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Vale Barry Manefield
Former Federation President Barry Manefield was remembered for his ability to portray to the public a logical, caring and acceptable image of Federation's campaigns.
President from 1976 to 1981, Barry had a long and varied career as a primary teacher in city and country schools for more than 20 years before he was elected President. He died on 26 February at the age of 86.
In a condolence motion to March Council, General Secretary John Dixon said that when elected President, Barry represented a minority view within Executive and Council of Federation. “This did not stop him from strongly pursuing his election platform within Federation's forums,” Mr Dixon said. “However, once a decision was made by Executive, Council or Conference, often not in line with his viewpoint, he accepted it and implemented and promoted the decision.
“It was this characteristic, as well as his performance as President in a volatile first term, that gained him great respect and support from Executive members, Officers and Councillors. Consequently he was able to withstand challenges to his Presidency until he retired at the end of 1981.”
During his time as a teacher, Barry was an activist of the union. He was President and/or Secretary of Associations of Assistants, Deputies and Principals and an Annual Conference delegate for 20 years.
As a long-term Councillor of Federation, he forcefully promoted the rights/interests of the Associations he represented. He also served as a Federation Executive member for five years, Mr Dixon said.
“Barry's strengths as President were his ability to gather support at all levels of the membership for Federation campaigns,” Mr Dixon said. “These skills were most evident during the successful 1980/81 salaries campaign when Federation refused to accept an inappropriate Industrial Commission decision and, instead of appealing the decision, pursued an industrial campaign for salary justice.
“Barry worked tirelessly in both the public arena and among the membership to rally support for Federation's radical approach. His leadership of the members at the mass meetings in this campaign was superb.
“My abiding memory as a very new councillor in 1980 was of Barry chairing of council in the impressive President’s chair during rowdy and passionate debates. At crucial moments Barry would push back that imposing chair and rise and the room would go suddenly quiet.
“Barry would then use the standing orders to speak to the council as the chair. More than once it changed the course of the debate and final decision.”
Barry Manefield was awarded Life Membership in 1993.