Page 1764 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017

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I would also like to applaud the workplace delegates from the National Gallery of Australia. This fantastic group of seven delegates continues a tradition of excellence within the NGA team. The delegates have shown a strong willingness to actively represent the interests of their colleagues. As CPSU members, they have also offered enthusiastic support to the union campaign against federal cuts to the cultural institutions that grace the national capital.

The group’s efforts were most felt in ensuring that the NGA handled its 10 per cent job cuts appropriately, seeking to minimise harm and shining a light on unfair practices. The NGA delegates have together made a strong contribution to the NGA, the APS and the CPSU and thoroughly deserve their award.

I would also like to commend Pema Choden for her work in connecting the Bhutanese community in Canberra with the union movement and strengthening their understanding of the protections they have in the workplace. Pema is here working on a student visa and has experienced abuse at work. She knows many colleagues who were underpaid and others who did not receive superannuation contributions. Pema also knows of workers who were threatened by their employer.

Coming from Bhutan, Pema was not aware of the union movement. However, as she learned of the important work unions do, she quickly came to realise the assistance the union could provide her and her co-workers who were being exploited. Pema sought to link the Australian Bhutanese Association of Canberra with United Voice and encouraged members to join the union.

This link has led to the organisations forging a memorandum of understanding which commits each of them to a cooperative working relationship. United Voice and the Australian Bhutanese Association of Canberra will shortly hold joint industrial rights training sessions for the Bhutanese community, building on an earlier session on visa and immigration rights. Pema’s story shows how unions can work with the community to increase awareness of rights at work.

I would like to congratulate those who were recognised for their work and acknowledge the contribution of those who did not receive awards this year. Noting their efforts here highlights the important work that unions, represented by their membership, undertake within our community.

Monaro football club

MR DOSZPOT (Kurrajong) (7.06): I rise tonight to speak about one of the great football clubs of the region, Monaro football club, which is celebrating its 50th year. I thank John Santolin and Mario Donda, both great past players, for their recollections of the foundation of this great club. Monaro can trace its beginnings to a Friday night in 1966 in the bar of the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan. Italian expatriates, many of them still with vivid memories of the postwar chaos that had driven them from their homeland, met there at the end of each week to spend their pay and talk over old times.

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