After a couple of false starts due to COVID, the HSU Delegates Conference 2022 took place on 22, 23 and 24 May, with HSU delegates gathering from all over NSW, Queensland and the ACT.
The energy amongst the delegates, HSU staff, and guest speakers was palpable. Seated in the Main Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, delegates gathered to share their stories and experience of the last two years, and importantly, plan for the future.
Over 500 delegates attended the plenary and breakout sessions across three days of the conference, meeting new faces and reuniting with familiar ones. The theme of this year’s conference – Success Through Adversity – could not have felt more fitting, as we celebrated the achievements of HSU members through challenging and adverse times.
“The theme of this conference is success through adversity, and no one knows better than HSU members the true meaning of those words.”
HSU Secretary Gerard Hayes wasted no time in his address to delegates, reiterating the need for change and action.
We are done with platitudes. We will not be in this position again.
This is our time.
The theme of this conference is success through adversity, and no one knows better than HSU members the true meaning of those words.
Delegates heard from NSW Labor leader Chris Minns, who spoke about his vision for a new government in NSW:
‘We will rebuild the trust in government to deliver on healthcare, particularly on our rural and regional communities.’
NSW Minister Brad Hazzard applauded HSU’s leadership and efforts for the membership as ‘open, transparent, and forthright.’
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs CEO Aaron Warburton spoke about challenges and adversity that our members and community faced, especially in the last two years: ‘We all face adversity; it’s how we bounce back from it.’
The conference was a time for celebration of achievements, to come together and reflect on what we have overcome – fires, floods, a global pandemic, economic instability, and ineffective governments – on top of the mounting pressures on health workers and members.
Success through adversity has never felt more relevant than before, showing through strength and unity, change can happen.
Now we plan the way forward – the time for action is now. The NSW election is fast approaching, HSU’s Fair Work Case for aged care workers is in its final days following an immensely successful campaign, while campaigns for professional recognition and fair pay in Ambulance and Public Health are under way.
One delegate summed up their experience at conference in one word: inspiring.
‘This is my first conference, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, really,’ this delegate said. ‘But being here, and meeting other delegates and hearing their stories, made me feel like change can happen. And that we can make things better.’