All the latest news and views from the CPSU team
Meet CPSU Delegate Peta Lancaster
DRYSDALE Client Services Officer Peta Lancaster is from a union background so didn’t think twice when joining the CPSU.
“My father is secretary of the telecommunications union in Tasmania so unionism has always been part of the family and being in the union was pretty much a given. Since I started in this sector I became a Member, I don’t think anyone approached or asked me.”
A CPSU Delegate since 1997, Peta put her hand up because nobody was in this role at her worksite. Peta is the only Delegate at Drysdale’s Hobart campus and her role extends mainly to the administration team.
“A lot of issues are mostly solved one-on-one, which is both positive and negative because often when there are bigger issues you learn more about your role as a Delegate. I really enjoyed the Delegates Conference the other year as you catch up with people who you didn’t realise were Delegates and get training as well. It’s also good to get to know people in the same role, and hear about their experiences.”
Peta’s Client Services Officer position is a varied role that involves customer services for Drysdale, using the student database and dealing with enrolments and finance inquiries.
“I like dealing with people and I like to have some challenges along the way too, and being able to solve people’s problems. Parents or students come to the counter with a query, or ring to find out why they’ve got the fee they’ve got, and coming out with a solution at the end is quite satisfying.”
Peta knows a thing or two about workplace change as she’s been in the TAFE system since 1990 so has had her fair share of restructures and rebranding. After settling into the Polytechnic system a few years ago, now more changes are on the way, with the recent TasTAFE announcement.
“We went through Tasmania Tomorrow and that was a big change for Client Services because we took on the admin areas for the colleges as well. You used to know people within the building a lot better than you do now. Individual teams know each other quite well but don’t necessarily know people in other teams. That was never the case before because we were one institute rather than several organisations. Back in the day we never went out for coffee or lunch, and that’s quiet prevalent now, so you might not see someone if you’re having a drink or eating lunch. face-to-face communication has changed a lot.”
For new Delegates, Peta’s got a few pieces of advice.
“Read the information. When I first joined there wasn’t a Delegate handbook, but there’s so much available to new Delegates now which is a great improvement. Also, take advantage of training that’s offered to you whenever you can. If you’ve got several Delegates in the same organisation, make sure you meet up so you get to know each other and find out from the other Delegates what’s happening.” Outside work, Peta is a busy mum with two teenagers