It can be a demanding job looking after the wellbeing of everyone in your workplace, says George Georgostathis, winner of last year’s AEU Health and Safety Rep (HSR) Award. But it’s a vitally important role that he takes pride in fulfilling to the best of his ability at Gladstone Park Secondary College.
“The reason I put my hand up was because I actually want to make a difference,” says George. “I wanted to improve the awareness of occupational safety in our workplace.”
As the president of Gladstone Park’s AEU sub-branch, he is fully invested in protecting both the physical and mental health of all school staff. “I don’t see myself as a superhero, but I do see myself as the person you can come to, to address any issue. The vast majority of health and safety issues are about mental wellbeing.”
George says it’s important to maintain that voice in the workplace, looking out for everyone. “We’ve all got a duty of care to keep the workplace safe, but the ultimate responsibility does rest on the employer,” he says. “I’ll reiterate that as much as possible, to ensure they’re putting in measures to minimise risk. It’s a good challenge.”
“We all want to come home stress and injury free, to enjoy our personal lives.”
He was proud to be nominated by his colleagues and to ultimately win HSR of the Year in 2021. “It was an honour, knowing that they took that time to nominate me and to recognise that I’ve made an impact at our school, ” George says, adding that the work done by HSRs really matters.
He encourages all members to champion their HSR colleagues, who go above and beyond, by putting them forward for the HSR of the Year Awards, as well as the Sub-branch/Workplace, and Rep of the Year awards. “We all want to come home stress and injury free, to enjoy our personal lives.”
To find out more about HSR of the Year, visit aeuvic.asn.au/reps-info/health-and-safety-representatives-hsrs/aeu-hsr-year
Read about Sub-branch/Workplace and Rep of the Year at aeuvic.asn.au/sub-branch-and-rep-year-awards