Meet Your Team
The AWP is an all inclusive and cohesive political party. If you are interested in joining the team and represent your community at a higher level then please contact us here.
National Secretary & Registered Officer
Mark Ptolemy lives in the Blue Mountains, N.S.W. with his wife May and their three children, Madeleine, Josephine and Robert.
Mark is a life-long Trade Union member. For 15 years Mark was a Union Official.
Prior to this Mark had a long career in the Disability sector as advocating for people with intellectual disability. In 2016 Mark returned to working in the disability sector.
In his local community Mark is active as chairman of a not-for-profit organisation which provides meals for the less fortunate on Christmas Day.
Politically, Mark was active in the Australian Labor Party for many years. He held numerous Branch positions as well as a number of campaign posts. He was also a member of the NSW ALP Administrative Committee. In 2004, Mark was a Federal candidate for the Labor Party. Mark was also active with the Australian Republican Movement during the 1999 Referendum, coordinating the Yes campaign in the Blue Mountains, Macarthur and Hawkesbury districts.
Disaffected by Labor’s weakness on many issues relating to human right and workers’ rights and disillusioned by the abandonment of their traditional values, Mark resigned from the ALP in 2015.
In 2016 Mark became a co-founder of the Australian Workers Party.
“My belief in the democratic process was restored when we started the AWP. To be among people who share my values of social justice, workers’ right and ethics in politics has shown me there is another pathway to improve the lot of working people and their families”.
Assistant National Secretary,
Gayle Whatley was born and educated in Tasmania. She became a secretary after leaving school. Following this, she expanded her main hobby and worked as a wedding photographer. An opportunity to work for Repco in the machine shop saw Gayle making Ford and Holden components on a lathe for many years, which she loved. Gayle then worked in the Restaurant and Convention industry for 20 years.
Now retired, Gayle have lived on Flinders Island the past wonderful 28 years. Gayle is divorced and with two grown up children, one Granddaughter and a 2 year old Great Granddaughter.
"My family had always voted ALP, today they are ashamed with the right-wing direction the ALP has taken.
"The AWP has given me the opportunity to work with genuine people who care about their fellow Australians. That is why I joined the fight with AWP!"
Northern NSW Organiser
Originally apprenticed as an Instrument and Tool maker by the UK Admiralty David Renn emigrated to Australia in 1980. First working for Australian Paper Manufacturers at Botany Bay, he subsequently joined Wang Computer as a Field Technician repairing computers and the associated electro-mechanical peripherals. As conditions for the working Australian have deteriorated, David has taken whatever work has been available, at present that is in the Aged Care sector.
Having experienced a time in Australia when it was reasonably easy to find well paying work and expect a decent standard of living, David have seen this unrelentingly eroded mainly by the monetarist Liberal policies that place money above humanity, caring and altruism but also the swing to neo-liberal policies by the ALP.
“Things have to change! It is time for a new attitude within politics and for me part of this is membership of the AWP where we place people and equality, first!”
National Vice President
Peter Bell lives near Ballarat in Victoria with Stephanie, his partner of 30 years. They have four grown children and 9 grandchildren.
Peter had been a Labor supporter since he registered to vote and where available has been an active union member.
He started working for the Post Master Generals department (PMG) in 1966, firstly as a technician in training until be resigned nearly 20 years later.
He then went into private industry where he worked as the Quality Manager until he was retrenched.
In 1999, after several different jobs he joined the Country Fire Authority, as a brigade administration officer. He was then appointed as an Instructor. He retired in 2012.
He has been a member of his local fire brigade for over 20 years and is still an active member.
Peter joined AWP in 2015 after watching the ALP change into a party that supported the conservatives rather than a true opposition.
“AWP shares my beliefs of a fair go for all, where Australia supports its own people and industries ahead of profit for multinationals that use people, destroy the environment and then just walk away when they’re finished”.
Stephanie Bell emigrated from Germany with her parents as a small child in 1960.
She has lived in Victoria all her life and has been living near Ballarat with her husband Peter for almost thirty years.
Stephanie has two children of her own and she also helped raise her husband's son, who lived with her from a very young age.
Stephanie and her husband have 9 grandchildren together! She started her working life in the field of Electronic drafting and she has worked in a number of different jobs including student housing and aged care.
Since 1995, Stephanie's main interest has been painting and of course, now Australian Politics is taking up a big part of her life.
"I have joined The Fight to try and secure a better future for myself and my grandchildren".
Gareth Leckie was born in Sale Victoria & lives in Melton Victoria with his wife and three beautiful children.
After completing VCE he studied for his certificate 3 in hospitality while working at a local motel/restaurant for 2 years.
He moved to Brisbane and completed his carpentry
apprenticeship and also studied to become a personal trainer.
Finding it hard to choose between the two, he decided to work in both jobs for 5 years.
At the end of 2014 he moved back to Victoria and got into
commercial construction where he worked casually for a labour hire company and is an active member of his union, the CFMMEU.
Since transitioning into commercial construction he has
completed his Health Safety Rep course and has learned a lot about our rights at work.
After moving back to Victoria he took an interest in politics and found the AWP shared his beliefs for a fairer Australia for all Australian workers, so he joined. He believes with hard work and determination we can turn the tides and create that Australia.
He would like to see more full time jobs created and less casual/contract work, as he believes that casual/contract work is one of the main reasons we as workers have lost a lot of bargaining power.