The Australian Services Union is a member-led, democratic union.

Everything we do as a union is overseen by our elected Branch Council of grassroots members.

Within Branch Council sits our committee of management, the Branch Executive.

The Secretary and Assistant Secretary are responsible for the day-to-day management of our union.


Abbie Spencer, Secretary

Abbie is the Secretary of the Australian Services Union SA & NT Branch. She is proud to lead a growing, strong and sustainable union.

Abbie is responsible for the daily operations of the union, and oversees the campaigns, organising, finance, governance, and member engagement areas of the union.

Abbie is a very experienced campaigner and grassroots organiser.

Before being elected as Assistant Secretary in 2013, Abbie worked as the Acting Chief of Staff and Adviser to the Minister for Communities, Disability, Housing, Youth and Social Inclusion; and Minister for Envroment, Water, Climate Change and Aboriginal Affairs.

Scott Cowen, Assistant Secretary

Scott was elected as the Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union in April 2018.

He has over a decade of experience working in the union movement, having worked as both an organiser and industrial officer.

Scott is responsible for the industrial coordination of the union, and regularly represents members in the SA Employment Tribunal, Fair Work Commission, and Human Rights Commission.

Scott is a committee of management member of the Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association of SA. He also represents the interest of ASU members working in Energy as a Board Director of the industry superannuation fund Electric Super. Scott volunteers his time with the Pinnacle Foundation, Rainbow Crows and plays tuba in the Salisbury City Band.

Kristen Gilbertson, President

Kristen has been the President of the Australian Services Union since 2013.

She is passionate about Local Government and has worked for the Alexandrina Council for over 15 years. Before moving to Goolwa Kristen worked for the Southern Mallee District Council.

Kristen has lived all her life in regional South Australia - on the Copper Coast, Southern Mallee and now on the Fleurieu Pennisula.

In 2012 Kristen was awarded ASU National Delegate of the Year. She is an experienced lobbyist, regularly flying around the country to represent ASU members at parliamentary hearings, forums and media events.

Robert Habel, Vice President Community Services

Robert is a passionate, long-term member of the Australian Services Union, first elected as Vice President in 2013.

Robert works for Uniting SA in community mental health services.

He has always taken an active role in union campaigns, including the ASU's historic Equal Pay case in 2012 where we won pay rises of between 23% - 45% for community services workers. Most recently helped to lead the ASU's successful Portable Long Service Leave campaign.

Robert is also an accomplished artist who regularly exhibits his paintings, drawing inspiration for his landscapes from sites all around the world.

Maggie L'Estrange, Vice President Local Government

Maggie is a Local Government legend and ASU stalwart.

She has been a member of the union for over 30 years and a Vice President for a decade. 

Maggie is currently transitioning into retirement, having worked at the City of Tea Tree Gully for nearly three decades. She is well known and respected in Adelaide's North-East for her work with the community. She has generously mentored other Local Government staff and union members during her time at the council.

Maggie played a key role in the ASU's campaign to block rate-capping in South Australia - a campaign that most thought was unwinnable. She has also campaigned nationally as part of the Stand up for Super campaign to improve Superannuation & retirement outcomes for women and low paid workers.

Paul Glatter, Vice President Energy

Paul (or Glats as most of us know him) works as a Senior Unit Controller at AGL's Torrens Island Power Station.

He was elected Vice President in 2023, having first stepped up as Workplace Rep in 2019.

Glats has been a leading voice in the campaign calling for a national body to coordinate support for workers & communities transitioning to a net-zero economy. In 2023 Glats travelled to Canberra to lobby Ministers & MPs alongside other Energy workers. Following this advocacy, the federal government established the Net Zero Authority - bringing together government, industry and unions to help create well paid, secure jobs and provide workers with training for new industries. 

Glats continues to work tirelessly to ensure all workers at Torrens Island Power Station have the appropriate support in the lead up to its closure in 2026. 

Khatija Thomas, Vice President Women

Khatija is a proud Kokatha woman. She is an activist and lawyer, who uses the law to create social change. 

Khatija is a long-term ASU member and was elected Vice President in 2023.

She has worked as a Solicitor in community legal centres - including Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement & the Women's Legal Service - providing legal representation and advocacy for women, Aboriginal people and native title groups.

In 2011 Khatija was appointed as South Australia’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement - the youngest ever Commissioner in our State's history. As Commissioner she worked to improve connections between Aboriginal & non-Aboriginal people and advocated for Aboriginal communities. In 2023 Khatija established Kuddiya, a company that provides Aboriginal cultural training, education, engagement and brokerage.

ASU workplace leaders. 

Workplace representatives and committee members are ASU members, like you, who are leaders in their workplaces and our union. Read more.

Being part of the union has opened doors for me, and now I'm an recognised as a national leader in my industry.
ASU member in Airlines

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