Vale Deb Pearson

Posted on February 11, 2020

It is with great sadness that I inform you that our colleague, comrade and friend Deb Pearson passed away on the weekend. Deb was the Lead Organiser of the Together North Team and the Cairns Organiser for Together. Deb has been a union official for nearly two decades with the QPSU, TWU and Together.


Before working at the QPSU as an organiser Deb worked as a Police Comms Room operator where she was the delegate, having moved to the QPS after completing military service in the Navy.

Deb was a giant in our Together family.

As the QPSU delegate in the Cairns Communications Room in the Queensland Police Service Deb led the only strike in this area to date – and this was the first place to take strike action in the 2002 Core EB Campaign. Leading from the North was always Deb's way. She walked her talk, and she went from being a delegate to being an organiser with the QPSU Campaign Team in Brisbane, making the transition from straight talking workplace leader in the QPS to the same thing – but in the union office.

Deb moved to Brisbane to work for her union, building power and delivering her classic no-nonsense and clear advice to workers and employers. Her heart was always in the North though, and she moved back there for a  job with the TWU for a while, but luckily, thanks to some lobbying from our Kevin O'Sullivan and Sandy Donald, Deb came to her "home" union which is where she would finish her career, all too soon. Deb's organising changed wages policy more than once – with the famous Cairns lobbying providing the pressure to see the Bligh government change their mind in 2008. Deb always worked on making Cairns the beating heart of Together campaigns and she loved her Cairns QCU.

When there were rallies in Cairns – Deb was there, purple to the front.

Deb was fierce in defence of members and always kind. She was direct in her approach and this delivered results for members every day.

Deb is personally responsible for hundreds of permanent jobs, for people feeling safer at work and for people coming home from work safe.

I know that Deb was incredibly well respected and loved by delegates, members and comrades across the movement.

It is a terrible shock to lose Deb like this. We mourn her passing and we celebrate her incredible legacy of your strength and purpose in Far North Queensland.

Please take care, and if you need support please let someone know.  We will all be here for you. If you need industrial advice or support please contact Kate – or call our office on 1800 177 244.

1800 177 244