Climate change is already affecting teachers’ health and safety and the physical and mental health of the students we teach. It is a pressing threat to our schools and communities, as well as our lands, waters and skies.
If you are interested in sustainability or passionate about climate change, consider nominating as the Environment Contact position at your local teachers association. Standing in an Association Contact position is an easy way to contribute to your union at a local level. Prior knowledge or training is not required to do a great job.
If your association hasn’t had an Environment Contact position before, now is the time for change! Federation’s Environment Policy, passed at Annual Conference 2011, calls for Associations to elect Environment Contacts.
What’s the role of an Environment Contact?
The role varies depending on who is elected and what your Association needs. Some actions you might take are:
- informing your members of rallies or events they may wish to attend and wave your local TA banner
- bringing motions or ideas for policy changes in the Department, Federation or your local TA.
You will also be added to Federation’s Peace, Environment and International Issues Special Interest Group (SIG), which meets regularly through hybrid (in-person/virtual) meetings. Often a guest speaker will address a meeting, to keep members updated on current issues. The SIG also acts as a mailing list so that you can be kept up to date on events such as:
- Federation events e.g., Environment and Climate Change Policy Forum on 9 February, 2023
- rallies with attendance endorsed by Federation e.g. COP 27, 12 November at Town Hall
- Bills or pressing issues that members may wish to act on in our workplaces.
Other Contact positions
Associations may also decide to fill other Contact positions including Women’s, Aboriginal Education, Peace, Anti-Racism, LGBTIQ, New Activist, Special Education and Casual/Unemployed.
Contact your local Organiser via (02) 9217 2199 or your local regional office and attend your Association’s first meeting in 2023 (click here for our events calendar), when elections are held for a range of positions.
In writing this article, Federation would like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations across Australia in their ongoing custodianship of this country. This article was written on Gadigal, Dharug, and Gamilaroi land.
We pay our respects to the elders past and present who care for this land and continue to advocate on behalf of its people, animals, plants, waters and skies. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land.