The Union Rep is usually the first point of contact for members with the QTU. Union Reps [ also known as workplace reps] are serving teachers elected by their colleagues to represent the Union in the workplace. They provide advice and support, organise local campaigns, arrange workplace meetings and recruit new members. There are also Lead Union Reps, who are trained to assist QTU Organisers, and Principal Union Reps, who provide a school leader perspective on education and industrial issues.
Branches and Area Councils
QTU members in every school in a given area belong to the local branch. This branch, in turn, has representation at a regional level on an Area Council, which is represented on Council and Conference and can bring issues forward for debate.
Council and Conference
State Council (meeting four times a year) and Conference (once every two years - the next being in 2021) are the supreme decision making bodies of the Union. Each branch and Area Council throughout the state is represented, as are TAFE members.
The four QTU Trustees are members appointed by State Council to manage the Union’s capital investments.
Ms Holmes is an experienced senior teacher at Tully State High School. Jenni was first elected as a Trustee in 2019.
Mr Mengel is a Head of Department at Kingaroy State High School. Don was first elected as a Trustee in 2015.
Ms Rathmell is a Head of the Bunya Campus of Dalby State High School. Anne was first elected as a Trustee in 2015.
The QTU Executive consists of the Senior Officers, along with 14 serving teachers, including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative and a member from the TAFE Division, all elected by State Council. It manages Union affairs between State Council meetings. Its members chair and occupy positions on many Union committees and outside bodies.
Beck, who teaches at Barcaldine Prep-12 State School, was elected to Executive in 2019. She also sits on the Union’s Working Conditions and Agenda Committees.
Peter is a science teacher at Cavendish Road State High School. Formerly the coordinator of SPARQ-ed, a DET / UQ scientific research educational outreach facility, he joined the Executive in 2005.
Nick was elected to Executive in 2019, having previously served on Executive from 2014-2017.
Josh is a deputy principal at Morayfield SHS and first elected to Executive in 2020. Josh is also a Lead Union Rep.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and has been teaching for ten years in Queensland State Primary Schools. She has held the positions of Union Representative, Branch President, State Council and Conference delegate, and has worked in the Milton Office as an acting Officer and Campaign Coordinator.
Shane is deputy principal at Fernbrooke State School. He joined Executive in 2018, and is also a promotion selection panellist, a Workplace Rep, a State Council Rep, a Principal Union Rep, a Lead Union Rep, and a member of the AEU (QLD) Branch Executive and the LGBTIQ+ Standing Committee.
Andrew, Principal of Redland District Special School Chair : Special Education Committee Member : Education Leaders Committee Elected to QTU Executive in 2012.
Natalie teaches at Manly State School and is on the Agenda, Professional Issues and Women Teachers and Girls Education Committees. She joined Executive in March 2017.
Paula has been teaching for more than 30 years at all year levels from P-12, including as a classroom teacher, ST:laN, acting principal, project officer, education adviser and district relieving teacher. Her QTU roles have included Branch Secretary and President, Area Council President, committee member, promotion selection panellist, and State Council and Conference Delegate.
Amanda is a DjaDja Wurrung Woman. She started teaching in 1997, and currently teaches prep at Clinton SS. She joined the QTU’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education committee Gandu Jarjum in 2001, and is currently the elected chair. Amanda is also a State Council Representative, Appointments Committee member, and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Contact for Port Curtis and Central Queensland Area Council. She is the First Nations member on Executive and a member of the AEU Federal Women's Conference committee and the AEU(Q) Branch Council.
Scott teaches at TAFE Queensland Skills Tech - Bracken Ridge Campus, and is also a member of the QTU TAFE Executive. He was elected to Executive in May 2014 as the TAFE Division representative.
Cassie is an experienced senior teacher at Ferny Hills State School and was first elected to Executive in November 2019. Cassie is a Lead Union Rep and President of the Ferny Grove Branch.
Nikki was elected to Executive in May 2014. A teacher at Brighton State School, she also serves on the QTU’s Awards, Appointments, Professional Issues and Women Teachers and Girls Education Committees.
Tom, a deputy principal at Yarrabah SS, was first elected to Executive in 2020. He is the Co-Chair of the Reconciliation Action Team, a Principal and Lead Union Rep, and Secretary of the Mulgrave Branch and Far North Queensland Area Council.
The QTU's Senior Officers all have a teaching background. The President, Vice-President and Honorary Vice-President are elected by the members. They preside at meetings of Executive, Council and Conference and are responsible for the implementation of their decisions. They also handle media and community relations. The General Secretary and two Deputy General Secretaries are elected by State Council and have primary responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Union.
Cresta, who became QTU President in 2021, has been a primary classroom teacher, acting deputy principal and head of curriculum. She has also served as Vice-President and a QTU Trustee.
Leah started teaching in 1997 as a music specialist and taught in Wide Bay, Redlands, Logan and Cairns. She was elected Vice-President in 2021
Ms Swadling is principal of Charleville School Of Distance Education. She was elected to Executive in 2014 and was a QTU Trustee from 2009 until 2015. She took on the role of Honorary Vice-President in 2015.
General Secretary, Kate Ruttiman
Ms Ruttiman was elected General Secretary in 2021. Her Union career began in 1997 when she was appointed Sunshine Coast Organiser, and she became one of the Union’s Industrial Advocates in 2001, and Deputy General Secretary in 2010. She was formerly an economics and English teacher in Middlemount, Kenmore and Lowood.
Originally a manual arts teacher, Mr Crotty was elected Deputy General Secretary in 2016. He was previously a QTU Organiser for almost 15 years, first for South Queensland and then for Brisbane South. He has taught in Tambo, Charleville and Park Ridge.
Deputy Gen. Secretary - Leah Mertens
Leah Mertens was appointed Deputy General Secretary in 2021. She was formerly QTU Assistant Secretary - Professional Issues
These Brisbane-based officers, again all from a teaching background, provide advice on specific areas of expertise and respond to general enquiries from members. They provide advice to Senior Officers, Executive, Council and Conference, as well as representing the Union in negotiations.
Assistant Secretary - Legal Officer
Assistant Secretary - Services/Welfare
Administrative Officer/First Nations
Assistant Secretary - Education Leaders
Assistant Secretary - Industrial Advocate
Professional Development Officer - QuEST
Acting Officer - QuEST
Assistant Secretary - Services/Welfare
Assistant Secretary - Industrial/Research
Assistant Secretary - Women's and Social Welfare Issues
There are 14 Regional Organisers and a Membership Growth Organiser to serve members across the state. All former teachers themselves, they attend branch meetings where possible, liaise with district offices and take up members' concerns with departmental representatives and administrators.
Gill Armit - Metropolitan Central organiser
Ben Vercoe - Metropolitan South organiser
David Terauds - CQU IVTAE Organiser (Tues Thurs)
Kelly Creedon - Logan Redlands organiser
Meegan Jackson - Sunshine Coast organiser
Zeb Sugden - South Queenslands organiser
Jodie McFadden - Gold Coast organiser
Scott Welch - Wide Bay organiser
Chris Munro - North Queensland organiser
Dan Coxen - Central Queensland organiser
Sammy Blocksidge - Far North Queensland Organiser
Lynn Cowie-McAlister- Membership Growth organiser
Mel de Waard - Metropolitan North organiser