This week, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA Chairperson Angelo Gavrielatos stepped down from our governing committee. Angelo has been in the Chair’s role for 10 years and a committee member for 15 years, and has been unwavering in his commitment to the work of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, our partner organisations overseas and our mandate to educate Australian unionists about internationalism. Angelo’s strongly-held values for equality and justice for all people, combined with his broad national and international trade union knowledge and experience, contributed to his tremendous skill in guiding the organisation’s decision-making and governance with clarity and purpose.
While APHEDA Chair, Angelo visited our projects, partner organisations and local APHEDA staff in Vietnam, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Myanmar, West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and the Thai-Myanmar border. On those trips, Angelo so highly valued our partner relationships at the local level, saw the power of the social change being undertaken and understood the strategic interventions being made.
Angelo has long championed refugee rights in Australia and internationally and continues to do so. His support to the struggle for Palestinian self-determination was deepened after visiting Gaza in 2014 with APHEDA and witnessing the scale of destruction and poverty following the war on Gaza by Israel.
From a working class and progressive migrant family, Angelo learned Bahasa Indonesia as a teenager and went on to become a teacher of the language in NSW public schools. Thus he visited Indonesia many times, building his understanding of internationalism. Together with his commitment to unionism, later in working life APHEDA became a natural organisation which to lend his support.
During his honorary tenure as Chair with APHEDA, Angelo held positions as President of the Australian Education Union, Project Director for the global union for education, Education International coordinating the campaign to stop the privatisation of public education by corporations and is currently President of the NSW Teachers Federation.
On behalf of the governing body, the Executive Officer Kate Lee and all APHEDA personnel, we thank Angelo for his long and enduring commitment to APHEDA. Solidarity.
Angelo undertaking various roles for APHEDA – surveying the damage in Gaza, presenting APHEDA Awards, promoting the APHEDA Raffle and participating in APHEDA dinners and Activist Conferences.
The Global Justice Organisation of the Australian Union Movement
The work of Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA relies on the efforts of thousands of Australian unionists and internationalists who raise funds, volunteer, and take action to build solidarity across borders.