AWU Victorian Branch Secretary


Ben Davis has been an AWU Victorian Vice President and member of the National Executive team since 2007, when he returned to Melbourne after a 10-year stint as the AWU’s Organiser for Central Victoria. At the same time, he was appointed Lead Organiser for the Metropolitan area before becoming Lead Organiser for Growth in 2009.

His years in Central Victoria gave him experience across the range of industries and situations. He regards it as the best training ground he could have had.

He was born in Melbourne, into a family of strong Labor values and belief in the trade union movement. When he started work it was natural that he would become a union member, and that union was the AWU.

When he was 22 he was recruited to the AWU as part of the ACTU’s Organising Works program, and has been a union official ever since.

“I’ve learnt a lot over the years, and I’m still learning, but one thing I know for sure is that we can achieve more by working together than struggling alone,” he said. 



AWU Victorian Branch President

Jimmy Mastrandonakis is filling a casual vacancy for the position of President following the retirement of the incumbent Dick Gray in December 2012

He was born in Carlton (Victoria) just two years after his parents migrated from northern Greece. At the end of his schooling he became an aircraft mechanical structure apprentice and later studied part-time at RMIT towards aircraft engineering qualifications. 

He was 21, and working at Boeing when he was elected an AMWU Delegate; four years later he became Site Convenor looking after 500 members. It was a natural move for Jimmy, whose father worked on the wharves and had long been a union supporter.

In 1994 he joined the AMWU, followed by a stint at the ASU, before becoming an AWU Organiser in 1998. He was elected Vice President of the Victorian Branch in 2004.

His current role is as Lead Organiser in charge of metropolitan Melbourne with a team of five other Organisers.

 “I am deeply honoured to be a leader in an organisation that does so much for the welfare of workers and I hope I can continue to contribute to this union for many years to come,” he said.



AWU Victorian Branch Assistant Secretary

Liam O’Brien started with the AWU Victorian Branch in 2003 as a Growth organiser. He was in that role for four years before being appointed Lead Organiser. It was a role that gave him experience across the state and insight to the issues that concern members.

In 2009 he was elected Victorian Vice-President and in that same year became a National Organiser with responsibility for industries including aluminium, glass and construction. In that capacity he played a pivotal role in major campaigns including the fight to save Alcoa Point Henry after the company announced a review of that operation.

Since 2010 he has been an Alternate Director and member of AustralianSuper’s  Audit Compliance and Risk Management Committee, and in 2013 was elected as an AWU National Vice-President.

“I am excited about the future because I believe the AWU is uniquely placed to represent the interests of our members and the industries in which they work,” he said.



AWU Victorian Branch Vice President (full time)

Colin Heath


Branch Vice-President (honorary)

Percy Pillai

Shannon Threlfall-Clarke


Branch Organiser/Branch Executive Committee Member (full time)

Rita Nasr

Gavin Penn

Jeff Sharp

Patrick Wood

Ronnie Hayden


Branch Executive Committee Member (Honorary)

Joel Archer

Shane Burd

Peter King

Harry Lumanovski

Patricia Rothville

Paul Spear

Neill Tacey

Megan Andrews

Dave Bellaart

Vanessa Garbett


Branch Delegate to National Conference (Honorary)

Joel Archer

Tanya Harrington

Jim Ward

Andy Pearse

Peter King

Geoffrey Terrill


Branch Delegate to National Executive (honorary)


Jimmy Mastrandonakis

Gavin Penn