Setting the Agenda: Conference 2023

  • Published June 15, 2022

Three days. Over 500 delegates. One conference. We are Setting the Agenda.

The 2023 HSU Delegates Conference took place on 2nd, 3rd and 4th July, and it was one of the biggest to date.

Over 550 delegates across New South Wales, Queensland and ACT descended upon Sydney CBD, coming together at the Hyatt Regency once again.

Both brand new and established faces filed through the doors of the Grand Ballroom, energised and eager to get to work.

The last thirteen months has been a time filled with immense change and challenge. Members took action and stood up in their workplaces and communities, fighting for fairness at work.

Delegates shared their stories of taking action, challenges they faced, and standing side by side with their fellow members in solidarity.

The theme of this year’s Conference was Setting the Agenda. This not only speaks to the success and achievements of members, but also sets the wheels in motion for the future. HSU members have earned their seat at the table, and have fought hard for better jobs and better recognition; now is the time to plan for what lies ahead.

HSU Secretary Gerard Hayes, addressing delegates on Monday from centre stage, impressed upon the room that the work isn’t over yet, and there’s lots more left to do.

“We’ll take the ground that is rightfully ours, because that is what we do.”

“We have a voice; it’s about putting problems forward, and putting solutions forward.”

“And we’re not done yet.”

Reflections continued with divisional achievements and successes were shared.

Aged Care members drove a mighty force that resulted in a 15% pay increase for workers. Disability Service members lobbied the Federal Government for improvements to the NDIS which will benefit both workers and patients. Ambulance members kept the pressure on through campaigns and action, resulting in an additional 2000 paramedics for NSW. Private Health members kicked off a series of bargaining across the sector, seeing a rise of collective movement and highlighting neglected workers in private hospitals. And Public Health members not only changed a government, but continue to hold the new government accountable to their promises through collective action and leading the conversation towards change and accountability.

It’s clear to see we’re not done – and HSU members continue their work Setting the Agenda.

Members were recognised at Conference with our inaugural “Delegate of the Year” award for each Division, and “Clinical Excellence” awards within the Ambulance Division - each recipient nominated by fellow members. Award winners took time on the stage not only to thank the HSU for their awards, but to also shine the spotlight on their fellow members.

“Without my fellow members, I would not be here.” – Tina Gock-Young

“Union strong is what we need to be, and it’s what I support.” – Denise Cunliffe

This year’s Conference was a moment for reflection and Setting the Agenda for what’s to come. Members are leading the movement across sectors, and fighting for change.

The work isn’t done, and HSU members are not afraid to stand up and fight.