Meet Branch Councillor (Executive member and Deputy President) Mandy Jackson – a Lab Tech at Hellyer College.

Branch Council’s collective decisions reign supreme so it’s a good idea you get to know your local Councillor. Branch Council meets each Term to debate, discuss and endorse policy. Councillors represent you so you’re strongly encouraged to share your views, ideas and proposals for motions with them.

Do you have a favourite place? My large garden and Cape Tribulation (The Daintree).

How did you get into education? Having matriculated in grade 11 and turning down a studentship and returning to The Don College for grade 12, I suddenly became a little lost.  In the last week of term 1 the Laboratory Technician positon at Wynyard High was advertised.  I was interviewed on the Tuesday and by the Friday I was filling in a leaver’s form.

What couldn’t you live without and what are your three favourite things? I could not live without my family of hubby, of almost 35 years, our three amazing adult kids and their partners.  My three favourite things are family, our pets and our garden.

Thinking about your workplace, if you had a magic wand what would you wish for? The FULL Gonski to be funded in the manner intended.  New science labs for Hellyer College before I retire and all the other things our college is missing that seem to be the norm these days. E.g. updated science labs, a state-of the-art performing arts space, proper visual arts studios and enough classroom space for our enrolment so labs aren’t being used as general classrooms. I also wish that some learning areas didn’t have to work in tin sheds and demountable buildings that are at least 40 years old!

Why union?  You mean some people have a reason “why not”?? I have a strong sense of social justice and equity and have had since my earliest memories. From early school to present day I have always wanted to ‘make a difference’.

How do you like to wind down and relax? Gardening, playing with dogs, or simply laying on the lawn watching the clouds go by, crosswords and puzzles. I have to admit to the occasional nanna nap these days too.

Are you a reader? If so, what are you currently reading? I’ll read anything including the back of the loo door at the airport.  My most recent novel was Amnesia by Peter Carey.

If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and what would you eat? A refugee family so they know many Australians really do care!  We would eat a fairly simple, normal family meal and just enjoy each other’s company.

What’s a defining moment in your life? Watching my now adult children become caring, compassionate, clever, connected and considerate human beings.  Realising we have done a pretty alright job as parents.

Give us tips about dealing with kids. Listen to them, treat them as equals, care for them when required, be honest, allow them to explore, use their imagination and experiment.

Who inspires you? Women in politics and those who fight against racism and persecution.

Why did you become a Councillor?  To make sure the voice of educators other than teachers was heard at the same volume within our union.

What is it about working with kids that gets you out of bed each morning? To support all our students in reaching their potential and finding their talents/skills – whatever they may be.

What do you daydream about? A peaceful world with enough food, decent healthcare, good education and longevity for all no matter their country, race or creed.  Oh, and retirement while I’m still young enough to see and do some special things and places.