Why are you in this industry/occupation?
I have always believed in justice and fairness and standing up for the underdog. I was elected as a union delegate at Woollahra Council and did a secondment with the United Services Union looking after child care workers in the local government sector. I was successful in securing a permanent union organiser role with the USU in the local government sector and I now work in the USU’s private sector team.
What are the benefits?
I like assisting people in their working life which in turn can then have a positive effect in their personal life. I like that no day is the same and that I get to represent individuals and large groups in industrial relations and workplace rights. I get satisfaction in helping people and in growing and promoting the USU and in the union movement as a whole.
What are the drawbacks?
There is an obvious amount of stress that is associated with this job. Sometimes you are not able to have a win for members or the workforce and sometimes members are treated unfairly and the industrial tools are not there to support them. Sometimes workplace laws are changed to the detriment to workers and due to the make up of the political sphere, sometimes unions are powerless to stop those changes.
Why do you encourage other women and girls to consider the industry/occupation?
Females are half of the population and will therefore likely to represent half of the workforce. The industrial relations field needs to have females advocating for workers as females are particularly good at recognising the importance of family friendly workplace laws and for the need for work, life , balance. Women are tough adversaries and can offer a different style of negotiating workplace rights.