Midland has always been an important place for our union, and this year we were proud to once again be part of giving something back to the community through the annual Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party.
The AMWU has once again assisted in providing meals and presents for 300 of the East metro area’s most disadvantaged people. There were also rides, games, music, singing and dancing and of course a visit from Santa himself.
The family-friendly event was made possible through a partnership between the Shire of Mundaring, the City of Swan, the Swan Alliance (Ngala, Mission Australia and Anglicare) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union.
The AMWU was the major sponsor and kicked in a donation and provided volunteers to help coordinate the event, set up marquees, wrap presents and serve Christmas lunch.
Volunteer Project Coordinator of the Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party Di Ryder said the AMWU’s contribution made the event one of the best yet.
“I am so grateful for all the assistance given, not just the funds that allowed us to provide the many activities for the kids, but also the "in-kind" stuff including the setting up and packing up of the marquees, helping to pick up all the toys from Swan View, but also the volunteer help on the day,” she said.
“I cannot thank you all enough, and your assistance helped the day run very smoothly. I look forward to the 2016 Christmas Party.”
But it wasn’t just fun and games. State Secretary Steve McCartney met with elders and community leaders to discuss the serious issues facing east metro communities: support for the elderly, decent local jobs at the end of training, education support, healthcare and difficulties in gaining drivers’ licences as a barrier to youth employment.
“We need long term planning to fix these issues, not chopping and changing government programs every six months. Inconsistency means we are failing some of the most vulnerable in WA," he said.
“Our union rests on three strong pillars: a strong industrial presence, a tough political strategy and doing our fair share in our communities.
“Of course our local communities are important to the union, because our members live and work here and we care about the kind of place our kids are growing up in. Unions have always been about lifting people up to reach their potential.
“It’s great to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they get their Christmas presents from Santa, in a lot of cases it’s the only one they get. I’m proud of the union for stepping up.”
It was a nice touch that the event took place on Ron Jose Oval in Midvale. Ron was a proud shop steward for our union who recently passed away. As the name of the oval attests, Ron was a much loved and important figure in the local community, and it was fitting that the union could contribute to the same community he did so much for.
The Railway Workshops in Midland provided jobs and apprenticeships for thousands of Western Australian metalworkers over many decades, until the Liberals closed them in 1994 under Richard Court.