This month, we’ve interviewed HACSU BCOM member and President, Deb Gunn. Read all about Deb’s journey with HACSU, starting with being thrown in the deep end and learn an interesting fact about Deb that you might not know.
What's your first memory of HACSU?
“My first memory of HACSU was being told to turn up to a meeting at a particular location. When I asked about it, I was told to just ‘turn up’. I walked in the door and there was Paul Wheatley, HACSU delegate and he welcomed us into the meeting and congratulated us on being HACSU Delegates!”
Deb told me how shocked and surprised she was about this turn of events, as she had not known she would be nominated to be a Delegate before walking through that door!
“Essentially, I decided that if I was a delegate I better find out what all this means! I started to get a lot more involved and active and we eventually formed the North Sub-Branch where we met monthly to discuss any issues that arose in the region and brought solutions to those issues to the group.”
What has surprised you most about working with HACSU?
“That we punch so far above our weight!
For a growing specialty union, in the scheme of things, we’ve had brilliant outcomes for our members. It’s really blown my mind!
Especially latest DHHS Disability Transfer agreement. When we take into account the privatisation, it’s pretty amazing; we’ve fought hard and gained some fantastic outcomes for members.”
What’s your favourite part of the new agreement?
“Favourite part is that there is coverage, certainty and stability for 8 years for members and all staff. It will likely be a trying time for some and having this agreement has afforded people stability and strength, knowing that for at least the next 8 years we’re well looked after.”
When your friends/family find out that you’re the President of HACSU, what do they say or ask?
“They ask me how the hell do I fit everything in!?”
Deb and I laughed about this, knowing that the work of the union never really sleeps! I asked her what her answer was…
“I tell them that I have good time management (even though sometimes I don’t!).
My friends know more about unions than my family. Most family have been public servants and they don’t know a lot about Unions but they know it’s an important role and that it requires a lot of work – hopefully I’m doing a good job!”
What’s something interesting that members might be surprised to learn about you?
“Some members already know that in my spare time, I sing in a choir. It’s how I recharge my batteries. I’ve been doing it for 5-6 years in Northcote with a group. If anyone watched footage of Mental Health Month in 2017, you would have seen me and the choir singing together.
I like singing in the choir because he helps my look after my mental health, it’s a great community and gives me a chance to explore my creativity.
(Deb laughs again, something else she likes to do often!)
“Most members know I like overseas holidays too…”
Interviewed by HACSU Media and Communications Officer, Cait Speldewinde on 12/02/2019.