APHEDA People: Meet Alisha Bull (MUA Tasmania)

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is about people – people working together to make things better for all. As the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement, each and every APHEDA supporter, member, partner, activist and participant here in Australia and all around the world contributes to the work it takes to tackle inequality and injustice.

This month we meet Alisha Bull, a long-time member of Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA and Deputy Branch Secretary of MUA Tasmania. Alisha believes being a member of APHEDA is wonderful and that it delivers real change to communities we work in across the world. Alisha also believes that APHEDA makes her feel good about what we do as Unionists. Read more about what drew Alisha to APHEDA and how she is committed to internationalism and helping others no matter where they come from. And if Alisha’s last name sounds familiar, it is. Alisha is Tas Bull’s granddaughter and now actively promotes the work of Tas Bull International Aid Project. The Tas Bull International Aid Project was set up in 2006 in cooperation with APHEDA and in memory of Tas Bull, a great internationalist and former Chair of the APHEDA Committee of Management. Tas’ dedication to internationalism lives on through Alisha.


What does it mean to be union to you?

Being Union is knowing you are not alone. It’s about working for and with members to create not only a better workplace but a better society.


What does it mean to be APHEDA to you? What drew you to APHEDA to start with?

APHEDA makes me feel good about what we do as Unionists, it’s not just a charity it’s about developing skills and knowledge so we can see others succeed not just for a short time but for their lifetime. What better way is there to help others than that? We were raised to think about and help others no matter where you came from. APHEDA allows us in some small way to contribute to that.

 “Being a member of APHEDA, has been wonderful. And it is something that delivers real change and real growth to communities across the world. And it is something that all of us can be proud of.” Alisha Bull, 7 May 2021, Solidarity Concert for Timor Leste


Why is building internationalism in Australia important?

To be a Unionist you must be an internationalist, otherwise you are a hypocrite. We must strive for every worker no matter where they live to be better off and to be part of something bigger than themselves. Australia was once proud of the way we looked out for those who were doing it tough. We have a huge role to play in contributing to the world that we can be proud of.


What part of APHEDA’s work are you most connected to/proud of? Why?

There are several projects that I am really proud of or that stand out in my mind. All the work APHEDA does to build a global workers movement, fighting against corruption and inequality is at the core of Union principles.

Our work with Cuba fighting against embargoes that cripple the nation’s ability to flourish, working closely with the William Soler Pediatric Teaching Hospital, a world class and renowned facility. That is a huge achievement. Literacy and Numeracy projects in Timor Leste. Shelters and safe havens for women and children across Asia. The Ghalleh Project on the West Bank, empowering women with skills and knowledge to build their own businesses.

I believe all of these projects and many more can aid real and lasting change to the lives of others.


As a long-time member of APHEDA, what do you see as the work that is most important for Union Aid Abroad to focus on into the future?

I hope we continue and build upon what we have already created, to promote our values to the next generation. To empower and provide opportunities for younger Unionist to be involved not only by joining APHEDA but by seeing the projects for themselves.     

When you have one-on-one conversations with people asking them to join Union Aid Abroad, how do you describe the work and ask people to join?

We believe Alisha said it best during a speech she delivered at the Solidarity Concert for Timor Leste on 7 May 2021. Alisha said:

“We may claim to be the ‘mighty’ and we may claim to be ‘tough’, but I think that is just a bit of a front to be honest. I think more than anything we are caring. And we’re strong. And we’re empathetic. And we should all be driven by the conviction to see the world a better place… Tonight I want all of us to play a better part in helping. And as they say, many hands make light work, but many dollars can do a fair bit more. For those of you who are not APHEDA members, I would strongly encourage you to consider joining APHEDA. To be part of the change I talked about earlier.”

Joining is simple. Fill out the join form today. Or give us a call on 02 9264 9343.

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