Another successful USU Conference was held last week – with over 150 branch delegates from across NSW and the ACT gathering at Gymea Tradies Club to work together to determine the future priorities for our union.

Some of the highlights of conference are included here. There will be more in our next edition of United magazine.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey opened Conference 2016
Conference was officially opened by Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey. Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey officially opened the conference on Tuesday afternoon, applauding the great work the USU has done and congratulating delegates for their hard work. Mark spoke about the need to ensure that everyone is Union. “That’s the way we ensure we have good jobs. Unless everyone is union in every workplace the battle gets harder and harder each day. We need to work smarter together.”
Minister for Local Government Paul Toole addressed Conference 2016
The Hon. Paul Toole, MP – Minister for Local Government also addressed conference and spoke about the consultative relationship with the USU and amalgamations amongst other topics. Delegates had the opportunity to ask questions in relation to their own experiences with the recent amalgamations which the Minister answered.
Two of the Delegate of the year nominees, Brett Cameron (left), James O’Malley (centre) with the Delegate of the Year winner, Darren Brennan (right). There were seven nominations in all.
  • JANE MERCADES-HART, Metropolitan Salaried Officers’ Branch
  • DARREN BRENNAN, Southern Branch
  • ALF PACE, Sydney Branch
  • JAMES O’MALLEY, North Western Branch
  • STEVE THOMAS, Newcastle Branch
  • BRETT CAMERON, New England Branch
  • CHRIS SMITH, Newcastle Branch
Former Canterbury Council GM Jim Montague with Graeme Kelly, Stephen Birney and Canterbury Council delegate Col Myers after Jim received his life membership of the union. Jim has been a member of the Union since 28 March 1966 and retired on 3 June 2016.
Energy & Utilities Certificate of Merit for Malcolm NoackSTATE
Central WestCertificate of Merit – John “Jack” ClearySTATE
Central WestLife Membership – James “Jimmy” BarrottSTATE
Energy & UtilitiesLife Membership for Max ThomasSTATE
Energy & UtilitiesLife Membership for Don SavageSTATE
Energy & UtilitiesLife Membership for Paul MarzatoSTATE & FEDERAL
Energy & UtilitiesLife Membership for Mark GillSTATE & FEDERAL
Energy & UtilitiesLife Membership for Peter HullSTATE
NewcastleLife Membership for Robert GiulianoSTATE
Newcastle Life Membership - Stephen GoodbunSTATE
NewcastleThat James Binks be awarded Life MembershipSTATE
NorthernLife Membership - Mr Warren WattsSTATE
Northern Life Membership - Neil HaywardSTATE
Metropolitan Salaried Officers' Life Membership – Jim MontagueSTATE & FEDERAL

The 2016 Mentor of the Year and Apprentice of the Year were named.

The Mentor of the Year, Brett Wyborn (who unfortunately could not attend) is from Cessnock City Council

The Apprentice of the year, Corey Ward from Central Coast Council was present to receive his award.


During the Conference, the Delegates enjoyed several educational presentations and participated in workshops on various topics. The program was aimed at giving as much information and relevant tools as possible to the Delegates to use in their roles back in their workplaces.

These were:

  • Delegates rights Workshops (State & Federal)
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing for Delegates Workshop
  • How to use Digital and Social Media Workshop
  • Code of Conduct and How to Report Breaches Presentation (State)
  • Local Government (State) Award Update
  • Energy, Utilities and Private Sector presentation on The Aurizon Decision, County Councils – The Next Baird Target? And what’s in it for me? – Organising Younger Workers
  • Interest Based Bargaining Presentation
  • Organising for Growth Workshop
  • Superannuation Presentations
  • Launch of the report “Giving Local Government the Reboot”
  • What we need to know about Asbestos Presentation
  • Recruitment Workshop incorporating a Presentation on how the Union’s membership system works in regard to mapping.
  • Lessons from Liverpool.
In tribute to the hard work by our delegates and members we have collected some photos from actions and workplaces. Thank you to all delegates and members – without each one of you, we couldn’t be the United Strong Union that we are.