Life memberships awarded at QTU biennial conference 2017

QTULifeMember.gifLife membership is conferred under the rules following resignation/retirement from the teaching service to members for long and outstanding service to the Union. People who throughout their teaching careers have served as an example to others by the manner in which they have loyally supported the QTU and its policies, and who have been active in promoting its interests, are eligible for nomination as life members of the Union.

Life member awards 2017

Bob Baldwin  

“Bob was a long-term, very active Union Rep in schools, who always supported staff. He was knowledgeable and easy to approach, not only for new members, but anyone who needed help. He made time for anyone, whether they needed to talk through an issue or were just looking for some advice.Bob was reluctant to speak in public, and was much happier to work in the background, not wanting to be in the limelight.”

Lea Formigoni

"As a proud voice for teachers and school leaders within special education, Lea was an active member of the Special Education Committee of the QTU for over a decade. She was a strong voice for women’s engagement within the Union, participating in the QTU Women’s Conference and serving as a member of the Women Teachers and Girls Education Committee for just under 10 years. ”

Kevin Giles

“It was at the branch and school level that Kevin was most active. He was a senior QTU member in his area, both in terms of experience and age. He was a strong voice pushing for more teacher-aide support during the introduction of prep, and led the drive for teacher participation in the Labour Day parades. Perhaps most importantly, however, he worked hard to support members, from teacher to principal level, with sound and reasonable advice.”

Kevin Holden

“Kev personifies grassroots activism, and has been a tireless political lobbyist over countless QTU campaigns and state and federal elections. Over the years he has participated in local television, radio and Cairns Post interviews for various campaigns. One especially notable occasion was the EB6 strike day rally in 2009, when 1,000+ members packed Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.Kev is to be commended on his long and outstanding service to the Union. ”

Jeff Macgregor

“Passion for the Union started early in Jeff’s career, at Murgon State High School, igniting the flame to ensure that teachers’ voices were heard and satisfactory outcomes were reached. He was a very dedicated Union Rep who saw this as part of his calling - he always had the ear of the principal and was never afraid to have a tough conversation when required. Jeff also held leadership positions in the school, which was a sign that he was valued and respected by the administration as well as the teaching staff. ”

John McCollow 

“Dr John started his Queensland teaching career at Murgon SHS, the start of a career long advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people. He served as a Union Rep, Conference Delegate, Branch Secretary and Branch President, before joining the staff of the QTU as a Research Officer. Dr John had a keen interest in industrial advocacy and was a passionate advocate for members in meetings and negotiations and was our go-to person when it came to analysis of state and federal budgets, inflation and wages data, and changes to the funding of TAFE and how they impacted on members. ”

Fiona McNamara

“In the early 90s, Fiona was a key activist in Central Queensland, providing a strong local voice in delegations to the local member of parliament, advocating for the demise of Leading Schools and ensuring that protections around school based management were in place in industrial agreements. She has represented the QTU in many forums and became a QTU Organiser in 2000. Fiona is also a strong voice for women’s engagement within the Union. In her current role, Fiona remains a strong advocate for teachers and school leaders and a strong supporter of the trade union movement.”

Ian Merritt

“Ian's commitment to ensuring the teachers in the Central Western Branch had a strong voice is best represented by his commitment to the Central Queensland Area Council. This involved a 1,400km trip by car to Rockhampton from Longreach and back over the course of a weekend for many years. Ian was recognised as the “gentle voice” of members in one of the more remote parts of the region. His leadership and commitment helped to encourage a large number of beginning teachers to become active in the QTU. Even in retirement, Ian remains a strong voice for teachers working in remote Queensland and the Central West."

Stephen Mysliwy

“Steve has steadfastly upheld the values of the union movement, embracing “fairness for all” and fighting for members’ rights. In his early career, teacher housing was high on his priority list, and it continued to be a passion over the years. Steve is driven by a strong sense of social justice, and this has been applauded by those around him. "

John Pollock 

"Committed to the QTU for 34 years, John was regarded as “the Union” at Highfields State School. He was extremely influential at school, as each principal would seek his guidance on school and Union matters. John’s passion for the union movement related to his ability to help teachers at the grass roots level in schools – ensuring that they had a fair go and had their rights upheld. ”

Greg Smith

“Members at Torquay State School were always aware of where Greg stood on issues, firmly behind the QTU, standing up for the rights of members at the school and in the branch.In summary, Greg was the kind of grass-roots activist that every branch needs – someone who was prepared to not only support motions but also to do the necessary legwork to make campaigns at a local Hervey Bay level happen.”

Robyn Sugden

“Robyn Sugden’s long serving and esteemed status is apparent across all levels of the QTU, from the workplace and branch levels through to committees and Executive. Robyn was revered locally for her campaign activities and leadership, speaking at rallies, responding to the media and mentoring new activists across the coast.”

Barry Thomson 

“Barry’s strength though was his ability to develop strong working relationships, not only within the Union but also with politicians and departmental officials. These relationships developed another strength – his ability to negotiate and mediate between parties and create effective representation. In any number of situations he would look for a better solution and a negotiated settlement as a first option.”

Barry Welch

“At the highest level in his career as a unionist, Barry was focused on what was most important: the members. He never lost sight of the individual struggles and the day to day lives of teachers and school leaders, and he never allowed the “collective” to become a blur of names and faces; for he knew their stories and their struggles, their successes and their triumphs, working with them to respond to their key issues.”

Maryjane Woodgate

“Throughout her career, Maryjane Woodgate has always been a QTU activist who has thought of others before thinking of herself. Maryjane has been a friend and trusted colleague to many people in the QTU for more than 30 years. As an outstanding servant of the QTU for this time, she leaves the organisation in good hands, having passed the baton to young activists that will carry the torch into the future.”

Patrick Born (posthumous award for outstanding service)

“Patrick was intensely loyal to the Union and those to whom he made a commitment. That, however, did not mean he would blindly agree to a position or with a person. In fact, the opposite is true. He was always forthright in expressing a different opinion or seeking an explanation, and could in fact be very dogmatic about his views. But once a majority decision was made, that was the end of the debate.”

Neil Weaver (posthumous award for outstanding service)

“The values of the QTU were deeply ingrained in Neil and resulted in him taking on roles at the school, branch, Area Council and State Council levels. Neil had a deep sense of social justice and he always displayed a no-nonsense approach in ensuring that fairness prevailed. He was an astute thinker who brought ideas to the table mixed with a keen sense of humour. He will be fondly remembered by all QTU activists and members of staff who were privileged to work with him. ”