Andrew Blanckensee - AEU Life Member

At the 2015 AEU Federal Conference, AEU ACT member and CIT teacher, Andrew Blanckensee was awarded an AEU life membership.

AEU ACT Branch Secretary, Glenn Fowler, made the following remarks in seconding the nomination.

I’d first like to acknowledge the assistance of AEU life member Robin Trinca (Ballantyne) in providing much of the factual material for my remarks here today.

It is a great honour to second the nomination for Andrew Blanckensee’s life membership of the AEU.

Andrew has been a committed, energised member of our Union for more than three decades, principally as a rank-and-file leader in the workplace, but also as a full-time TAFE Organiser with the ACT Branch during the 1990s.

In 1983 Andrew became a member of the Adult Migrant English Service Teachers Association within the NSW Teachers Federation.

In 1984 he became Federation Rep for Liverpool Boys High School.

In the mid-late 80s Andrew was very active in the campaign against federal budget cuts to the Adult Migrant English Service, a campaign which ultimately resulted in a restoration of the funding and the creation of 100 full time temporary teaching positions in early 1987.

In the early 90s Andrew moved to the promised land – Canberra. (Why are you laughing?)

His involvement in our Branch began with the setting up of the Casual TAFE Teachers sub branch in 1992. He was the first president of this sub branch and a member of Branch TAFE Council from 1993. He framed the Union’s major campaign on behalf of Casual Teachers at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), the ACT’s multi campus TAFE. He negotiated with CIT over a three year period for the introduction of permanent part-time positions.

From 1996-98 Andrew was the full-time TAFE Organiser in the ACT Branch. Andrew was a very successful organiser, building member engagement, but also guiding members through some difficult disputes during a downsizing period for CIT.

In 1999 it was back to the classroom, at CIT in the area of adult migrant English language teaching. Andrew served the Union as a rank and file activist, diligently ensuring that the members around him had their issues resolved. Andrew was highly regarded for the role he played in enhancing workplace health and safety at the Institute. In 2009-2011 Andrew served on the Executive of the ACT Branch and was active on numerous committees looking after the interests of his comrades.

Andrew provided a strong presence for the AEU wherever he went. Many members joined our Union because Andrew helped them to see it was the only rational choice. Members have become activists because of Andrew’s example.

In 2013 Andrew was jointly awarded our Branch’s most prestigious prize, the Public Education Award, for his unstinting service to public education and those who work within it.

Andrew Blanckensee’s passion, strength and warmth have been both infectious and reassuring, and he would be a most worthy recipient of life membership of the AEU.

Congratulations Andrew on your profound commitment to Canberra students and public education over many decades.

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