Matthew Gardiner

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Matthew John Gardiner (born 16 May 1971) is an Australian former trade unionist. He was the Secretary of the Northern Territory Branch of United Voice and was also President of the Northern Territory Branch of the Australian Labor Party. In 2015 he went to Syria to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He was detained upon his return to Australia but released without charge.

Career[edit]

Gardiner served in the Australian Army for around a decade and was deployed to Somalia in 1993[1] as a combat engineer.[2]

In United Voice he oversaw the growth of the branch to become the largest union in the Northern Territory. The union in the Northern Territory represents workers with occupations in many varied industries in the Northern Territory including miners, firefighters, prison officers,[3] childcare workers, healthcare workers, cleaners, security guards and workers at Indigenous organisations. The union grew between 5-10% per annum under his term of office and he had been re-elected unopposed to continue his tenure till 2018. He served until January 2015.[4]

Gardiner was President of the NT Branch of the Australian Labor Party. In 2007 he stood for pre-selection for the Federal seat of Solomon only to narrowly lose to Damian Hale, who won the seat in the 2007 election.[5] He was the second endorsed ALP candidate for the senate in the 2010 Federal election, although he didn't win a seat.[6]

Gardiner had been a vocal advocate for Territory issues included the proposed nuclear waste dump,[7] Indigenous jobs,[8] the NT Intervention and remote health.[9] He was a member of the Council of Charles Darwin University from June 2009 to April 2015.[10] He was Branch Secretary of the Northern Territory Branch of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union from 2007.[11] He was also selected as one of the entrants to the Who's Who in Australia 2010 edition.

In November 2013, he was linked to a plan by the Northern Territory Labor Government and Unions NT to take a lease on the Stella Maris property at Darwin's Waterfront for ten years for no rent.[12] A Parliamentary Inquiry was established on 5 December 2013 into the deal.[13] After his appearance it was found there was no case to answer.[14]

Fighting in Syria[edit]

In January 2015, it was reported that Gardiner had traveled to Syria to fight against Islamic State[15] with Kurdish forces of People's Protection Units.[16] He resigned from his role as secretary of United Voice.[17] He was stood down as the head of the Labor Party's NT branch and his membership was suspended.[18]

On 5 April 2015 Gardiner returned to Darwin, and was detained and questioned by the Australian Federal Police.[1] He was released without charge.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bagshaw, Eryk (6 April 2015). "Former Labor party president Matthew Gardiner arrested at Darwin airport". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Robertson, Joshua (5 April 2015). "Former Labor official suspected of fighting against Isis released without charge". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Masters, Emma (11 August 2009). "Future uncertain for Darwin's $300m jail". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Dunlop, Craig; Poulsen, Jill (9 September 2015). "Erina Early replaces Matthew Gardiner as United Voice NT branch secretary". NT News. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Bowe, William Seat du jour: Solomon 28 August 2007 Crikey Retrieved 8 April 2015
  6. ^ "Senate - Northern Territory". ABC Elections. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Unions demand repeal of nuclear dump laws 10 June 2009 ABC News Retrieved 8 April 2015
  8. ^ "Push for award to cover Indigenous firms". ABC News. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Clinical approach could woo back Indigenous medical workers 26 May 2008 ABC News Retrieved 8 April 2015
  10. ^ "Annual Report 2014 Financial Statements" (PDF). Charles Darwin University. Charles Darwin University. p. 2. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Gardiner, Matthew. "WITNESS STATEMENT OF MATTHEW GARDINER" (PDF). Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Smee, Ben (13 November 2013). "A nice little earner". NT News. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  13. ^ Smee, Ben (6 December 2013). "Chief Minister establishes formal inquiry into Stella Maris". NT News. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  14. ^ http://www.stellamarisinquiry.nt.gov.au/documents/inquiry-into-stella-maris-report.pdf
  15. ^ Mitchell, Georgina Senior Labor figure Matthew Gardiner leaves Australia to fight against Islamic State 25 January 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Retrieved 8 April 2015
  16. ^ Matthew Gardiner: How Kurds recruit, why they want the Australian and what his legal position is 28 January 2015 ABC News Retrieved 8 April 2015
  17. ^ Schubert, Steven (25 January 2015). "United Voice NT secretary Matthew Gardiner resigns amid Australian Federal Police investigation". ABC News. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  18. ^ Everingham, Sara (26 January 2016). "NT Labor president Matthew Gardiner stood down for joining fight against IS". AM. ABC News. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  19. ^ Robertson, Joshua Former Labor official suspected of fighting against Isis released without charge Guardian Australia 5 April 2015 Former Labor official suspected of fighting against Isis released without charge Retrieved 8 April 2015

External links[edit]