Alisha Cruse has lived in the Dandenong Ranges for 30 years. Before retiring last year she worked in the Community sector, most recently with women exiting prison who were homeless.
She passionate about social justice issues in particular refugee rights, our First Nations people and homelessness.
She has been involved in many campaigns including No McDonalds in the Dandenong Ranges, the occupation of empty government houses in Bendigo St and many picket lines.
Russell Forden has been a secondary school teacher for thirty years, and has worked at many Eastern Region schools, including Upper Yarra, Healesville and Lilydale. Forden is a founding member of Democracy at Work, Melbourne, an advocacy group for co-operatives.
After fleeing the military dictatorship in Chile with his family, Jorge arrived in Australia. At the University of Queensland he was elected Secretary of the student union and became a national leader of the campaign to defend free education. He has been a socialist organiser, trade unionist and community activist for over 30 years. In recent years, as a university educator, parent, school council president and primary years teacher, Jorge has been especially active campaigning against the neoliberal education reforms that have turned schools into factories and tossed aside an increasing number of children and young people.
Andrew is a union delegate at the Bureau of Meteorology where he led strike action in a campaign against a 5 year wage freeze.
Andrew's roots are in the west, his nonni migrated from Sicily in the 50s. His grandpa celebrated his 90th birthday at Whitten oval.
Norrian taught in State Secondary School for 35 years. She was a union representative at her school and was elected to the AEU Council from 1988 till 2012. Norrian was an active member of Teachers Alliance, a progressive rank and file members group within the AEU. Norrian was involved in the campaign to keep Richmond Secondary College open, which resulted in the establishment of Melbourne Girls College.
Liam has been a workplace delegate in the National Tertiary Education Union for almost two decades, and on the union's national council since 2010. He’s helped lead his union branch through three rounds of enterprise bargaining, and through countless disputes over everything from racism to wage theft.
Catheryn is a hard working mother, a trade union activist in the public sector, and a fighter for equality, justice and socialism.
Since finishing high school Ivan paid his way scaffolding, painting boats, in hospitality and television until completing a degree in politics and international relations. He since worked in Palestine and Israel for NGO’s seeking to empower Palestinian youth, before returning to Australia to pursue a post graduate degree in law. Ivan has since volunteered for Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
South Eastern Metropolitan
Aran was born in Nagar kovil in the North East of Sri Lanka. Between 1995 and 1997 he lived in a refugee camp in Udayarkaddu, before coming to Australia as a 13-year-old unaccompanied refugee in 1997. He was detained in Villawood detention centre for three months. In 2011 he founded the Tamil Refugee Council. Aran currently works as a union organiser with the Finance Sector Union and spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council.
Ben Reid is a political activist with a background of conducting extensive research on issues of social and economic justice in Australia and internationally. He has published widely on these issues. He had been active in a range of political campaigns promoting human rights and democracy in the Asia Pacific. He is a member the National Union of Workers.
Moira has worked on the front line of the youth homelessness sector, as well as the disability sector in New Zealand, for almost 2 decades. A lifelong trade unionist, Moira was a delegate for the ASU and fought tirelessly over many years to have an unpaid overtime case settled to the benefit of fellow staff. She is a classically-trained homoeopath who tutored in homoeopathy. Passionate about education, Moira currently creates English (ESL) courses for her own online business.
Michael has been a left wing activist since Joan Kirner was in power. Recently he has been involved in anti-racist campaigning in Bendigo.