Meet the organising team

The Organising Team at GetUp has seven staff: Ellen in Brisbane - with Cindi and Lucy. Shaun and Emma in Sydney, Paul in South Australia (also looking after ACT and WA) and Vicky in Melbourne (also working with the Hobart group).

Kajute leads this team - and is based in Melbourne. The Organising Teams mission is to help develop and implement the operational strategy, and work with GetUp’s tech team to build the tools we need. But most importantly, our role is to ensure you as active members have what you need to make a difference.

My name is Kajute (pronounced Kahootay), and I am the Organising Director here at GetUp. Melbourne is my hometown, and I live

in a great house with a big veggie garden and friends.

We are in an extraordinary time in history. We face immense challenges, but there are also huge opportunities. My role at GetUp is to think about how together we — you, me, the other 1.1 million GetUp members and the GetUp staff — can build a movement so powerful that we radically redefine what is politically possible in Australia.

Every day, I wake up with this mission in my mind. Since 2010, I’ve worked on seven election campaigns, leading teams of volunteers and staff towards ambitious goals and visions. I know that to build a powerful movement we need to have a clear strategy, impactful tactics, and the skills and capacity to make it happen.

At GetUp, we're a team of seven organisers: Ellen, Lucy and Cindi in Brisbane, Shaun and Emma in Sydney, Vicky in Melbourne and Paul in Adelaide. My role is to help develop and implement our operational strategy, support staff and work with GetUp’s tech team to build the tools we need. But most importantly, ensure you have what you need to make a difference.

Shaun.pngI’m Shaun and my role is NSW Community Organiser for GetUp. I work with volunteers primarily in Sydney, but soon that work will be expanding to encompass more of NSW. I taught music for 17 years in Melbourne until a political awakening about climate justice drew me out of my comfortable life and set me on a new life trajectory.

For the last ten years, I’ve been campaigning for climate justice with a range of organisations in Victoria, Queensland and NSW, and I’ve been working as a Community Organiser for GetUp for the last year.

What I love about GetUp and our collective vision for the future, is that we’re striving to transform politics and society to be far more just, and to confront the unfolding environmental crisis that we face. And GetUp as a movement is increasingly up for doing the difficult thing that needs to be done — from cold-calling people on the other side of the country to physically intervening to prevent injustice from going unchallenged. This is a movement that inspires me.

Screen_Shot_2017-09-20_at_7.06.58_pm.pngI’m Emma, and I work on the Organising Team at GetUp. My role is to develop programs that support members to connect with one another and pull off ambitious, impactful actions. During last year’s election it meant supporting member-led candidate forums, GetTogethers, Meet Your MP and our election day effort. (I also got married!)

One of my first and favourite moments at GetUp was back in 2013 while visiting voter booths in western Sydney on election day. At my very first booth, a man stopped to ask a GetUp volunteer who she was handing out for. I watched this member passionately explain what GetUp is, and the important issues we stand for. When she finished, the man pointed to a spare GetUp t-shirt lying nearby and asked if he could join her.

To me, that’s people-power. Every day people are cutting through the spin with meaningful conversation and authentic human connection. And that’s what excites me most about GetUp: that we’re transitioning from an online movement to an interconnected community of members who work together not just online, but on the phones, in our homes and the streets.

Web-0003_edited.pngEllen Roberts is the Queensland Lead Organiser for GetUp, handling campaigning and organising for GetUp in Brisbane. She joined GetUp in November 2015 after three years with the Mackay Conservation Group campaigning on coal mining and Reef protection. Ellen has a background in law and has worked for social change for over two decades on the environment, refugees and asylum seekers, and workers rights.

Screen_Shot_2017-09-20_at_6.32.19_pm.pngHi, I’m Paul, the newest member of the Organising Team. I’m based in my hometown of Adelaide, where I love bushwalking, hanging out in the veggie patch, and tinkering on an old 4WD. I’ve been involved in community organising for nearly 20 years, working previously for OXFAM, World Vision, The Wilderness Society and the Climate Action Network. I started out volunteering for Greenpeace and before I knew it, doing something about the state of the world had become my passion.

I love working with volunteers, people who recognise that they have power and who use it for the benefit of others. I’ve seen how volunteering builds community, with so many volunteers becoming lifelong friends. I hold an Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management (Specialising in Volunteer Management) and a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies. My role involves supporting and developing our Action Group Network in SA, WA and Canberra. Also in Adelaide, my focus is on building our relationships with partner organisations, media and local decision-makers. GetUp has a broad, revolutionary vision matched perfectly with a culture of innovation and continuous learning. I’m excited to be on the ground for GetUp in Adelaide because I believe in our capacity to redefine what is politically possible.

 

Web-2006_Edited.pngBack when I was at uni, my friends and I would talk for hours about economic, racial and gender inequalities and wax lyrical about what we would do differently from the fat cats squeezing us dry. The feeling of not having the power to make real, concrete changes was something that bothered me tremendously.

I had been signing GetUp petitions online, but then I was asked to help handout GetUp scorecards on election day in 2013. It was a tremendously positive experience for me to be able to talk to people face-to-face, and know that I was making a difference. In the 2016 election, I had the opportunity to make calls to voters in Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson. I was so excited to be doing something practical and impactful that I started going to virtually every single phone bank!

After the 2016 election, I had the opportunity to get trained as a GetUp trainer. It was an eye-opening experience to learn the strategy and theory, get to know other members, and see how we all fit as an organisation and community. Now I am excited to be one of the community organisers here in Queensland and to bring this amazing learning experience to our Queensland members as well. I think that GetUp empowers people to make real change and is a platform to get our voices heard. I am very proud to be a part of this movement.

Screen_Shot_2017-09-20_at_7.33.11_pm.pngI grew up in Far North Queensland in between the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, a childhood that taught me a keen passion for nature and people. I worked as an outdoor adventure guide for the first eight years of my professional life. Living and breathing the Australian bush and teaching kids about nature and how to connect with it. Although this work was hugely fulfilling and meaningful, I couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t immediate enough.

I decided to go to university and study a Bachelor of Sustainability. During this time I became very active on campus and in the community. I found activism and the power of people. I rallied, held community forums, wrote submissions, door knocked, called and more! Soon my passion motivated me to move to Brisbane where I could learn and grow and be close to the big action.

After moving to Brisbane, I found myself lucky enough to be working as a community organiser for GetUp. The passion, community and comradery at GetUp are inspiring and outstanding! I am unbelievably excited by the Action Network, the power of a movement and the ability to create the kind of Australia we all envision. 

Screen_Shot_2017-09-20_at_7.41.04_pm.pngI got involved in activism in my early 20’s, after spending a few years feeling scared, frustrated and angry at our government’s approach to climate change.

Volunteering allowed me to take action on issues I care deeply about, but I also found something I didn’t realise I was looking for: community. Whether it’s acting alongside students in my uni’s Environment Collective or teaming up with GetUp members on the phones, the connections I make through this work keep me motivated.

I started at GetUp three months ago after a three-year stint with climate organisation 350.org Australia. I’ve been blown away by the dedication, experience and passion that GetUp members bring, and the tremendous impact that comes from getting on the phones to strangers to connect on shared values.

I’m somewhat daunted, but hugely excited, about the possibilities of the GetUp Action Network — and I’m looking forward to working with you over the coming months and years!

Still have questions? Email:

takeaction@getup.org.au