End of an Era

Friday 24 Jul 2020

Following some major changes at the union friends and ‘foes’ came together at the Royal Hotel in Perth. The event farewelled Union Assistant Secretary Chris Panizza, Private Sector Lead Organiser Gilbert Reid, Treasurer and HSS stalwart Dave Shaw, and Committee Member and former SCGH OT Cassie Reading.

Committee Members

Our retiring Treasurer, Dave Shaw, started in Health in 1983 and spent many years at PMH / KEMH and latterly at HSS. Dave was a tireless Workplace Representative, Committee Member and our Treasurer for the past 14 years! (Note: Dave has left the books in good order!)

Thanks also to Cassie Reading for her contributions to the Committee and to union members especially at SCGH OT. Cassie has a lot of working life left but has moved on from SCGH OT to pastures new in private practice. Good luck Cassie.


Former long serving Secretary, Dan Hill, who retired almost a year to the day before this event, returned to acknowledge the many years of work alongside Chris and Gilbert. 

Chris has been with the HSOA / HSUWA for 31 years, with 30 years as Assistant Secretary. Chris has made a real and lasting contribution to members through the years and has been the lead negotiator for more than 10 Public Sector EBAs. As a self-confessed ‘accidental union official’, Chris had a strong sense of fairness and a gritty determination on behalf of members.

Gilbert Reid was an old school union official with 23 years with the HSUWA, and nearly 50 years of union activism behind him. Gilbert was the backbone of our efforts in the non-government sector focussing on negotiating better pay and conditions through enterprise agreements.

“Thank you to all members – from Chris Panizza”

My last day of work with the Union will be today, I am retiring after more than 30 years with the HSUWA.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Union’s President Cheryl Hamill, the Finance and Executive Committee and the Committee of Management for your support over the years.  It has been an interesting and rewarding journey - challenging at times – but most of all I have enjoyed the journey and have high praise for the Union. 

While it sounds cliched when you say it, it truly has been an honour and a privilege to have served the Union and our members.   I have certainly got much more out of the work than I have put in.  I have had many  opportunities over the years to  influence positive collective outcomes for the Union and our members, and while they make good “war stories” and get better in the telling, it is the things that I have been able to assist individual members with that have been the most rewarding.  While it is a matter for others to judge, I hope I have left the Union in a better place than when I arrived.

The time has come for me to move on.  I am looking forward to a new future and new adventures.  I am sure the Union is looking forward to the same under the very capable leadership of Naomi McCrae and the team, and the excellent oversight and support of Cheryl and the Committee of Management.

I wish all members, Workplace Reps, staff and the Committee of Management all the best for the future.

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