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Whistleblowers, Health, and Fine Art!

As February draws to a close, here's an abridged version of some happenings over the last couple of weeks. 
First up, in Parliament last week I spoke to a variety of issues. Here’s some of them


Health Care

Australia’s universal health care system - which includes Medicare, our hospitals, and the PBS - is one of our greatest assets. I spoke in the Federation Chamber about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the importance of ensuring affordable and accessible medicines. I described how local constituents had contacted me about the difficulties they’ve faced in obtaining medications and I emphasised that Australia needs a national strategy to ensure reliable supply of medicines: we need a review of our sovereign manufacturing capacity. You can see my speech here. 



“All it needs for evil to flourish is for people of good will to do nothing” [(Usually attributed to Edmund Burke. But it seems now that it may not be the case. In any event, the sentiment holds true).]  As the recent case involving the drawn out and damaging prosecution of Bernard Collaery showed, our whistleblower laws are simply not working. In 2019 the Federal Court pronounced them “technical, obtuse and intractable.” The Australian Human Rights Commission recently reported that whistleblowers in this country feel unsupported, their concerns are not properly addressed, and they experience reprisals because they brought forward their concerns. In light of these issues, I spoke in Parliament about the importance of the Public Interest Disclosure Amendment (Review) Bill, its limitations, and its role in supporting the work of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. My speech can be viewed here.



I was a panellist, along with the Honourable Anthony Whealy KC and Kieran Pender, at the Australia Insititute’s Climate Integrity Summit. We discussed climate integrity as a function of democratic integrity; you can see coverage of the summit here. Other matters still pending in the House include the Safeguard Mechanism (Crediting) Amendment Bill… watch this space. 


Indigenous Affairs and the Voice to Parliament

I attended a moving breakfast in the Mural Hall for the 15th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generation. It was a reminder of the importance of the apology, and a call to all of us to support and enshrine a Voice to Parliament; something that was reiterated later in the week when I attended a meeting of the Referendum Working Group.


Fun Stuff!

One of the delights of my new workplace is seeing the incredible artwork on display throughout Parliament House. Magnificent paintings by the likes of Arthur Boyd, Ben Quilty and Ghostpatrol adorn the halls, and there is a stunning array of sculptures at every turn. Last week it was my pleasure to select some art works for my office! All Members and Senators are given the opportunity to choose and display some art in their offices, and I am looking forward to seeing my chosen works on display when I return for the next sitting week. (Spoiler alert: Melbourne ceramicist Fiona Hiscock may feature!)

In keeping with the art theme, I was privileged to attend an early morning showing of Cressida Campbell’s extraordinary exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Cressida is an incredibly talented artist whose work honours the beauty of contemporary Australian life. This striking and carefully curated exhibition is really something to see.  


Out and about this week in Kooyong (and surrounds)

It's been wonderful to spend time in and around the electorate over the last week or so and here are just some of the highlights of where I've been and what I've done:

  • Meeting at Moondani Toombadool Centre at Swinburne University to discuss the importance of a YES! vote in the upcoming referendum
  • Attending Public hearings at Cabrini Hospital (in my capacity as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Health Aged Care and Sport).
  • Meeting with parents and team members at the Learning for Life Autism Centre in Kew  who provide a range of support and services to enable children with autism to access the best educational start possible.
  • Presenting the grade six cohort with leadership badges atHartwell Primary School
  • Attending a Citizenship Ceremony at the Whitehorse City Council

Learning for Life Autism Centre in Kew

Politics in the Pub, Nevermind Bar

Presenting an Australian Export Award
at Rubicon Water

Louis Irvine & Behyad Jafari,

Melbourne Climate Futures 

Hartwell Primary School

Meeting Lighter Footprints 

I look forward to seeing many of you at the events below next week. Stay cool this weekend.


What's on with Mon

  • Tuesday February 28th 6:30-8pm: Kooyong’s Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia Forum, Camberwell Bowls Club. Register here to attend.
  • Thursday March 2nd 6:30pm:  Voice to Parliament Information Night. I’ll be hosting an information night on the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum at the Hawthorn Arts Centre alongside author and advocate Thomas Mayo and Marcus Stewart, Co-Chair of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria. Together, we’ll delve into what the Voice would look like, what it would mean for Indigenous representation, and answer the most commonly asked questions from Kooyong 

    Sunday March 5th Glenferrie Festival 11am - 5pm
  • Friday March 24th 6:30 - 8pm: Electric Vehicle Forum (Malvern Town Hall) in partnership with Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah (Member for Higgins) register here.
  • Saturday April 1st Relay for Life - Register here to join Team Mon

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