Roz Norman: a model trade unionist

20 May 1951 — 29 November 2013

Roz Norman, a pillar of the NSWNMA’s Tamworth Branch, was a committed nurse and an exemplary trade unionist dedicated to promoting nursing and midwifery at every level.

NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes said Roz was “much treasured at the Association”.

“Roz was an important part of our lives, as she was within the nursing and midwifery professions especially in Tamworth and across New England.

“Roz was a woman we had the highest regard for. She always understood her responsibilities as an NSWNMA councillor to the organisation’s proper governance, and to its goal of improving the working and community life of its members and the hospital, community health and aged care services its members provide to the community.

“As a councillor Roz was all you could hope for – loyal but frank and honest; always prepared to face the media, she took on her whole role representing the whole of the membership not just her branch, her specialty, her sector or qualification group.

“Yet, in her separate role on the Enrolled Nurse Professional Association she was a strong advocate for enrolled nurses. She was granted life membership of ENPA in September.

“We will remember Roz as an inspirational unionist and activist.”

Even though she worked in an acute hospital, Roz was a key advocate and tireless worker for those in aged care nursing.

She was instrumental in getting aged care on the agenda – not just in Tamworth and New South Wales – but nationally through her connections with aged care nurses in her local area and through the mutual respect between Roz and the then local federal MP, Tony Windsor.

Roz was a selfless contributor to her local community. She was a community representative on the Department of Housing committee, a Justice of the Peace, an executive member of the P & C and Mother’s clubs, and on the North West Life Education Committee.

Roz was a member of the Lioness club, holding various positions, including district chairperson and past president. She was awarded the district Governor’s star award and the Lions Neil Williams award for her service to the club.

Roz Norman, an enrolled nurse, joined the NSW Nurses’ Association, as it was then, and its Tamworth Hospital branch, on 2 May 1986.

Eight years after Roz joined the union, in 1994, she became a Tamworth Base branch delegate to annual conference, serving for 19 years until 2013.

She served as the vice-president of the branch in 1996 and then again from 2000 until 2005. She was assistant secretary in 2006 and served in the secretary’s role from 2007 until 2013.

In 2001, Roz was elected to the Association’s council – its governing body and committee of management – and served on the council until she passed away. In 2004, and again from 2008 until 2011, she also served on the Council’s executive.

Roz is survived by her husband Garry, daughters Rebecca Wiley and Melissa Nicholson, son-in-law John Nicholson and treasured grandchildren Emily, Chloe, Shannon and Josie.

The NSWNMA will establish a Roz Norman activist scholarship to provide an active member with an educational opportunity to expand their skills as a local leader within the Association.

Tributes to Roz

“The thing that struck me about Roz was not just her natural organising ability but her tenacity in everything she took on.” — Judith Kiejda Assistant Secretary of NSWNMA

“I remember Roz best for her genuineness. She was a true leader. Roz always had other people’s interests at heart and dedicated her life to enabling others to achieve their goals. Like a ‘wise old owl’ at the Council table, Roz always stood in the shoes of others to give us a perspective we might have otherwise missed. I will miss Roz terribly going into the future, but I really appreciate the 11 years I got to work with Roz on Council. It was such a privilege to have had that time together.” — Coral Levett, President, NSWNMA

“She always had such good sensible advice and was happy to give it regardless of how trivial the issues may seem. She had a quiet, unending inspiration, often setting me back on the right track.” — Sue White, Guardian, NSWNMA

“I feel richer as a nurse and unionist to have known and worked with Roz.” – Kerry Rodgers, Executive Council, NSWNMA

“I’m sure Roz will be greatly missed by all for her tireless work on behalf of nursing in New South Wales and beyond.” — Susan Pearce, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NSW Health

Tributes to Roz in full.