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CPSU Awards: 2018 winners

Nick Duncombe Memorial Award for Workplace Health & Safety

Kim Swiadek (L) & Leanne Adams (R)

Winners:  Kim Swiadek & Leanne Adams 

Leanne Adams, Tasmanian Health Service

In Feb 2018 and Elected Health and safety rep Leanne issued a pin Notice as a result of excessive temperature in a number of the labs within Pathology Services at the RHH.

She issued the pin notice because after many attempts to get the issues addressed through consultation with local management and asset management had failed.

As part of issuing this notice Leanne regularly attending meetings with Pathology Management and Asset Management to report on progress of possible solutions. She then regularly reported back to affected staff.

Management challenged the PIN on a number of occasions but Leanne stood her ground and continued to maintain it regardless of pressure to remove it. After some consultation she did agree to amend it to allow and extension of time.

Leanne also holds regular conversations with other HSR’s and Delegates in Pathology in an attempt to address issues and also engage all staff in the issues.  This has also resulted in an increase involvement in other issues and areas of Pathology

Leanne also remained in regular contact with Worksafe Tas to ensure the requirements of the WHS Act were met at all times by both parties.

Leanne has also played an integral role in establishing a regular meeting of Pathology Services Delegates and HSR’s to enable a collective supportive approach to dealing with issues. As part of this Leanne has agreed to become a Delegate as well as an HSR.

This activity has resulted in some improvement in the workplace. As a result Leanne is now also dealing with new issues with confidence and determination.

During this time Leanne has recruited 3 new members to pathology as well.

Leanne has also made contact with fellow HSR Kim Mclachlan in an attempt to network build and share info and tips.


Kim Swiadek, Department of Health

Kim has been a CPSU Delegate and WH&S Representative for many years and has always displayed a passionate concern for her colleagues’ safety and their welfare.

Despite a heavy workload in her substantive position, Kim has been tireless in support of improving workplace conditions and ensuring that we occupy a safe and effective work environment.

As a WH&S representative Kim has helped foster a collaborative ethos between staff and DHHS management and has nurtured a culture that strives for excellence when it comes to the health and safety of workers. Kim has always been available to provide guidance to her co-workers on WH&S matters and I know that all PPP staff value her ongoing willingness to listen and help where she can.

I know this award is offered in recognition of our friend and fellow unionist Nick Duncombe. Kim and Nick made a great WH&S team.

Like Nick, Kim has provided service beyond expectation and I believe that she would be a fitting recipient of this award.


Commendation: Phil Gath, Department of Justice, Tasmanian Prison Service.

Phil is constantly fighting for and achieving outcomes that improve the safety of workers at Risdon Prison. Using his knowledge of the Work Health and Safety legislation, Phil makes sure that changes are consulted on and that new procedures are safe.

This year Phil has:

  • Helped with the successful change to our Night shift routines.
  • The successful opening of the O’Hara visits area.
  • The participation in the opening of Division 8

Everything Phil does, he is not just riding in on an WHS white horse and fixing things for us, he takes pride in empowering other people by involving them and teaching them that actions have a direct impact on safety not only of themselves but of others and that there are support measures in place in the legislation.

As our workplace is unique, in that it is home to the inmates 24/7, Phil has taken his interest and knowledge of WHS a step further by involving the inmates as a development opportunity to build not only their awareness but also skills.

In summary Phil is a first class Correctional Officer, Work Health and Safety Representative and a CPSU Delegate.

In these roles he continues to assist and empower people, demonstrating that being a part of our union and making others aware that, by working collectively rules can be changed, giving rise to better working conditions, creating continual improvement and making our workplace not just a safe place but a happy place to work.


Tasplan Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Tasmanian Community 

Winner: Jenny Forward

Jenny’s worked at the Royal Hobart Hospital as the Refugee Migrant Liaison Officer for 12 years and is passionate about improving the lives and health of vulnerable communities from a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker background.  She’s been a CPSU member since starting work at Child and Family Services in 2003 and became a delegate soon after.

Because of her work the hospital is much better now at communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse patients including those who require an interpreter.  

Jenny volunteered in the 1980s for a union for more than two years when Alan Bond bought the Chilean Phone Company (during the dictatorship) and sacked about 250 workers.  On returning to Hobart, Jenny worked as a Spanish Interpreter for nine years.  

Jenny’s voluntary work includes:

  • Singing with The Tasmanian Grassroots Union Choir at union and at other community based rallies since 2010.
  • Preparing and presenting a radio program in Spanish for a community radio station Hobart FM for the past 20 years. Jenny finds out about local events and concerts of interest to Hobart’s Spanish speaking community, especially if local Latino bands are playing and promote them during her program, as we well as sharing stories about health and well-being.
  • running the Latin-American Hispanic Friendship Society of Tasmania for 10 years (and a member for 20 years). This aims to promote links between the Spanish-speaking and Australian.
  • Co-organising Hobart’s free Latin American Film Festival which is sponsored by UTAS and the Latin American Embassies in Australia.  This will be the fourth year Jenny’s helped organise the festival in Hobart.  This also includes liaising with international students who assist us by also volunteering at the festival.
  • Manages a Facebook Page called Social Workers for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and one for the ‘Hobart Dancing Man’ amongst others as she’s passionate about supporting communities.
  • Previously being active in the National Council for Single Mothers and Their Children in Hobart and on the Management Committee of the Sexual Assault Support Service and the Secretary of Protective Behaviours Tasmania.
  • Recently, volunteering for the Water Well Project which has recently started running sessions in Hobart.  It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people from a refugee and asylum seeker background by improving their health literacy.

Jenny also tries to attend rallies about union rights, social justice, LGBTI rights, First Nation People’s rights, women’s rights and environmental protection and encourages others to attend as well.

