Thursday, 4 July 2024

PSA CPSU NSW Retired Associates: June/July update

The PSA CPSU NSW Retired Associates met for their Annual General Meeting on 25 June 2024 at PSA House and via Zoom.

The meeting commenced with a tribute to Stan Beal who died on 12 June 2024. President Dave McKeough referred to Stan’s 50-year association with the PSA and active membership of the Retired Associates since 2015.

This was followed by a report from Troy Wright, Assistant General Secretary. Troy acknowledged the Retired Associates as a pillar of the PSA. He thanked office holders for their work over the previous year and advised that our input is appreciated by the PSA Executive.

Troy indicated that while there is more to be done it has been a good year for the PSA. Membership has increased and the recent State Budget included announcements that the PSA had been advocating for. A highlight was the significant funding commitment for more social and affordable housing.

Dave McKeough reported on the previous 12 months including our official representation at PSA Conferences. Current membership is 1016 and we held six meetings over the past year.

Hugh Mackay AM was our special guest speaker and gave a detailed and thought-provoking presentation. Hugh’s presentation focussed on the themes and issues outlined in his recently published book The Way We Are. Issues discussed included:

  • current epidemics of loneliness, anxiety, depression and alarming levels of homelessness and poverty;
  • 3 million Australians are living below the poverty line;
  • what kind of society do we want?
  • look to the “better angels of our nature” – quote from Abraham Lincoln
  • building and maintaining social harmony as we are experiencing major changes in our society is our grand human project – we need to listen to the many distinctive voices in our community;
  • we are becoming a divided society to some extent and a more troubled and wounded society as we head further into the 21st century;
  • yet we need each other as a community, as neighbours and in groups;
  • survival of the kindest – the centrality of kindness as human quality;
  • impact of social isolation – can lead to anxiety, depression, hypertension, reduced sleep, reduced life expectancy;
  • number 1 public health issue is now social isolation – how did this happen?
  • society has become far more individualistic;
  • over the last 30-40 years a series of social trends have emerged arising from choices made that have pushed us in directions that are unhealthy;
  • higher levels of loneliness are experienced by 18-24 years who are the heaviest users of social media;
  • gender equality and how close have we come to achieving it or not – new strategies and approaches are needed to achieve true gender equality;
  • while we’ve reached a critical period Hugh is basically optimistic and believes in the power of human nature;
  • we’re a wounded society and urgently need to rebuild a sense of community and be good neighbours;
  • it will be a slow rebuild – person by person, street by street;
  • we’ve previously survived disasters and we’re ultimately a resilient species.

 The minutes of the approved minutes of our April meeting are attached HERE. The draft minutes of the June meeting are attached HERE. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday,27 August 2024.




Carmel McKeough


PSA CPSU NSW Retired Associates