Robyn has worked as a Physio for 30 years and has been at Sunbury Community Health Centre for over 22. She’s someone who clearly loves her work and cares deeply about her clients and her community; her work aligns with her values of working holistically with clients and the local community, empowering people, and working as part of multidisciplinary team to manage complex health issues. These same values also drew her to Union membership and in 2013, to become a VHPA Delegate. She has actively worked to empower members through her role as Delegate and working collectively with Members on the EA and other workplace issues.
Although Robyn had been a union member for many years, she became more actively involved when stand-alone community health centres were removed from the Public Health Sector Enterprise Agreement. Unaware of how and why this was happening, she sought out information from the union and started sharing it with her colleagues. It wasn’t until after the Union elections that Robyn was endorsed as the delegate at Sunbury and became one of the first delegates to attend the VHPA’s new Delegate Training.
The training provided a structure and a more formal understanding of the Delegate role and helped in building her confidence in many aspects of the role like recruiting members and participating in bargaining. For Robyn however, the training was most valuable for developing links with other Delegates and VHPA staff. This is particularly the case in countering the isolation she sometimes experiences working in a small team in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. The training, and other similar opportunities such as the recent VHPA Delegate’s Conference, have enabled Robyn to meet other people who understand the issues she faces and who are working towards the same goals, creating a great sense of camaraderie and common purpose.
Robyn has observed this sense of purpose and solidarity grow across the Community Health sector following the Union’s intensified efforts in the area as with regular updates and clearer information, it’s much easier to get her colleagues on board. She has seen a great shift in attitudes with an ever-growing sense of collective spirit that has also coincided with a spike in density.
This heightened sense of unity goes hand in hand with the building of the Community Health Campaign over the coming months; the battle is set to become more heated so expect to hear more from Robyn and her colleagues in Community Health!
If you would like to build your networks and grow your confidence as a Delegate like Robyn, sign up for Delegate training today! Find out more at the delegate page here.
To get involved in the campaign, follow us online through Facebook and Twitter where you will find more regular updates and opportunities to show your support for the fantastic Health Professionals in Community Health.