Voice to a new level.
Acting Assistant Secretary