Thirza White Elected CPSU General Secretary4 min read

At the close of nominations yesterday we have been advised by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) of all the nominations accepted. Nomination validity checks are still being conducted however as the only nominee for Branch Secretary we are very pleased to report Thirza White has been elected unopposed as the next CPSU General Secretary.

Thirza will head a team that includes both experience and new faces. Previous Secretary Tom Lynch has been elected as the new Assistant Secretary. Grant Ransley has been returned as President along with Rosmyn Faulks and Steve Arditto as Vice Presidents. The new Branch Treasurer is Frances Hall replacing Tim Turner who has served as Treasurer for 12 years.


Other Positions Elected Unopposed

Executive Councillors:

Tom Courto, Tania Shilcock & Michelle Castle.


Councillors for Electorate 2 (Educating our People):  Amanda Smith, Sonia Guizzo & Natalie Barkoczy.


Councillor for Electorate 3 (Protecting our Environment and industries): Jodie Elmer & Stewart Huxtable.


Councillors for Electorate 4 (Delivering Justice and Safety):

Jason Buckley, Damian Hingston & Natalie Luttrell.


Elections will be held for the following roles:

Councillors for Electorate 1 (Healing and Caring):

2 Branch Councillors from Scott Ragg, Leah Woolford & Emil Kavic.


Councillors for Electorate 5 (Planning of our Future):

2 Branch Councillors from Andrew Harris, Simon Lynch & Tanya Targett.


Councillor for Electorate 6 (Outside our State Service):

1 Branch Councillor from Mark Rippon & Kylie Farrell.

These elections will be conducted by the AEC by postal ballot with ballots being sent to members in these electorates in early February 2021.


A Member-led Union.

We would like to thank every member who put themselves forward for election. Having a skilled and dedicated Council that ensures our union is well run and develops the strategy we need to deliver great outcomes for members is key to being member-led. We would like to congratulate all those elected to office unopposed and wish those contesting elections all the best.


Statement from Incoming Secretary Thirza White

There are many leaders who choose to stay or walk away, but great leadership is exemplified by those who empower and encourage others to step forward. Tom’s decision is succession planning in action and while it might come as a surprise to some, it reflects his deep commitment to the CPSU.

This change will mean that as an organisation we can continue to rely on Tom’s wealth of experience, whilst also building for the next chapter of the CPSU.

It is a great privilege to lead our union now, at a time when the value and importance of public services has never been greater. Our challenge is to ensure the lessons of the pandemic are not ignored and that it is public sector workers who shape the public sector of the future.

I have chosen to dedicate my working life to amplifying the voices of workers. Early on I learnt that work impacts not just those who do the job, but the people they love. Not long after our immigration to Australia, my Dad found himself unemployed. This experience changed him and while he found secure work again, I am not sure that feeling of insecurity ever left him.

Security at work is critical to being able to get a home loan, to go home on time when you know the long hours are impacting your health, to providing frank and fearless advice, to asking for the value of the work you do to be respected and, most importantly, to having the ability to advocate for yours and others’ rights.

For over 123 years CPSU members have worked together to improve the working lives of those who deliver Tassie’s public services. As General Secretary, I look forward to working with members, your new Council and Executive and Assistant Secretary, Tom Lynch.

“Your union enters 2021 ready to for the ever-changing challenges that face us.”

Thirza White,
General Secretary-elect


Statement from Outgoing Secretary Tom Lynch

In June 1999 I left my role as a research technician at Forestry Tasmania to undertake a 6-month secondment with the CPSU as an organiser. I never went back. In March 2000 I was elected the CPSU Assistant Secretary and in April 2003 I was appointed the CPSU General Secretary. I was re-elected General Secretary in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. It has been a privilege to lead our union for the past 17 years.

I have always believed that for democratic organisations to thrive there needs to be regular changes at the top. New ideas, new focus, new engagement. My passion for the role of General Secretary has not diminished, it is just the right time for the CPSU to have a new leader.

When we recruited Thirza White into the Assistant Secretary role 5 years ago it was because we wanted members to have the right person to lead their union into the next period, we wanted a succession plan. When she joined us Thirza already had extensive experience working for unions in the UK and Western Australia and for the ACTU and now, after 5 years as our Assistant Secretary, she is ready to step into the General Secretary role and guide our union forward.

Thirza and I are a great team and by me undertaking the role of Assistant Secretary I feel I can support her and the rest of our small team to continue to kick goals for CPSU members and to protect the public services Tasmanians rely upon.

“I would like to thank each and every member who has supported me over the past 20 years. The world has changed significantly over that time and the CPSU has changed too. I have loved every day working as your General Secretary and I look forward to working with you all in coming years in my new role.

Tom Lynch<br>Assistant Secretary-elect


Details to Follow

Formal declaration from the AEC will be sent to all members as soon as it is provided.

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