We're super excited about the line up of rank and file union members, union delegates, student activists, the leaders of the school strike for climate, first nations activists and organisers from home and abroad who will be speaking at the Young Workers Conference 2019. Check out the program below.
Scott Collom is a rank and file activist from the ETU - Electrical Trades Union of Australia, Victorian Branch and a facilitator for XR VIC Unions. Scott has been active in numerous protests both for unions and climate justice, as he sees it as the same fight - the same companies that smash unions, destroy our planet. Scott knows we need to fight as one and change this unjust system. Scott will be sharing more of this perspective during our Opening Plenary: The Power of Protest.
Desiree Cai is the 2019 National President for the National Union of Students, and long-time student activist at Melbourne University. Within NUS this year, Desiree has been focused on ensuring the voice of students and young people are heard, both within universities and in wider politics. Her campaigns and advocacy this year have focused on issues including higher education funding, the corporatization of university, student wellbeing, climate justice and ensuring that student unions are well-funded across Australia. She is speaking during our Opening Plenary - The Power of Protest.
Colin Long is the Just Transitions Organiser at the Victorian Trades Hall Council, where he also has responsibility for cooperatives policy. He is on the Boards of several cooperatives, including Earthworker, a manufacturer and retailer of solar hot water systems, and Cooperative Power Australia, a start-up energy retailer owned by unions, and community and environment organisations. Colin has been on the Climate Action Committee of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and sits on the global advisory board of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, an international trade union alliance advocating for renewable energy and the democratisation of energy provision. He was a member of International Trade Union Confederation delegations to COPs 21 and 23. He is speaking during our Opening Plenary - The Power of Protest.
Kaity is a recent high school graduate and Melbourne Organiser with School Strike 4 Climate. Climate activism has helped her overcome aspects of her Chronic Fatigue, and after coming to understand the current climate science, Kaity has decided to dedicate her life to helping achieve climate justice. She'll be speaking on the Young Unionists Climate Activists Network (YUCAN) panel, "Stopping Work to Stop Warming: Building for the Next Global Climate Strike."
Tom Reddington is Climate Justice and Energy Democracy Organiser at Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA. Tom works in solidarity with unions across Asia to respond to the impacts of dangerous global warming and build collective power in the clean energy transition. Tom is facilitating the APHEDA panel, where young unionists in India and the Philippines will share via video conference how they are building worker power to fight the climate crisis. APHEDA is one of the founding members of Cooperative Power, so Tom is also speaking during "Workers Capital as a Model for Sustainable Economic Transformation" about the great work Cooperative Power is doing to create a clean, sustainable, affordable and democratic energy sector!
Edie Shepherd is a proud Wiradjuri and Noongar woman, and senior Organiser at Original Power - First Nations organisation that works with communities right across this continent who are facing the sharpest end of extractivism and climate change. She has worked as a youth worker, community organiser and campaigner within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as in broader social and economic justice spaces. Edie has spent the past 3 years working as an organiser in the trade union movement, and remains an active rank and file member of her union. Edie is facilitating "Blak-Red-Green: Fighting for Country, Culture and Climate Justice."
Max Smith is a Clean Air Campaigner at Environmental Justice Australia and a conference delegate with the ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch. Max started life as an organiser with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and then moved to the Australian Conservation Foundation: recruiting, training and supporting a national network of volunteers campaigning for climate justice in electorates across the country. Along with VTHC’s Nadia Montague, Max co-founded the Red Green Drinks network – a regular gathering of workers from the environment and union movements. He'll be speaking on the Q&A Panel - "Just Transitions: The Climate Crisis and the Corresponding Struggle for Workers' Rights."
Dennis Doley is speaking during the Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA session "Building Trade Union Power in the Clean Energy Transition across Asia," via video conference. Dennis is actively involved in the trade union movement in south Asia and currently working at PSI - Public Services International as an Organiser for the Young Workers Project to help strengthen young workers in public services, mainly in electricity, water, municipality, local governments and health.
Maiysha Moin is a recently graduated Year 12 student, who is a Melbourne Strike Organiser and Spokesperson with School Strike 4 Climate. Her passion for climate action and sustainability has manifested in the new initiative, Climate Leaders, and her tenure as Environment Captain at her school. Maiysha is also passionate about women’s rights and social equality. She is speaking on the Q&A Panel - "Just Transitions: The Climate Crisis and the Corresponding Struggle for Workers' Rights."
Tilly Sage is speaking during the session "Workers' Capital as a Model for Sustainable Economic Transformation." Tilly is passionate about workers rights, environmental and social justice and the need for a just transition through self-determination. She is a recent graduate from the RMIT Environment and Society degree and has been involved with Earthworker Cooperative for the last 6 months.
Audrey McCarthy is co-facilitating our Take Action on Climate: Environmental Bargaining Workshop. Audrey just graduated from Year 12, having helped organise the union contingent to the Global Climate Strike and the IMARC Blockade. She is the Hospo Voice Climate Justice Coordinator, a founding member of Young Unionists Climate Activists Network (YUCAN) and a member of WSA - Worker Student Alliance along with various other community organising groups.
Tommy-John Herbert is an active rank and file member of the MUA, a wharfie, and an ex-fossil fuel worker. He was one of many wharfies who "stopped work to stop warming" and walked off the job at Hutchison Port to join the Sydney Climate Strike. Hear from Tommy during the YUCAN Panel "Stopping Work to Stop Warming: Building for the Next Global Climate Strike."
Leo Crnogorčević is a Year 12 high school student and an organiser with the School Strike 4 Climate. Leo is also a football referee and a member of the Football Referees Association of Victoria. He'll be speaking on the YUCAN panel, "Stopping Work to Stop Warming: Building for the Next Global Climate Strike."
Lauren Davis is an Education Manager for AustralianSuper. She creates, facilitates and is responsible for delivering appropriate quality education to ensure members improve their knowledge and feel empowered to have the best possible retirement. Lauren is speaking during the session "Workers' Capital as a Model for Sustainable Economic Transformation."
Melissa McMullen works at sea as a seafarer. Melissa is and is both an MUA delegate and a HSR. She is also the National Youth Co-Chair for the MUA Youth Committee. She is speaking on the Q&A Panel - "Just Transitions: The Climate Crisis and the Corresponding Struggle for Workers' Rights."
Farida Iqbal works as a cleaner at Red Gum Cleaning Cooperative. Farida is speaking during the session "Workers' Capital as a Model for Sustainable Economic Transformation."
Violet works at UWU and NTEU, and is a member of the Young Unionists Climate Activists Network. Violet will be chairing the YUCAN Panel, "Stopping Work to Stop Warming: Building for the Next Global Climate Strike."
Katherine Culaba is a union organiser at SENTRO, based in the Philippines, and is active on energy democracy and climate justice as a workers' issue. Katherine is speaking during the Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA session "Building Trade Union Power in the Clean Energy Transition across Asia," via video conference.
Harriet's first experience of organising was as part of youth climate organisation Generation Zero in New Zealand. Since moving to Australia, she has both volunteered and worked for the climate movement and now works as the Political Organiser at Victorian Trades Hall. She's a proud ASU delegate and more passionate than ever about solidarity between the environmental and labor movements. She is speaking on the Q&A Panel - "Just Transitions: The Climate Crisis and the Corresponding Struggle for Workers' Rights."