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Meet our CPSU Organising Works Trainees

THIS year the CPSU’s sending three people through the 12-month Organising Works program – Leah Cauchi, Rosemary Stuart and Nick Duncombe.

The program is effectively a traineeship in organising and recruitment run by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The CPSU also mentors these trainees over the 12 months, which includes on the job work as well as training sessions.

Nick, Rosemary and Leah all have very different stories when it comes to how they ended up in this program. We talked to them this week – the start of the 2013 program.


Nick Duncombe, Hobart

Nick Duncombe

NICK’S certainly had a varied career path so far.

“I joined the army at 17 and served for four years. I was in Darwin – I was a Telecommunications Technician, I did all my training in Melbourne and screamed black and blue that I didn’t want to go to Darwin, I wanted to go to Brisbane or Sydney – so they sent me to Darwin. I loved every moment of it.”

From the Australian Army Nick then made a complete career change.

“They had to rehabilitate me and make me a civilian again, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Real Estate was becoming fashionable on TV, and I thought, ‘that looks alright’, so they paid for me to do a course. On the way home from the course I called into an office and said “can I have a job?”  They said they were just about to advertise for one. That’s how I got into real estate. It was a huge change from the Army.”

So what brought Nick to this traineeship?

“I always wanted to do something with the labour movement – I come from a strong background with that. It’s a genuine passion of mine, so when the opportunity arose I jumped at it. I’m looking forward to getting to know how the CPSU operates and how I can help benefit our Members, and help them out as humanly possible.”

Outside work Nick keeps busy with a young family

“I’ve got a beautiful wife and daughter, we live at New Norfolk. My daughter’s the apple of my eye; and having a little one has certainly changed my perspective on life.

Besides family, I’m a sports fanatic – I’d watch two snails racing. I love pretty much any type of sport – especially football. I’m a one eyed Essendon supporter, and also I’ve played for a few local teams over the years. “


Rosemary Stuart, North-West

Rosemary Stuart

ROSEMARY’S fresh from working at Housing Tasmania, where she was a union member since 2001 and a Delegate for about two years.

Last year she completed the Anna Stewart Memorial Program, which really strengthened her desire to get more involved with the union movement.


“I’d mentioned to my Organiser Kathryn (Lee), that if a secondment ever came up, I’d be interested to do it so I could learn more.

Then I was told about Organising Works and I felt ready to do something hands-on and learn what the Organiser role is all about.

The Anna Stewart Program opened my eyes up to the union; it inspired me to go further. As a Delegate you learn a little bit about the union movement, but Anna Stewart is so much broader.”


Rosemary’s particularly excited about the on-the-job learning. She’s got great union values.

“I really like to help people and make sure they’re getting what they should in their workplace, and that they’re treated right.”


Leah Cauchi, Launceston

Leah Cauchi

IT’S just under a year since Leah joined the CPSU Organising and Campaigning Team.

Workers’ rights have always been important, coming from a family with strong union background and previously a Delegate at Westpac for seven years.


“I was offered the opportunity to do Organising Works. I think any sort of training is beneficial. Being a new Organiser last year, and doing the Organising Works course would cement all the stuff I’ve been doing in the field.

I did Organising Foundations last year, and then went out into the field as an Organiser, so this course will help – and fill in the gaps and really solidify things”.


Leah’s pretty excited about the 12-month course.


“I can’t wait –it’s a great group of people here – a real diverse mix from different unions, I think everyone’s got something different to bring.

It’s great to be with the guys who’ve just started or have just come out of that Delegate role in the workplace – it gives you a different perspective.”


Welcome to all our trainees – we look forward to hearing how you go over the 12 months.

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