You may have seen, heard or spoken with two new faces at WAPU HQ.
Gary Keenan was recently appointed as a Field Officer to replace Dean Giacomini, who retired last month after 11 years of dedicated service.
Gary comes to the Union from the Community and Public Sector Union Civil Service Association (CPSU/CSA) where he has extensive experience with legislations, operational requirements in the workforce, disciplinary procedures and unionism.
Having left Scotland to come to Perth in 1998, Gary worked for various State and Federal MPs before working for the Liquor Trade Union as their Field Organiser.
In 2007, Gary moved to the CPSU/CSA as the Learning and Development Coordinator where he delivered training to delegates and offered professional development courses for Members, something he hopes he can deliver to WAPU Members.
“I look forward to examining how we can utilise our Members’ five paid union training days and look at delivering training in metropolitan and regional workplaces,” he said.
He said he is looking forward to working with Members to provide them with the service they deserve.
“I have always been a member of my relevant union and both my parents were branch officials of their unions in Scotland,” he said.
“I passionately believe that we can work together to resolve local issues within the workforce. Every worker needs to have someone who can help and offer information and assistance when your job becomes too much.”
He said he was excited to build upon the relationships that the current Field Officers have developed and to organise some specific branch official training on OSH matters, industrial entitlements and how to respond to changes in policy and procedures.
“I am extremely proud and excited to be offered this opportunity and to work towards making workplaces that have an active Union presence,” he said.
“It is the Members of this Union who make WA a better and safer place.”
Mark Shipman Industrial Lawyer 1
The other addition to the WAPU Team is Industrial Lawyer Mark Shipman who has been supporting Members since late last year.
Mark brings vast arbitration knowledge and experience in legal matters.
Throughout his career, Mark has worked in the industrial relations sector where he has developed an acute understanding of business processes, policy development and employment law.
He also studied law at Murdoch University Law School and was admitted as a Lawyer in March 2013, practising in State and Commonwealth jurisdictions.
After completing law, Mark joined the CPSU/CSA as an Industrial Lawyer, where he remained for eight years.
In 2013, he was awarded a Professional Certificate in Arbitration from Adelaide University.
He relocated to Indonesia in 2018 and shortly after accepted a Legal Advisor position at Seven Stones International Legal, a property and investment company based in Bali.
He returned to Perth WA in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and joined WAPU in October 2020 to assist with more complex employment matters.
He said he is enjoying his role working with a small and dedicated team with a common focus of securing the best working conditions for Members and ensuring Retired Members are supported.
“I am looking forward to making sure Members have access to legal support to address their industrial and employment concerns. Of particular interest is the much-anticipated introduction of the Police Compensation Scheme,” he said.
Since his commencement, Mark has worked on some major wins for the Union including securing back pay for recruits in training performing duties of probationary constables.
“We have also secured recognition of prior service for transitional and re-engagee job applicants,” he said.
He is currently working on larger legal matters including compensation for an injury to a family member of a police officer arising from occupancy of a GROH house, appealing a Loss of Confidence removal action and disputing the application of sick leave and work-related injury payment provisions for officers on long term sick leave.
Mark Shipman Industrial Lawyer
Date: June 2021 
By Jessica Cuthbert