Bernie started working in the retail industry as a 15 year old where he joined his union and became active as a workplace delegate. He has remained continuously active in his union ever since and is the current Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) State Secretary.
Bernie joined the ALP three years after starting work in the retail industry. He has been a member, secretary and chair of ALP policy committees including the Legal Affairs, Social Justice and Industrial Relations Committees. He is also a member of the Agenda Committee.