Jack Allen, a long-term committed unionist and a stalwart of TAFE TA, who was deeply involved in the “Wollongong Dispute” in the late 1970s in support of three members stood down from their jobs, died in March 2017.
Jack was TAFE TA President in 1982-83 and a Life Member of TAFE TA. Before coming to work at TAFE, Jack was a shop steward with the AMU.
He joined TAFE as a teacher of Fitting and Machining in 1955, and was President of the Wollongong Branch of TAFE TA. He was involved in the “18:12 Hours” case, which resulted in the reduction of teaching hours for trade and related teachers to equal those of other teachers.
His evidence in the 1973-74 wage case also removed barriers that prevented trade teachers from moving up the salary scale. Jack was on TAFE TA Executive for many years, as well as being a Councillor. He represented TAFE TA on a number of departmental committees and working parties.
Jack was strongly committed to ensuring his students received a quality education. He consciously declined to seek a promotion to remain in the classroom where he knew he could make a difference to the lives of his students.
In 1986, Jack was awarded Life Membership of the NSWTF.
Fellow TAFE TA Life Member Robert Harding said of Jack: “He was a great unionist, a great family man, a great community activist and a bloody good bloke”. Our thoughts are with his wife Val, his family and his friends.
Adapted by Astrid O’Neill from a eulogy by Geoff Turnbull