Association spotlight

Goulburn Teachers Association

Members: 255
Meets: On the fourth Monday of the month at the Goulburn Workers Club
President: Christine Bentley 
Secretary: Lorraine McLaren

How would you describe the area covered by your association?
It’s a region of fairly low socio-economic status. The main employers are the gaol and the police academy.

What is your association focusing on at the moment?
We have been involved in the Putting Students First campaign. We held a rally in Belmore Park in Goulburn. We attracted a good crowd to the rotunda and managed to get a lot of signatures from passers-by. We have also been working on the Gonski campaign. We have been involved with Unions NSW in forming a Goulburn Unions group.

What is the best thing your association has done in the past five years?
We were involved in the “Shame Barry, Shame” rally in the Domain in Sydney. Many of us travelled to the rally to take part. We also had a visit from the campaign bus which gave us quite a bit of publicity in the local press, raising the profile of the campaign.

What are your association meetings like? 
Our meetings follow the suggested meeting format but are fairly informal. We generally have eight to 15 people attend from a variety of schools. What issues are being discussed at meetings? We discuss the current issues as well as covering problems that people have encountered within their own schools. We also walk through any matters from previous meetings to determine if any movement or follow-up has been evident. Our President fills us in on any information from Council.

How do you try to attract members to meetings?
This is an area we probably need to devote more time to. We have tried guest speakers and nibblies, but numbers remain fairly static. Our Organiser, Waine Donovan, visits local schools when he is in the area and has encouraged more people to attend. Having said that, we usually get a good turn out to stop work meetings and rallies.

Have you held any special events lately?
We had a community forum at the end of last year. Maurie Mulheron came to speak along with TAFE Organiser Terry Keeley and a local P&C representative. As well as locals, we had teachers and parents from Crookwell and Yass.

What does your executive structure look like?
We have a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Women’s Contact.