Vale QTU Life Member Kevin Giles
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 128 No 3, 5 May 2023, page no. 4
QTU life member Kevin Giles has passed away following a short battle with illness.
Kevin first joined the QTU in 1985 and had a long record of service as a Branch President, State Council Representative and Executive member.
For those of us who were activists in Central Queensland through the 1990s and beyond, Kevin was a Union stalwart and provided counsel on how to approach issues in our local areas. The transfer system, teacher housing and incentives for members in rural, remote, and regional areas were core tenets of his campaigning.
Kevin was the first in his family to go to university, as was his wife, Michelle. He instilled in his two daughters the value of education and was proud to see them both graduate from tertiary education.
Kevin achieved several notable firsts – he was the Curtis Coast Branch’s first President, and in 2013 became the first elected member of the QTU Executive to work and reside in a regional or rural area and take part in Executive business remotely.
He was a delegate for the Gladstone Australian Council of Trade Unions (QLD Branch) Provincial Council from 1994 to 2007 and a committee member for the Gladstone Queensland Council of Unions from 2007 to 2012.
Kevin also had a long commitment and association with the QTU State Council, regularly voicing concerns and pushing for change at meetings. However, 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 he 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’s contribution to the QTU continues to be felt by members across the state. May he rest in peace.