Dear AWU members,

On Saturday 22 August, 2015 at the AWU South Australian Branch Members Dinner I advised of my intention to retire from my full time position as Branch Secretary; once I have exhausted my accrued Long Service Leave entitlements.


My decision to retire was precipitated by two recent Total Knee Relacement (TKR) procedures, both of which have been a sensational success. Thankfully, I no longer walk like a gorilla and now I enjoy a much improved quality of life. As you would expect there was a requirement for me to take leave to facilitate my rehabilitation. I knew, that this leave would distract me from my regular duties as Branch Secretary and that a clear contingency plan was essential. 


With this in mind, and arising from a formal decision taken with my recommendation and total support to our Branch Executive Committee of Management, our Union was administered during the above period by our own very capable National Vice President and South Australian Branch President Peter Lamps. 


I knew Peter would progress through the ranks of our union. In fact, so confident was I of his natural leadership qualities that I privatley anointed him when he first became a full time Organiser in July, 1997. I knew then, that Peter Lamps would satisfy my silent dream -which was- that he be my preferred successor as the AWU South Australian Branch Secretary; simply because, he is a committed trade unionist with superb character and a talented person of quality intellect. 


I am delighted to say that Peter has comfortably fulfilled all of my predictions and I have endorsed him with my highest recommendation to our Branch Executive with absolute confidence. So upon my pending retirement, he will be appointed in accordance with the AWU rules to fill my casual vacancy for the remainder of this current term as the next South Australian Branch Secretary. I will also nominate Peter as Branch Secretary for the 2017/2021 AWU branch election, plus any subsequent Australian Workers' Union election cycle to which he may aspire. 


Rest assured, with Peter Lamps at the helm as the South Australian Branch Secretary, your Union is in very safe hands. 


As part of the above transition I would like to maintain an active role in our Union by inviting our Branch Executive to appoint me to the Casual Vacancy as Honorary Branch President. I want to do this because my mind is still sharp and I'm physically fit, but I choose to not walk away from the Union to which I owe so much. The experience I have gained over the last thirty years as an elected official should not be privatised in the mind of a retiree; but shared with those who choose to use it as a resource to advance the continuing struggle of the working class. To do all of this with your valued support would be a huge honour.


I also want to continue the long standing service, active involvement I've enjoyed as a union member, site convenor and full time official since 1961.


Over the last four AWU Election cycles since 2001 we have come a long way and we are successful in South Australia principally because, with your support, we have done good things together. You have given our united team the continued, valued support that enabled us to stabilise and consolidate your Union. We also thank you for re-electing our team and giving us the privilege of looking after your industrial interests.


There is so much we have achieved together but there is still much more to do as the working class struggle continues. If you want confirmation of what's on the Conservative's industrial relations reform agenda, read the Productivity Commission's recent "DRAFT" report; there you will find it all laid out before you, with compliments of the Conservatives.


The Report is not just a "ROAD BLOCK" against future industrial achievement, but a brand new six lane "EXPRESSWAY" openly attacking the entitlements that unions have campaigned for and won since Federation. But we're not going to cop these attacks, we are going to "STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK" during the next Federal Election campaign and, we are going to ambush the conservative's selfish attack on working families and their entitlements. 


As you've observed, I still have the passion and I'm up to the task; so let's rank up together behind the experienced Lamps/Hanson team and continue to pursue the spirited working class struggle that the members have every right to expect.


Thank you for your support and the privilege of allowing me to lead the Australian Workers' Union as the South Australian Branch Secretary since 22 September, 2000.


Yours fraternally,

Wayne Hanson


The Australian Workers Union.

South Australian Branch.


Monday 24 August, 2015.