depa's responsibility to look after our members’ social interests without discrimination

Our rules broadly define our purpose and objects to uphold, advance and protect the interests of members, "including industrial, social, economic and professional development interests".

It was under this broad purpose in the 1980s that we deleted all the sex-specific pronouns in our rules. We then went on to delete sex-specific pronouns in all of the Awards in the industry - all because we had an increasing number of women who were members but our rules and the industrial awards in the industry presumed that everyone was a bloke.

Everything was he, his - never she, never hers.

This was a bold thing for what was pretty much an old blokes’ club of building surveyors at the time with 20 or so women members. But it showed that even the old blokes got the idea that things needed to be fair and that no one's treatment should be otherwise.

Now we are watching unseemly brawling and unsettling discussions as people justify why other people, with different sexual identities, should be denied equal treatment under the law.

depa doesn’t discriminate, we are committed to ensuring that you all receive fair treatment at work and, whenever the opportunity arises, in public debate and public policy. It's part of our responsibility to care for and look after your social interests.

I'll be returning my survey with a yes.

So will all my family (including my gay sister and her partner who have been together for four decades and should be an inspiration to heterosexual couples who can't last a few years - making it both extraordinary and grossly unfair their union can't include marriage if they want it), my 93 year-old mum, my wife Elizabeth, my kids (not Ben, who is only seven but lost his favourite chef, a French bloke, who had to go back to France because he wanted to marry his boyfriend and couldn't do it in Australia. So Ben discovered the concept of marriage equality very, very early and thinks it unfair the ABS won’t ask him), and so will Margaret, her husband and kids and her 90 year-old mum.

So will all of the members of our Committee of Management.

And so will lots and lots of our members - probably consistent with the 70% support opinion polling finds but, knowing them as I do and their own interest in fairness at work, I hope a higher percentage.

Let's be fair and let's do the right thing for everyone. Go on.

Yes, for marriage equality


(This was originally sent by the Secretary Ian Robertson to all members by individual email on 14 September and is updated here to include the support of the Committee.)

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