The AEU congratulates AEU Rep and Glen Dhu Primary School teacher Alison Jales after she was announced as joint winner in the Community Contribution category at June’s Unions Tasmania Awards night.
Passionate about gender equality, environmental issues and supporting refugees, Alison
Is tireless in her activism for a better and fairer society.
Her advocacy for some of Tasmania’s marginalised community members has empowered minority groups to have their voices heard.
In 2019 Alison organised Launceston’s successful Marriage Equality Walk – an event the Glen Dhu Primary School teacher says she is most proud of.
Months later, she established an ongoing popular Queer Drinks event which runs monthly at a Launceston bar, aimed at providing an environment for all to gather and feel welcome.
Alison is this year set to host an event at the Tamar Peace Festival, involving the queer community. After Rain, Comes A Rainbow, seeks to recognise the resilience of queer people on a national and personal level.
She has organised multiple events and displays at the Northern festival over recent years including a knitting event for local people and refugees, a sculptural display by Glen Dhu Primary School students and the making of a prayer mat with local community and Hazara women.
Serving five years as Chair and Secretary of Safe Asylum – a Tasmanian group standing up for people’s rights to seek asylum – Alison has organised monthly dinner meetings and discussions with parliamentarians while also coordinating the group’s yearly Welcome Walk.
The walk sees community members move through Launceston to say ‘welcome’ before coming together for speeches and music in a park to celebrate the diversity within the community.
The AEU is proud to have such a remarkable community leader within its membership.
Compassionate in nature, Alison recently started a GoFundMe page to raise money to take two girls from the Hazara community to Melbourne to see Malala speak, as well as sightseeing and a trip to Dandenong to shop for dresses in an Afghan store.
Since 2016 she has been a member of The Tasmania Opportunity – an organisation promoting the settlement of refugees in Tasmania through research and advocacy. Alison recently ran a pilot program to provide permanent fulltime work for men from the Hazara community.
Alison has been a strong support for children in the State’s North over several years and for the past 24 months has provided respite and emergency care for a child in foster care.
A climate champion, the Launceston mother has participated in several Extinction Rebellion rallies across the State’s North – lobbying she pledges to continue doing until real government action is taken to address the threat of climate change.
In 2020 she helped School Strike 4 Climate organisers coordinate the Strike while offering AEU collaboration on the event during COVID-19.
Alison also spearheaded the Gonksi campaign in Launceston, organising face-painting activities, Friday afternoon cycles and wobble-boarding outside Andrew Nicoli’s office as well as the Gonksi pub crawl.
Other community commitments Alison gives up her own time for include serving as a Board member on both the Teachers Registration Board and Tasdance.
She has also recently volunteered with St Johns at a number of Tasmanian festivals, providing advice and care for people in need.
The AEU thanks and congratulates Alison for her inspiring leadership within the community and dedication to making a positive contribution to so many people’s lives.