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Home > News > 2019 > August > Three new Member Awards to recognise outstanding activists

Three new Member Awards to recognise outstanding activists

IMG_8496_WEB.jpgOur union has added three new awards in our centenary year to our IEUA-QNT Excellence Awards, which recognise the significant contributions of our members. 

The three new awards are the Beginning Educator Member Award, the Thersa Nunn First Nations Member Award and the Vonnie Burke Award and Scholarship.

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the new Awards were established to celebrate our union’s centenary and to broaden the recognition of member achievements. 

“The three new Awards provide a significant opportunity to recognise those members who are dedicated to improving working conditions for women, First Nations peoples and early career teachers,” Mr Burke said.

“These new Awards, along with our existing Member Awards, allow us to acknowledge those passionate and dedicated members who are fundamental to the success and longevity of our union.

“I encourage all members to consider nominating their colleagues who are outstanding union activists for this year’s Awards." 

Nominations are now open for all award categories, and the winners and nominees will be presented at our AGM on 1 November, 2019. 

Beginning Educator Member Award

One way we can support our beginning educators meet future challenges is by identifying our best and brightest activists and providing guidance and acknowledgment of their efforts.

These members represent our next generation of IEUA-QNT Chapter activists and union leaders who will shape future working conditions and the nature of our education sectors.

This Award provides an opportunity to recognise the outstanding efforts of a beginning educator who has demonstrated a commitment and passion to build a better future for our members.

Award Criteria

  • Union member in the first five years of their teaching career.
  • Have demonstrated an early commitment to union values as they begin their career.
  • Have shown an interest in the promotion and advancement of their chosen profession.
  • Contributes to the activism or growth of their IEUA-QNT Chapter.
  • Have demonstrated qualities of a future workplace or union leader.

Thersa Nunn First Nations Member Award

Our First Nations members are a strong and significant part of our membership and they share a desire to enhance the quality of life for teachers, school officers and services staff in non-government education institutions.

This award provides the opportunity for all members of our union to recognise the outstanding efforts of First Nations members and the particular efforts of those who have helped organise their colleagues in pursuit of shared industrial, professional and reconciliation goals.

The award is named in honour of Aunty Thersa (Ther-esa) Nunn, a proud Noonuccal Woman, Quandamooka Elder and long-standing IEUA-QNT member. 

Thersa’s commitment to union is evident not only in her ongoing support for industrial and professional campaigns, but also her efforts to educate others on the benefits of union. 

Award Criteria

  • Has made an outstanding contribution to our union through activism in a specific area.
  • Works diligently and tirelessly to represent the interests of First Nations members.
  • Acts with honesty, integrity and courage in the conduct of our union’s activities.

Vonnie Burke Award and Scholarship

Vonnie Burke (1934 – 2018), Life Member, had a fundamental understanding of the empowering nature of education and a commitment to provide opportunity through education wherever she could.

The Vonnie Burke Award and Scholarship is made in honour of this remarkable teacher and unionist and seeks to provide an opportunity for an early career female member to undertake union-related professional development.

The value of the scholarship is to be determined by the governing body from time-to-time, with the 2019/20 amount set at $3,000.

The allocated sum (with the approval of the Secretary) may be spent on course fees, release time, travel and accommodation as relevant and is to be taken within 12 months of receiving the award.

Award Criteria

Applications for the Award should address the following (100-200 words each):

  • Demonstrated advocacy for fairness and respect in the workplace.
  • A statement of personal union values and why unions are essential in our community.
  • A statement on what the Award would mean for the applicant’s development as a unionist and as an educator.

The new awards are in addition to our four existing award categories:

  • The Elizabeth McCall Award – presented to a female union activist who demonstrates a fundamental commitment to unionism and social justice.

  • The Ruth George School Officer Award – presented to an exceptional school officer activist; named in honour of Ruth George 

  • The John (Max) MacDermott Award – recognises outstanding efforts of individual activists and school Chapters.

  • The Judith Cooper Award (NT only) -  presented in recognition of a member’s outstanding contribution as a union representative and/or in recognition of a Chapter’s outstanding contribution to building a strong union.

Teacher Education Bursaries 

Our union also awards four Teacher Education Bursaries each to the value of $1,000 to university students studying education, with a connection to our union. 

A fifth bursary, the John Nash Bursary, valued at $2,000, will also be awarded to a pre-service teacher with an outstanding application.

The bursaries will be presented as part of the awards to support the next generation of teachers, and applications for the five bursaries are now open. 

If you know an outstanding member or Chapter that matches an award criterion, click here to complete a nomination form before nominations close on Wednesday, 9 October 2019. 

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