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Vale TAFE activist Ray Goff
Career-long Federation member and activist of some 39 years, Ray Goff passed away on 22 August aged 81 years.
Soon after commencing employment with the Department of Technical Education as an electrical trades teacher at Granville Technical College in 1965, Ray joined Federation.
During his early years at Granville, he attended many branch meetings of the Technical Teachers Association (TTA), now known as TAFE Teachers Association. It was not long before he became involved in the branch executive and around 1968 he was nominated as a TTA Councillor. Ray attended many TTA Council meetings at Sydney Technical College in a small room under the administration building.
In 1970, Ray became President of the Granville Branch of TTA and held this position until he was seconded, in 1974, to the NSW Public Works Department to gain two years practical experience as an electrical engineer. During this period, he taught part time at Granville and kept in touch with TTA affairs.
On his return to the Department of Technical Education, Ray was appointed to Gymea Technical College before returning to Granville in 1977 in the electrical trades section. In March of that year he took up a position as an electrical engineering teacher at Box Hill Technical in Victoria before returning to NSW in 1978 as an electrical engineering teacher at Wollongong Technical College.
While teaching at Wollongong, Ray discovered that there was a need to establish electrical engineering courses at Nowra Technical College. The main source of students was sailors stationed at HMAS Albatross, Nowra. In 1979, with the assistance of Wollongong Technical College principal Bruce Short, Ray was seconded to Nowra to commence the courses. After two years, Ray was employed full-time at Nowra, running electrical engineering courses with the assistance of electrical engineering from Wollongong.
On one Saturday morning in 1981 or 1982, at a small farm at Jaspers Brush, located between Berry and Nowra, Gerry Watt, John Baker, Ray, Margaret Goff, Jan Webster and Dell Reynolds met to discuss the establishment of a branch of the TAFE teachers association at Nowra Technical College. At the branch’s first meeting Ray was elected President, Federation Representative and TAFE Teachers Association Councillor, positions he held continuously until Ray ceased full-time teaching in July 1999. He worked as a part-time teacher until 2005.
While working in Nowra, Ray met with some of his school colleagues and was invited to attend regular meetings with the Shoalhaven Teachers Association. At these meetings Ray represented his TAFE colleagues and kept his school colleagues up to date with TAFE issues. This was particularly important with the implementation of the Joint Secondary Schools TAFE Program.
Ray represented his TAFE colleagues and often joined his school colleagues at many rallies in Sydney, Wollongong, Shellharbour and in the local Nowra area.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ray volunteered as timekeeper for Federation Council meetings and Annual Conferences.
Ray was made a Federation Life Member in 2004.
This is an edited version of the condolence speech given by Acting General Secretary Nicole Calnan at September Council.