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CUPE municipal workers from across Canada met in Toronto on February 16 - 18 to discuss how best to deliver quality public services to Canada’s communities and build powerful community coalitions to support this goal.

Renowned Australian activist and author Amanda Tattersall delivered a keynote address to delegates to help CUPE members learn more about the secret to building strong effective coalitions. Tattersall spoke about her experience building coalitions in an era in which new strategies are needed to ensure we build the strong, healthy communities we want. 

Tattersall is the director of the Sydney Alliance and author of Power in Coalition. Her book Power in Coalition features a case study of the Ontario Health Coalition as well as coalitions for public education in Sydney and living wages in Chicago.

As director of the Sydney Alliance, Tattersall has helped build a successful coalition of community groups, unions and religious organizations working toward a fair, just and sustainable city. Tattersall has been both a union and community organizer. She was President of the National Union of Students, co-founded Labor for Refugees and GetUp.org.au, and has been an officer of Unions NSW. She has written extensively on coalitions around the world.

Here are some excerpts from Tattersall’s speech.