Dynamic duo bows out after decades of service
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 1, 12 February 2021, page no.6
Over the past three decades, Graham Moloney and Kevin Bates have been tireless champions for Queensland teachers. In January, having served three terms as General Secretary and President, we bade them a very fond farewell.
In November, State Council honoured their a huge contribution to our Union and to the teaching profession in Queensland. We will miss them but wish them all the best.
Graham has a fire in him for the members of the QTU, for public education and all things social justice.
He was the architect of the single salary scale in the second tier and has been involved in all nine enterprise bargaining agreements, including the arbitration of salaries in EB2 and EB3, and has been a stalwart in the campaign against NAPLAN.
He believes in making sure that women have a voice, that we continue to build on the strength of this Union, and that new educators are properly supported. He led the Union as it developed a Reconciliation Action Plan, identified a tagged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Executive role, and recruited an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer. He encouraged participation in climate change rallies led by students, because, if they have taken the initiative, we should get behind them.
Colleagues have described him as a strategic thinker, the person you want in a crisis, a true believer.
We all owe Graham a huge debt, and we are grateful for everything he has done for the Queensland Teachers' Union, for leading us, and for the legacy he leaves behind.
"The central understanding of unions is that it is not the power of one, but the power of the many that gets things done. One person alone is one person. 48,000 members of the QTU, that is a force. So it is what we do together that matters, not the individual parts in any way, shape or form." Graham Moloney (November Council)
It is difficult to express the regard with which we hold Kevin. Colleagues have described Kevin as calm, compassionate, a role model of what the QTU stands for.
He hasn’t backed away from anything. His leadership and empathy during the South East Queensland floods, the Townsville floods and several cyclones not only ensured that members knew that they were supported but was instrumental in reshaping the department’s response to natural disasters.
As Industrial Advocate, Kevin achieved the highest ever salary increases in arbitration in 2000 – bringing senior teachers’ salaries to $50,000 a year for the first time. He was also vital in establishing a network of activists and members in the Darling Downs and south west – a network that continues to grow in strength.
His sense of social justice is evident in his leadership around TRAPSA, White Ribbon and Marriage Equality. In the words of his colleagues, Kevin is “smart”, “driven”, “sensitive”, “empathetic”, “studious”, “analytical”, “a great singer”, and “fun”.
We are all lucky to have worked with him and will miss him greatly.
“Never be afraid to use your voice in the interests of the more than 48,000 members of the QTU. Every one of them relies on you to do whatever you can to be a part of the decisions that we take here. That is the responsibility that we all accept when we take on this leadership role.” Kevin Bates (November Council)