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HACSU for Peace: Statement


The Health and Community Services Union Victoria (HACSU) reaffirms our solidarity with all workers of the world—regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnicity—and will fight for peace. The Australian union movement has a proud history for the advancement of workers, their rights, and social justice for all working people and we are proud to represent workers who work in mental health, disability, and drug and alcohol every single day.

Peace is union business.

HACSU State Secretary Paul Healey has recently met with friend of HACSU, Nasser Mashni, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN).

HACSU is proudly a member of APAN, and APAN briefed HACSU on the worsening humanitarian crisis in Palestine, especially the grave concern for Palestinians in Rafah facing a brutal assault.

We call on the international community, including Israel, to allow for medical supplies and aid to enter Palestine and for healthcare workers to be afforded the right to do their job effectively and safely.

Now is the time for movements to speak up and demand a ceasefire and the release of all Palestinian and Israeli hostages.

As a union that represents healthcare workers, we particularly express our deep concern for the wellbeing of Palestinian people with disabilities, mental ill-health, addiction, and neurodivergencies, and their healthcare workers, who are disproportionately impacted by this conflict. Our movement is one of international solidarity, and what has unfolded for Palestinian healthcare workers, the patients, and communities they care for has inevitably touched healthcare workers across the world.

HACSU members stand in solidarity and sorrow with Palestinian healthcare workers.

HACSU echoes the calls made by APHEDA (the international aid arm of the union movement) to call on the Australian Government to immediately reinstate funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), which is the only agency able to provide healthcare, housing, and other critical humanitarian aid in Gaza. The Federal Government must act now.

Like all people, the Palestinian people have a right to live in peace, security, and dignity. We reiterate our previous statement from November 2023 and we now call upon the Federal Government to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

There needs to be the immediate recognition of the state of Palestine—which is in line with Labor Party policy—and an end to Israeli settlements that are contrary to international law and an impediment to a sustainable peace.

We call on the Federal Government to sit down with the leaders from the Australian Palestinian community, such as APAN, to hear from them on further steps that the Government can take to support the Palestinian people to reach a lasting, peaceful resolution.

Finally, we want to thank our members who have been contributing to support the aid effort in Gaza, which provides practical assistance to human beings suffering unimaginable violence and fear. We acknowledge the trauma and vicarious trauma of our members who are worried for family members and healthcare workers in the region, and remind HACSU members that, as members, you and your family have unlimited access to free mental health support through Hunterlink.

If you would like to contribute to the humanitarian effort in Gaza, please consider joining and donating to APAN and APHEDA. HACSU members have begun an initiative called HACSU for Peace to advocate for anti-war policies. If you would like to be involved, please contact Stephanie at or 0436363612.

We will continue to speak out, attend rallies and events, and call on the Government to act for peace.