Steele-John’s good lead­er­ship praised

Southern Telegraph - - NEWS -

Greens Se­na­tor for WA Jor­don Steele-John has been recog­nised for his con­tri­bu­tion to Aus­tralian Fed­eral pol­i­tics be­ing named the McKin­non Emerg­ing Po­lit­i­cal Leader of the Year.

The 24-year-old from Bal­divis has had a roller­coaster 18 months since re­plac­ing Scott Lud­lam in the se­nate fol­low­ing the dual cit­i­zen­ship af­fair, and re­ceived the award for the politi­cian with less than five years in of­fice for his out­stand­ing lead­er­ship on dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cacy.

The McKin­non Prize in Po­lit­i­cal Lead­er­ship was started in 2017 to help recog­nise, re­ward and in­spire vi­sion­ary, col­lab­o­ra­tive, coura­geous and im­pact­ful po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in Aus­tralia by cel­e­brat­ing ex­am­ples of great po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship and to fos­ter a higher stan­dard of po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship.

The award is sup­ported and de­liv­ered through a col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship be­tween the Su­san McKin­non Foun­da­tion, a phil­an­thropic or­gan­i­sa­tion set up by Mel­bourne busi­ness­man Grant Rule and his wife So­phie Oh in 2015, and the Mel­bourne School of Gov­ern­ment.

The se­lec­tion panel for the award in­cludes for­mer prime min­is­ters Ju­lia Gil­lard and John Howard as well as dis­tin­guished busi­ness, po­lit­i­cal, ed­u­ca­tion and sport­ing lead­ers.

Mr Steele-John said he was thrilled to re­ceive the recog­ni­tion.

“It is time to ac­knowl­edge that our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is made up largely of peo­ple whose lives and ex­pe­ri­ences look noth­ing like those of the com­mu­nity they are sup­posed to serve,” he said.

“I ac­cept this award not as a Se­na­tor but as a proud dis­abled man and youth rights ac­tivist who now has the hon­our of bring­ing the voices and de­mands of our move­ment to the heart of the Aus­tralian democ­racy.

“To tackle the very real chal­lenges of our time — from cli­mate change to eco­nomic in­equal­ity to po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion — di­ver­sity and equal­ity must be at the heart of our pol­i­tics.”

He cited for­mer Greens leader in the WA State Par­lia­ment Giz Wat­son and fel­low WA Greens Se­na­tor Rachel Siew­ert as po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who’ve in­spired him but in per­sonal terms said the leader who in­spired him most is his mother, Tracey.

Mr Steele-John pushed for a royal com­mis­sion into vi­o­lence, abuse, ne­glect and ex­ploita­tion of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and was last week suc­cess­ful in his ef­forts, with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment al­lo­cat­ing more than half a bil­lion dol­lars in fund­ing — the most a royal com­mis­sion has re­ceived.

Mr Steele-John said it had taken al­most five years for ma­jor par­ties to agree to a com­mis­sion, and said he doubted it would have hap­pened with­out a dis­abled per­son in the Par­lia­ment.

“Shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ences and sto­ries of dis­abled peo­ple is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal, and is the only way we will achieve jus­tice,” he said.

To give feed­back on the terms of ref­er­ence for the royal com­mis­sion, go to dss.gov.au/dis­abil­i­ty­roy­al­com­mis­sion.

Greens Se­na­tor for WA Jor­don Steele-John.

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