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Home > News > 2017 > November > Recognising excellence in our union

Recognising excellence in our union

The success and achievement of our union depends on the commitment and passion of our members. Outstanding IEUA-QNT members were recently recognised at our union’s 2017 Annual General Meeting in late October for their contribution to and involvement in the movement.

John (Max) MacDermott Award 

Individual: Michael Moores – Townsville Grammar School
Michael Moores of Townsville Grammar School (TGS) has been a union member for 20 years, and the staff representative at TGS for 12 of those years. Michael has shown great courage in standing up on the behalf of his colleagues to fight for improved working conditions.

Michael works tirelessly with members across a number of campuses, and provides a strong and stable voice for all union members. This hard work has enabled Michael to build a stronger collective and, in turn, a stronger collective voice for his colleagues and our union as a whole. This award acknowledges Michael’s outstanding contribution as a strong advocate for employee rights and the element of courage he repeatedly brings to his actions as a unionist. 

Chapter: Caloundra Christian College
The Chapter at Caloundra Christian College, consisting of Deb Killip, Beck Spicer and Adam Strickland, were the recipients of the John (Max) MacDermott Chapter Award for 2017. These members represented their colleagues during the most recent bargaining campaign. These members showed courage and determination when representing their co-workers in an environment with low density and activism.

Their determination to encourage their colleagues to consistently seek what is just and fair helped to challenge a problematic status quo in an intelligent and powerful way. Their ability to link the Christian culture of their school with the bargaining campaign was an impressive example of their activism and ability to work diligently and tirelessly to address issues affecting members of their Chapter.

Elizabeth McCall Award

Robyn Chantler – St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 
The Elizabeth McCall Award for 2017 was awarded to Robyn Chantler of St Mary’s College, Toowoomba, who sadly passed away in September of this year. Robyn’s work as a teacher, as a unionist and as a member of the wider community demonstrated on a daily basis that her personal commitment to social justice and advocacy for the dignity of all were one in the same with upholding union values.

Throughout her career Robyn worked towards cultivating a positive view of the teaching profession and thought being able to make a difference to the lives of others was a privilege to be celebrated. Her dedication to her students was extraordinary as she taught right up to the end of term. Robyn was active in her campaigning for the rights of others and played an important role in developing a strong sense of union at her school.  Robyn truly embodied our union’s values and exemplified all that is good in a person committed to living out her values

Ruth George Award 

Melissa Goodingham – St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School, Rosewood
The Ruth George Award was this year awarded to Melissa Goodingham. Melissa is a school officer and one of two Chapter Representatives  from St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School, Rosewood. Melissa has been a member of our union for almost a decade, and throughout this time she has been committed to improving the workplace for school officers and encouraging all school staff to work together toward a common goal of educating children and giving them the best experience at school.

Her ability to cultivate strength of membership amongst her fellow school officers and teachers has exemplified the sense of union solidarity between staff within her school. As a school officer attending the IEUA-QNT NexGen conference in May this year, Melissa was able to provide the conference with relevant input on behalf of our school officer members. Melissa is a passionate and active member of our union, who works closely with her colleagues to keep them informed on relevant union issues. 

Founders Award

Bryce Goldburg – The Southport School 

This year, the Founders Award was presented to Bryce Goldburg of The Southport School (TSS). Bryce has been described as the union compass for fellow members at TSS for the 20 years he has been a staff representative. Bryce was identified as a worthy recipient of this award with the nomination from his Chapter reflecting on his consistent commitment to the fundamental principles of unionism.

Bryce has lead his fellow members through numerous collective bargaining negotiations, keeping everyone up-to-date and working tirelessly towards improving wages and conditions for his colleagues. Bryce’s unwavering solidarity to the union movement has made him an exemplar of what a unionist and member of our union should be seen as. Bryce has successfully broadened the base of unionism at TSS, whilst encouraging his colleagues to maintain activism and be involved in broader union issues. He is deeply respected by his colleagues for the team culture he has built within his workplace and his ability to problem solve whilst maintaining positivity and diligence. Bryce’s commitment and actions reflect the principles of dignity, respect, fairness and collective solidarity that our union was founded on.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.