Congratulations to our Pride Awards Outstanding Activist –Beck Agius
Recently, Queensland Unions held its first ever Pride Awards. The Services Union congratulates Workplace Delegate Beck Agius who won an Outstanding Activist Award for her leadership.
The sheer volume of members who nominated Beck is a testament to her profile in the pride space and how widely regarded she is in our Union. Beck's name was put forward by over 15 people. Our Union is immensely proud of Beck and her leadership. She has also been an Anna Stewart Memorial Project participant.
Known for her persistent activism both at the workplace and in the wider community Beck developed a LGBTQ+ working group in the workplace. She has provided consistent advocacy and support of other union members across various sectors; and much, much more. Beck is a long-time, true-blue unionist. Her role as a Delegate has inspired other unionists and particularly other LGBTO+ members to stand up as Delegates when they realised, through Beck's work that LGBTQ+ rights are union business. She was involved heavily with the Marriage Equality discussion in Rockhampton from the beginning in 2011 and soon her story and face were all over Rocky (which ultimately saw her become the target of bigotry and hate from opposition). This did not deter her, however, and she continued fighting for LGBITQ+ rights after Marriage Equality was won.
Additionally, she has taken the MATES mental health and suicide prevention training courses to assist her in supporting her workmates given mental health issues and suicide rates are more prevalent among LGBTO+ communities. Beck has put her hand up to be our Union's first Branch Councillor for LGBTQ+ members, which means she's the key point of contact for driving our Union's goals for LGBTQ+ matters. When members have ideas and goals, they put their trust in Beck who elevates their collective voice and keeps our Union moving forward - never backwards.
Beck knows that visibility matters - some of the ways she has been an active role model and leader includes; riding her bike from Rockhampton to Sydney (3-day trek) to participate in 2016 Mardi Gras and ride with Dykes on Bikes; successfully organising her employer to include pronouns in signatures for workers; connecting union(s), employers, and other LGBTQ+ community groups (like ACON) with her workplace to ensure the employer was always moving forward on all things LGBTQ+ related; participating in media (television, newspaper) interviews during the marriage equality plebiscite discussions, not only as an LGBTQ+ person wanting to be seen as equal but as a proud member of The Services Union. Beck supported the Central Queensland Organisers on the Union Pride stall at the 2023 Gladstone Pride Festival.
Beck's experiences of bullying, abuse, and harassment she experienced as a result of speaking up in favour of Marriage Equality in Central Queensland was reported in the Courier Mail, "Things like this tend to bring it to the forefront of people's minds; so you are getting slandered, you are getting nasty things called out of car windows, you are getting people do double takes and look at you. It's not pleasant. I am pretty secure in myself, I have a good career, I'm happy with who I am, not everyone is that lucky. So, I really worry for the younger members of our community or anyone who is maybe questioning their sexuality and trying to work out for themselves. The nasty things that are getting said is really going to hurt people's emotional well-being." - Beck Agius, 2017
In addition to all of this, Beck has remained very active in our Union's Pride Committee; so much so in fact that it is fair to say that our Pride Committee was revolutionised in large part due to Beck's persistence and drive. While we have had a regular committee for a long time, it was never as active and engaged as it is today, and that simply would not have happened without
Beck's direct involvement.
The Services Union is immensely proud of Beck. We thank her for all the work she does for our Union and congratulate her on her award.