A few months ago, I wanted to talk to you about the HSU’s upcoming conference and planning for the future. I had a lot of exciting things to bring up about what we could expect from 2021 and beyond. But the Delta variant had other plans.
We are now on the cusp of opening up once again after a brutal few months that no one wanted or deserved. Following the initial shock of 2020, our paramedics, health, aged care and disability workers were due for a break. Unfortunately, that’s not what was in store. Despite the rescheduling of our conference this year, the theme seems even more appropriate: Success Through Adversity.
While the onslaught over the past few months has been difficult to process, I want you to think about the people who are still with their families today because of your efforts. And I want you to think about the good times that are ahead.
You have heard this already, and you will hear it again, but there’s no doubt that HSU members are the heroes of the pandemic. I want you to think about what that really means. Through your own strength, through your commitment and compassion, you have held together communities that were on the verge of being torn apart.
Despite incredibly hard conditions, you continued to give your all, day after day. That’s no ordinary achievement.
This is an experience that you will share forever with your fellow members. I think it shows just how much more we can achieve together than separately.
Above all, I think the last few months has shown just how hardy and how successful our Union is. Despite adverse conditions, we’ve won back underpayments, overturned unfair dismissals, forced employers to consult over workplace change. Together, we’ve fought for safety and dignity for workers.
It’s been a cruel winter, and it’s still not truly over yet, but there are glimpses of summer sun on the horizon. This summer, it’s my hope that you can enjoy some of the truly good things in life: family, friendship, the great outdoors. Get out amongst it all. We’ve taken some knocks, but confidence is a muscle that needs to be exercised.
Thank you again for showing what this mighty Union is all about.