Congratulations to Michael Bon, recognised by the Queensland Council of Unions for outstanding commitment to the Union movement
United Voice Member Organiser Michael Bon nominated by the QCU Indigenous Working Committee for the Uncle Bob Anderson Award for 2011. The award – presented in celebration of NAIDOC Week – honours an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander activist or delegate who has made a substantial contribution to the Union movement.
Michael has been a warrior for United Voice in the Torres Strait since he first joined (the then LHMU) in 2008 and was elected to the position of Delegate by his colleagues soon after.
In 2009 Michael was invited to work for the Union as a Member Organiser. The offer was made with full respect to his standing as a valued community member and his dedication to introducing a union culture co-existing with Island Culture in his workplace and in others.
Michael’s acceptance to the role enabled us to begin to learn from him observations of tradition, culture and the complexities that need to be acknowledged. Introductions by Michael have paved the way for several visits to a number of Torres Strait Islands – including Badu Island, where 100% membership was achieved in schools and childcare. Subsequently, United Voice is representing Child Care workers to be included in the Torres Strait Island Regional Council Certified Agreement for the first time.
A deeply spiritual man, Michael carries the collective virtues handed down to him by his forebears over generations. Way back to the spirit of Tagai who still rides in the night skies looking over his beloved Straits; to the pearl lugger strikes of last century; to Mabo and the ongoing fight for Land and Sea Rights; and to today where the effects of climate change on these fragile island gems are in constant threat.
It is the United Voice of the Torres Strait that Michael has been able to encapsulate and through quietly spoken, yet resonating word – let the rest of the country know they are an industrial and political force to be reckoned with.
We congratulate Michael for his orgoing commitment and achievement.
The Dr Robert (Uncle Bob) Anderson Award was created in 2010 by the QCU and its affiliates in recognition of a man who was the first Aboriginal organiser in Queensland and who has been a union member for more than 58 years.