In her spare time Jenny plays in Tasmania’s first Samba band – Chicada, saying “it is a great privilege to play with them at Dark MOFO every year during the parade for the burning of the ogoh-ogoh”.

CPSU Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Workplace Delegate

Winner: Tania Shilcock, Department of State Growth, Transport Services

Tania regularly sets up workplace morning teas, meetings and delegate forums for her building as wells as assisting and mentoring our other Delegates in her building.  

Tania is an active member of our CPSU council and regularly active in recruitment of potential members within her workplace at the Parliament Square building.  Tania has been a driving force and the face of the Tasmanians Need a Pay Rise campaign, vigorously campaigning in the community for better wages and conditions for not only her workplace but a better public sector.  The highlight of the year for Tania was speaking in front of her fellow delegates, active members and politicians at our GetREDy Day about why it is important to scrap the Hodgman Government’s 2% wages cap.

Tania is a deserving nominee for this award as she continues to campaign for a better public sector.


Commendation: Ben Storer, Parks and Wildlife Service

 Ben is the Delegate at the Parks and Wildlife Service Huonville-Southwest Field Centre.

He is very proudly Union and very proudly CPSU. 

Ben has fostered a culture of union engagement and activism at the Huonville Field Centre, and has successfully secured 100% union density.  His commitment to the rights of staff in his workplace, improving their conditions, and supporting his staff is unwavering. 

Ben is actively engaged in the Parks Delegate network, he is part of the negotiating team for the new Parks Agreement, he supports Delegates in other Field Centres, he uses opportunities to engage potential members in sites where there is no Delegate, and he shares ideas and engages in developing strategies for supporting Parks staff and improving work conditions. 

Ben not only supports staff in his workplace but is a big picture thinker and utilises strategies to build community support, and to engage, educate, and activate the broader community in the Parks campaign.

Ben exemplifies union values.  He enjoys enormous respect not just from his team, but from Delegates and members from other PWS Field Centres as well.

Suzanne Pearce Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Children and Youth Services

Winner: Maddy Smart

The team formerly known as Permanency 3 would like to nominate our Team Leader Maddy Smart

Maddy has worked in Child Safety for over 10 years as a Child Protection Worker and for the last four years as a Team Leader. Maddy has been a strong advocate for children in all areas of her work.  Maddy’s kind and compassionate nature has resonated with all the children and families she has worked with.

  • Maddy is a skilled and knowledgeable team leader with highly developed people skills.  She is well regarded by members of her team and other CSS staff, and is a very supportive colleague.  Maddy is a genuinely caring and compassionate team leader who treats all her colleagues with respect.   She has the ability to remain calm in stressful situations where decisions need to be made at short notice.  Maddy has always been available to discuss more complex issues in relation to our clients and has developed a good insight and understanding of all the issues of the individual cases within our team.
  • Maddy is a great team leader. She is reflective and compassionate. Maddy has an inclusive and collaborative style of leadership. She works alongside her team allowing for our professional judgement and guiding us with more complex situations.
  • Maddy is a kind and compassionate team leader who prioritises our mental health. She always starts our supervision sessions with asking how we are.  She has practical suggestions for us taking care of ourselves and will often put a personal goal into our supervision notes.  She encourages a happy and supportive atmosphere within the team.  She provides objective input in our management of children and will gently challenge the motivation behind decisions.
  • Maddy represents calmness and support.   She always starts supervision with asking how I am in my personal life which I appreciate.  She is concerned if I am upset or unwell so I feel as though I have a team leader who cares.  She advocates on our behalf to the manager.  She encourages us and tells us we are doing a good job.  She can tell you what to do in a kind way.  She consults us before decisions which involve us are made.
  • Maddy’s professionalism, empathy, calmness and approachability were among the reasons why I made the decision to move to Child Safety Services 12 months ago.  Maddy had often encouraged me to apply and saw in me the capacity and empathy to be a worker here.  She has the ability to support you in believing in yourself and what you can contribute.  Maddy is always there ready to listen, with an open door but is also able to constructively and kindly challenge you in your thinking to ensure the best outcomes for children and their families.


Commendations: Jacqui Russell & Kim Smith & Judy McDavitt

Judy Chalmers Kim Smith


Kim Smith

Kim has worked for many years with the Child Safety Service and is a dedicated and experienced worker. She has excellent knowledge of all things child protection and supports staff, answering many and varied questions and queries. Kim works hard and her work is of a high standard.

Currently Kim works in Intake 1 at the Child Safety Service in Hobart.

Jacqui Russell

Jacqui has worked at the Child Safety service for approximately three years. She’s a branch member of the Australian Association of Social Workers and has supported numerous social workers over her time at CSS.

She leads by example and is an amazing role model. She’s dedicated to her children, families and carers, and as a result is often given the most challenging and high level children in the state. Her ability to provide compassion, warmth, stability and support to these children has also led to her being ‘requested’ by other clients.

Although it’s not usually in her best interests, Jacqui has always been one of the first in the door and the last out at the end of the day. She always steps up to support her team members and colleagues, and has created files of useful documents for her team members to use, creates warm, friendly office spaces during the Christmas and Easter  season, organises birthdays and Christmas presents for her team members. If someone is having a challenging day, you can often find flowers or Tim Tams left on your desk.

Jacqui spends a great deal of her own money on clients, rushing to feed and clothe them, even when it is unlikely she’ll be reimbursed. She is mature, gracious and always professional.”

 Judy Chalmers

Judy has been a beloved part of the Child Safety Service for some time, working in case management and more currently within the intake space.

Judy is always happy to have a chat and regularly cheers people up by her humour, singing and theatrical fair. She is a beautiful soul who cares deeply about children and vulnerable families.


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