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CPSU welcomes Fairlie Smith

LAST week Fairlie Smith joined our CPSU Organising and Campaigning Team.

Fairlie’s just moved from Townsville where she’s spent the last five years. We sat down with her yesterday to find out a bit more about her and her life before joining our team.

After studying Bachelor of Exercise Physiology, Fairlie made the shift to Law with a special interest in Industrial Relations. During this time she also worked in local government where she found out more about unions and what they do, leading her to become a Workplace Representative.

“Initially I was looking at working in industrial relations law but I saw that unions were taking a bit more of an immediate approach, with a lot of face to face contact with members.”

This experience at the council gave Fairlie a drive to work in a union and a move back to the Apple Isle saw her take up her new CPSU position.

She’s keen to get stuck into the role at the CPSU. “I’m a pretty big people person; I love to have a chat, so looking forward to getting to know everyone.”

“I’ve seen changes in the workplace and the people who were in the union were pretty empowered. I got more involved in my role as workplace rep, and thought, I know it’s cliché, I could make a bit of a difference.

“I was really keen to get back to Tassie. It’s home, my family’s down here and I don’t think you can beat home. I absolutely hate the hot weather, so I guess North Queensland was pretty much the worse place to live! I think once you move away from home you realise how passionate you are about a place and I’m very passionate about Tasmania. I know the North-West Coast has copped an absolute flogging with jobs, so that will be challenging but exciting as well.

“In Queensland I saw massive job cuts, especially in the state government. I was also doing work experience in a legal firm and all the offices became empty because of job losses. Just when I was leaving Queensland local government was facing massive restructures and a lot of my friends lost work.”

Fairlie will continue studying part time while she works for the CPSU so it’ll be a busy year.

In the scant time between work and study Fairlie enjoys getting outdoors, with a particular interest in water sports like wakeboarding.

The CPSU welcomes Fairlie to our team.

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