by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Click here to view past issues
Campus News : December 2010
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News December 2010 7 New MP feels the weight of responsibility STEPHEN JONES Bachelor of Arts (History and Politics) 1989 Stephen Jones admits he was struck by a great sense of responsibility when he walked through the doors of the National Parliament House for the first time as the 1076th person elected to the House of Representatives. He had just become the third Member for Throsby at the federal election in August, but Stephen was no stranger to the national parliament. Indeed, he knew it better than most. As national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union from 2005-2010 a key part of his job had been to lobby parliamentarians and keep abreast of federal government legislation that affected the public servants who made up the bulk of his union's membership. "In my previous role I was at Parliament House several times a week when parliament was sitting, but walking through the doors for the first time as an elected representative was a completely different experience," Stephen said. "I was struck by a great sense or responsibility and by the importance of the role that MPs have in representing their constituents at a national level." Stephen has a classic pedigree for a Labor parliamentarian -- a history and politics degree, followed by a Law degree, a prominent role in the national trade union movement and high-level involvement in two of the biggest union campaigns of the past decade -- the battle with James Hardie Industries for compensation for people who contracted asbestos-related diseases while working for the company, and the Your Rights at Work campaign against the Howard Government's Workchoices legislation. Both battles saw him working closely with one of the rising stars of the Labor movement, former Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Greg Combet, who is now the federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. He also got to know Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other senior Labor figures. However, Stephen hadn't planned a career in politics and had actually resisted several earlier invitations to consider running for parliament. But that changed in late 2009 when Member for Throsby Jennie George indicated that she planned to retire. "I loved my job with the CPSU, and was proud of what we had achieved," Stephen said. "I thought my career path would probably take me to the ACTU, but things changed when Jennie announced she planned to retire. "Throsby was the only seat I would have considered, because this was the area where I had grown up. I think you need an emotional attachment to a seat if you're going to put your heart into it, and I certainly have that with Throsby." Stephen grew up in the Illawarra, attending Edmund Rice College where he was dux and school captain in 1983. He enrolled in an Arts degree at UOW, completing the degree part-time while working in a variety of jobs including the typical student occupations in pubs, clubs and restaurants. He also took a year off his studies to ride a bicycle across Australia, picking up jobs in carnivals, fishing camps and pine forests along the way. But it was his experience in roles as a youth advocate for at-risk teenagers in Campbelltown, with children with disabilities at the old Baringa centre in Wollongong, and with the Australian Quadrepligic Association as an advocate for people with spinal cord injuries that set his life's direction. He decided he wanted a career helping others, and completed a Law degree part-time through Macquarie and UNSW because he recognised that knowledge of the law would be a valuable asset. He joined the Public Service Union (now the CPSU) in 1993 as an organiser, and worked his way up in its Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney offices. He was seconded to the ACTU from 2003-2005 to work on the James Hardie campaign with Combet and asbestosis sufferer Bernie Banton, before taking over as CPSU national secretary in 2005. In this role he again worked closely with Combet to develop Your Rights At Work, which proved pivotal in Labor's 2007 election victory. Stephen believes his experiences as an advocate -- first with at-risk teenagers and children with disabilities, and later as a union leader and in the compensation battle with James Hardies Industries -- prepared him for his new role as an MP. However, he said he first wanted to "establish myself with the electorate and demonstrate to the people who elected me that I am a worthy representative". Stephen is married to accomplished constitutional and criminal lawyer Dr Julia Quilter (who is currently lecturing at UOW's Faculty of Law). They have two young children, six-year-old Jessica and Patrick, who is three. Stephen continues a strong tradition of UOW alumni who have represented the region in the national and NSW parliaments, including current parliamentarians Sharon Bird from the neighbouring seat of Cunningham and state parliamentarians Matt Brown (Kiama), Lylea McMahon (Shellharbour) and Graham West (Campbelltown). NH Thai conductor's career celebrated Celebrated international conductor Bundit Ungrangsee received the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award at the annual UOW Thai Alumni and Friends function in Bangkok in October. UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton presented the award to Mr Ungrangsee, who graduated from the University in 1993 with degrees in Creative Arts and Commerce. As a highly sought-after conductor, Mr Ungrangsee has had a career spanning five continents. He has conducted more than 500 symphonic and operatic performances with more than 40 orchestras worldwide. In 1999 he won an international competition for young conductors in Portugal and in 2002 was named Laureate and co-winner in the inaugural Maazel-Vilar International Conductors' Competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Professor Sutton said the Distinguished Alumni Award had been established to recognise exceptional professional achievements, outstanding leadership and innovation or creativity. Professor Sutton congratulated Mr Ungrangsee on his achievements and said the University looked forward to maintaining ties with him in the future. More than 200 alumni and representatives of Thai universities, government officials and the Australian Embassy attended the Alumni and Friends function at the Hotel Grand Millennium Sukhumvit. NH Member for Throsby Stephen Jones Conductor Bundit Ungrangsee received the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award at the annual UOW Thai Alumni and Friends Function in Bangkok in October. He is pictured after the presentation with (from left) former UOW Vice Principal David Rome, Thai Alumi Chapter President Associate Professor Linchong Chorrojprasert and UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton. Alumni graduates of our university...