Dani Barley wearing a purple dress, with blue and green hair, standing in front of a colourfully spraypainted wall.

Dani Barley, President

Dani brings well over 20 years of movement experience in Australia and North America to her role as RAFFWU President. Invigorated by participating in the year-long RAFFWU campaign at Apple, she aims to bring the ability to wage that same fight to some of Australia’s lowest-paid workers.

Born and raised in the company town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, they saw firsthand the difference having a union in your workplace made to the wages and conditions of her unionised parents versus other family members working at the non-unionised Reese’s plant just down the road.

Dani has a lived experience of physical disability and mental health challenges and is passionate about making the workplace (and the world) more accessible to everyone, regardless of any impairments they have. She is passionate about making sure RAFFWU remains a grassroots union and encourages members to get in touch with any issues or ideas they may have. Email Dani: president@raffwu.org.au

Rose Gosper, Vice President

Rose has worked in retail for over 15 years. She has worked for both small and large retailers, including roles at various print shops, Franklins Supermarket, and currently retail tile sales. Rose holds a Bachelor of Visual Communications.

Rose believes that the immense collective power of the retail and fast food workforce has long gone underutilized, allowing the erosion of workers rights. She is proud to be a part of a grassroots union that is uniting this workforce to fight back for the dignity and pay that they deserve. Email Rose: rgosper@raffwu.org.au

Josh Cullinan outside, smiling, wearing a green polo shirt.

Josh Cullinan, Secretary

Josh brings over 20 years’ experience representing workers in diverse industries – from major production, to higher education, to retail and fast food. Josh also worked at Woolworths for three years and across a range of service stations.

A successful campaigner, Josh’s campaign for casual workers won the ACTU Best Workplace Campaign Award in 2013. Josh has led advocacy which has returned millions of dollars in wages to workers and stopped union busting in its tracks. In 2015, Josh raised the red flag over the Coles agreement and his work was instrumental in exposing the massive theft of penalty rates across the retail and fast food sectors. Now he leads the fight for members of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union. Email Josh: secretary@raffwu.org.au

James Searle, Treasurer

James has ten years’ experience working in the Retail and Fast Food industry, including at Pizza Hut, Coles and Woolworths. Like so many others, James has experienced the impact of stolen penalty rates.

As a student activist, James led successful campaigns to restore funding to student union representation and welfare services – and to return important facilities and amenities lost as a result of voluntary student unionism. In 2012, James fought for and won fair treatment and pay for casual workers and in 2015 James successfully fought to prevent the privatisation of a campus co-operative. Email James: treasurer@raffwu.org.au

James Searle

Carolina Cooksey, Committee Member

Carolina has worked in the retail and fast food industry for over five years and is currently a union delegate at Better Read Than Dead. She was active in the landmark Better Read Than Dead campaign which secured the best retail agreement in Australia through direct action. Carolina has witnessed the collective power of workers firsthand and is passionate about encouraging younger workers like herself to participate in grassroots organising.

A close up of Nelio Da Silva against a light background, wearing a union Superstrike t-shirt.

Nelio Da Silva, Committee Member

Nelio has been actively organising his workplace for six years and is a RAFFWU Delegate. Like many people new to retail, he first joined the SDA before realising the error of his ways and switched to the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, the real union that fights for its members. Since then he has helped organise many health and safety campaigns in the workplace, including obtaining two electric pallet jacks and angled convex mirrors for seeing around corners, and most importantly assisting young women in the workplace take direct action to get rid of a sexual harasser.

Liska Fell, Committee Member

Liska has worked at Apple for two years. As a delegate at Apple Charlestown she helped promote RAFFWU’s campaign for a better enterprise agreement with better pay and conditions for workers. She holds a Bachelor of Languages (Honours) in Chinese Translation. Liska has been inspired by the ability of union action to create historic change both in her workplace and others and believes that union membership is the key to ensuring workers are afforded their rights and to improving conditions for everyone.

A close-up of Liska wearing glasses, a black top and with black scrunchies in her hair.

Max Fox, Committee Member

Max has worked in retail for the past five years. His strong belief in unions was inspired by an incident of wage theft, which was an unfortunate reminder that workers need the power of a union to support them when things go wrong and to fight for workplace rights. He has been heavily involved with unions ever since, including as a RAFFWU delegate and as Vice-President of the QUT Student Guild, the union for Queensland University of Technology students with more than 50,000 members. Max recently graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry).

Rhiannon Howard, Committee Member

In Rhiannon’s six years in retail, she has worked as a sales assistant in the United States and Australia. Rhiannon’s involvement with RAFFWU began in 2021 when she and her fellow workers at Dangerfield engaged in a successful campaign demanding security and up-to-date safety protocols. Rhiannon is currently a union delegate at the Dangerfield Flinders Street store.

Rhiannon believes in the collective power that retail and fast-food workers hold together. Rhiannon is interested in helping younger and minority workers understand their power and rights in order to build safer and fairer workplaces. Rhiannon holds a Bachelor of Media and Communication (Cinema) and will soon undertake a Juris Doctor.

A close-up of Rhiannon Howard against a light backdrop, wearing a black top and with contrasting black and light hair.

Loukas Kakogiannis, Committee Member

Loukas worked at Woolworths from 2011 to 2019. In 2018 he became the RAFFWU delegate for Woolworths Moorabbin where he led a safety campaign calling upon Woolworths to put the safety of staff before profits. In 2018 Loukas applied for a backdated termination of the 2012 Woolworths SDA Enterprise Agreement which targeted over a $1 billion in wages stripped under old rotten agreements. That case was undermined when SDA and Woolworths cut a new deal. Loukas believes in RAFFWU to take on the big retailers through worker-led, militant trade unionism.

Mon Mulveney, Committee Member

Mon has been a retail worker for eight years, with experience working as a casual, assistant store manager and storemanager for companies such as MYER, Pandora and Dangerfield. They have a BA of Performance from the University of Wollongong.

Over the last year, Mon has been instrumental in unionising the Dangerfield and Princess Highway (DF/PH) workforce in Melbourne. Alongside RAFFWU and DF/PH members they’re campaigning for an Enterprise Agreement that will be seeking industry-leading workplace conditions. This work resulted in Mon being elected to the RAFFWU committee, and joining RAFFWU as an organiser. They would like to see a shift where business owners begin to minimise personal profits and focus more on the support of their workforce, with particular focus on liveable wages and safe work spaces and practices.

Mon standing against a brick background, wearing a v-necked vest, glasses and cap.
Timothy against a light background, wearing glasses and a black cloth cap.

Tim Soewardjo-Powell, Committee Member

Tim has been a retail worker for 11 years, all of them at Coles. He joined RAFFWU in 2018 after learning about the SDA’s rotten deals with major employers. Tim believes that collective militant action is the only way to guarantee a better deal for all.

Outside of the workplace, Tim has engaged in climate activism, student activism, electoral campaigns, and volunteered for UnionsACT. He is committed to building a more inclusive union movement to build a better world.

Penny Vickers, Committee Member

Penny has been employed as a night filler at Coles for 11 years. Before that, she worked as a legal secretary and paralegal for over ten years.  She is passionate about workplace rights and living standards for workers.

Penny is a RAFFWU delegate, part of RAFFWU’s Enterprise Bargaining Team at Coles and has been involved in RAFFWU’s Women’s Caucus. As one of RAFFWU’s #Superstrike members, she sees industrial action as a powerful method to achieve improved conditions in our current cost-of-living crisis.

Penny standing outside against a backdrop of greenery, wearing a white top and short jacket, with dark navy pants.