Vale Sue Wilde

Compassionate but a fighter for inmates' education

Sue was a member of Federation from 1989 to the time of her death, after a long battle with illness, on May 4. She achieved much to further the interests of members working in gaols in this state.

In 1994 Sue was instrumental in establishing the Adult Education and Vocational Teaching Institute (AEVTI), the training organisation owned by Corrective Services NSW (previously the Department of Corrective Services) that manages and delivers the courses taken by inmates. In doing so, she established a single employer with responsibilities focused on the working conditions of educators in our prisons. Sue believed passionately in an accredited curriculum and credentials for inmates.

In the late 1990s, during a review into correctional institution education, Sue was tireless in her efforts to ensure improvements in education in these facilities as well as teaching and learning conditions. The review was undertaken at a time when there was internal pressure from Corrective Services to outsource education programs — but eventually through the efforts of the Federation team, of which Sue was an "essential component" the attempts to undermine and discredit the Adult Education and Vocational Training Institute were blocked.

Sue continued to champion issues in Corrective Services through membership of the Corrective Services TA, giving long service to the union and its members. She was vice president of the association for more than 10 years and a member of the Federation’s Corrective Services Restricted Committee.

Sue’s compassion and fearless commitment to public education was recognised when Sue received honorary life membership to the Corrective Services TA after retiring from active service.

Sue was nominated for Federation Life Membership before her passing; her contribution to the union will be acknowledged at Annual Conference.

Sue will be sadly missed by all those who worked with her.

This obituary is based on information in the 2015 Life Membership booklet.