Dr Julie Douglas to become Tumu Whakarae in 2023.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 26, No 14

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union has elected a new Tumu Whakarae | National President. Dr Julie Douglas, a Senior Lecturer of employment relations in the Faculty of Business at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland University of Technology, has been declared elected unopposed by returning officer Samantha Stephen and will pick up the reins on 16 January 2023.

Dr Douglas will bring a wealth of experience to her new role including as our current National Vice President – Industrial and Professional, along with two decades of activism in the TEU’s AUT branch, and her background in employment relations.

Having previously held the role of National President of Aotearoa Polytechnic Student Union in 1991, she protested the introduction of student fees and loans by joining an occupation of the Clock Tower at the University of Auckland. Thirty years on, she is still a firm believer in the need for action to defend and improve tertiary education.

“For too long our sector has been overlooked. Our work transforming vocational education within Te Pūkenga, seeking a real pay rise in the university sector, advancing pay equity claims, and demanding fairer workloads all need ongoing attention to achieve the best workplaces we can for all workers. All these campaigns require action from the whole union.”

“I’m looking forward to lots of engagement with members about how we can keep raising our profile and achieving our goals. Our union is full of incredible members and I think we can use that expertise to make positive changes. Listening and good kōrero will be important.”

Dr Douglas also singles out the Te Tiriti rules review as an exciting moment for our union. “Our union is on a path of transformation and I believe I can bring experience and knowledge to assist in the success of this important process. Te Koeke Tiriti has guided us well since 2018 and our willingness to progress this and create a Te Tiriti based organisation is exciting and will make us a better union.”

Current Tumu Whakarae | National President Tina Smith describes herself as absolutely rapt. “In Julie Douglas we have someone who has served on Council as a Vice President and is enormously experienced. There are lots of challenges ahead and I know Julie will do a great job of leading us through them. She will be a wonderful president.”

Tina Smith chose not to stand for a second term but says she will stay on the national executive as the Immediate Past President.

Dr Julie Douglas is also a prominent part of the TEU’s ongoing #WhatSocietyThinksIDo campaign. You can watch her video about the difficult aspects of academic life in Aotearoa, as well as the transformational potential and the magic of tertiary education, here.

Nominations are now open for Te Tumu Arataki/Māori Vice President – Te Toi Ahurangi, Vice President - National Women’s Committee, and Vice President – Industrial and Professional committee. For more information on these positions and to download the nomination form, click here.

Nominations for TEU Vice Presidents close at 5.00 pm on 23 August 2022

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