Yesterday Rowan Kernebone announced that he was moving on as the IWSN Coordinator but it doesn't mean the IWSN itself is moving anywhere. We are and have always been a group of volunteers and activists dedicated to the cause -but there may be some changes.
So, what next for the IWSN?
The IWSN was established in 2011 and came to prominence in 2012 as a result of the NSW Liberal Governments unfair workers compensation reforms which sort to attack injured workers and their families. Since these early days the IWSN has always had a full time Coordinator assisting injured workers with their issues, organising the establishment of regional IWSN groups and supporting the Group Facilitators, doing submissions on behalf of injured workers to government enquiries, organising rallies, the list goes on and on. Unfortunately the Workers Health Centre (WHC) who has always met the IWSNs costs, is not in a position to do so moving forward.
Does this mean the IWSN will be closing down?
No. The IWSN Committee at its last meeting determined that with so much left to do to improve the lives of injured workers it would continue to work to achieve the key strategies it has set for the IWSN under a volunteer model. This will of course be challenging, not being able to rely on a paid full time Coordinator, but not impossible as long as people are prepared to stand up and contribute to the cause of injured workers. Volunteer Community organisations are nothing new.
What would being a volunteer Coordinator involve?
We recognise that it will be difficult to attract anyone to volunteer fulltime as a Coordinator. The IWSN is looking at a model where we have multiple volunteers who would focus on a particular area of the strategic plan where they feel their strengths are. The WHC are in a position to continue to provide some in-kind assistance to the IWSN ensuring essential resources can be provided.
I want to volunteer, injured workers issues are important?
If you would like to find out how you can volunteer and play a role in securing a better workers compensation scheme into the future send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org, remember to include how you think you could contribute.
As Rowan Kernebone moves on to the next exciting chapter of his life, I’m sure all of you will join me in wishing him the very best.
Yours in Unity,
Chair IWSN Committee.