It’s HACSU Conference time again! Over two days, 135+ delegates, activists and officials will come together at Bell City in Preston to discuss all the matters that are important to the union, our industries and society. We love HACSU delegates and activists, without them the union simply couldn’t exist. Delegates, activists and members ARE the union!
This is our 20th conference; a significant milestone and one that prompts some reflection about where HACSU has been and where we see the union going into the future. It’s also the first conference with our new State Secretary, Paul Healey and Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall leading the union.
Speaking to HACSU President, Deb Gunn about her experiences, she recalled her first conference. When Deb arrived, she knew no one; but that quickly changed. She discovered just how big the union was, and that it was not her alone standing up for members; she had help. Despite everyone coming from different workplaces, different locations and different areas of expertise there was a great feeling of togetherness and lots in common. There was an overwhelming feeling of unity.
That’s what the HACSU Conference is all about; building solidarity, sharing ideas and learning from each other. We know that being a delegate or activist in your workplaces can come with challenges and at times can feel isolating. The conference gives us all a chance to gather, network, strategize and socialise!
HACSU members have seen major changes in our industry over the past 20 years. Some change has been for the good, some change tested us, and there are still changes are yet to come as we move towards future changes to the workforce.
Across the union, we’re working together for fairer superannuation and on supporting injured workers across the country. For members working in mental health, we’re gearing up for an exciting campaign for your next enterprise agreement. Members are prepared to fight for change in the lead up to recommendations from the Royal Commission and know that without the strongest, best-supported workforce, we can’t deliver the best services to Victorians.
For HACSU members in the disability sector, we’re looking forward to working together across one disability sector in the non-government space. Together, we’ll campaign for safety for all for workers and people with disability, across the country under a better NDIS. We’ll need all HACSU delegates and members to join the fight and help us to improve the sector.
For 20 years, the conference has beared witness to terrific guest speakers who have energised and inspired us, including Michelle Heyman; Australian Olympian, Dan Mori; Lawyer for David Hicks and Julia Gillard, Australia’s first (and thus far only) women Prime Minister. Each year conference-goers come away with a renewed vigour and new tools to enable better representation of HACSU members in their workplaces.
To the delegates and activists reading this, thank-you for 20 years of hard work and support! We look forward to celebrating another 20 years!