LATEST NEWS

6th May 2022

Statement from Despi O'Connor

To the People of Flinders,

I’m still standing. My campaign for the seat of Flinders continues.

Since the issue of my eligibility was raised we have sought legal advice from barristers, lawyers, and constitutional experts from across the country. There is nothing to categorically say that I am ineligible to run for election or sit for parliament. I have tendered my resignation as a public school teacher.

I decided to run for this election because I believe that everyday people should be represented by everyday people. Community members, like teachers, nurses, health workers and emergency service workers, should not face unnecessary hurdles to represent their community. These are the exact people that we need to represent our electorate.

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4th May 2022

Statement from Despi O'Connor

To the People of Flinders,
In the past 24 hours, I’ve been made aware of Section 44(vi) of the Australian Constitution. This provision states that “any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown … shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the House of Representatives” and the High Court case Sykes v Cleary in 1992.

In practical terms, this means that because I am technically employed in the Victorian public school system, I am considered to be “profiting from the Crown” and could be ineligible to be chosen or sit as a federal Parliamentarian.

Let me be clear: I have been on leave without pay for more than 18 months. I have not been “making a profit” from the Commonwealth. I am employed by the Victorian Department of Education, a State body. Interestingly this does not prohibit me from running for any other level of government.

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19th January 2022

Withdrawal of Claire Boardman as the endorsed candidate for the Voices of Mornington Peninsula

I have heard today that Claire Boardman, the Voices of Mornington Peninsula Candidate, has decided not to contest the Federal Election. I respect her decision and her commitment to our state’s health services in this time of extraordinary crisis.

I am deeply inspired by the women in leadership roles throughout the public and private sectors. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my sincere gratitude to the thousands of healthcare workers, predominantly women, who continue to show up to keep the community safe during the pandemic.

I extend my sincere thanks to all essential service and frontline workers at this time. 

Despi O’Connor

Independent Candidate for Flinders

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