Time Teddy Sheean's valour was recognised with Victoria Cross - Speech, House of Representatives


‘What more can you ask of a man or a boy than to give his life for his country and to save his mates.’

These are the words of Garth Sheean, the nephew of Ordinary Seaman Edward 'Teddy' Sheean.

This is Teddy Sheean's story—a story of bravery, of sacrifice and of underacknowledged valour.

Almost 80 years ago, at just 17 years of age, Teddy Sheean followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Royal Australian Navy. It was there he met his mate, Able Seaman Jack Bird. The now 96-year-old Jack says Teddy Sheean 'could fight like a thrashing machine'.

It was both combat and comradery that he'd be remembered for.

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Free trade is under fire - Speech, House of Representatives


Free trade is under fire. We've seen a massive increase in the number of protectionist measures around the world and significant pressure being placed on the global trading system. It's critical to realise the value that openness has played in building the modern Australian economy.

Australia's trade barriers were brought down largely by successive Labor governments: the 25 per cent tariff cut by Gough Whitlam in 1973, and the significant tariff cuts in 1988 and 1991 by the Hawke government. The process of trade liberalisation delivered significant competitiveness into the Australian economy and ensured that we created many more jobs. It improved the living standards for many Australian households.

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HomeBuilder worsens inequality - Speech, House of Representatives


From the party that brought us knighthoods, robodebt and the right to bigotry, we shouldn't expect much. But, even by their standards, HomeBuilder is a home blunder.

It's a policy that worsens inequality and does nothing for growth. With six months to start, that narrows eligibility down to one group of people: those who were going to build anyway.

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Community spirit amid coronavirus outbreak - Speech, House of Representatives


Wendy Saclier remembers meeting Mike, the man she would go on to marry, more than 50 years ago at a Tanzanian Independence Day function.

She was a speech therapist, and he was an archivist—a passion that continued right through his life. Mike Saclier worked, successively, at the Tasmanian state archives and headed up the Butlin archive on business and labour at the Australian National University for many decades. He was somebody who was serious about history, serious about labour history and serious about civil war history. He was a loving father to Rod and Ele, and to Leigh Hubbard, his adopted son, who re-entered his life some 15 years ago. When Leigh Hubbard came back into his father's life, he said that he wished he had re-engaged with his father sooner. He was fascinated by the fact that they both shared a passion for labour history and for the civil war, and it made him think about the role that genetics plays in one's life. As Leigh Hubbard told me:

'What Mike didn't know about civil war battles, generals and politics wasn't worth knowing.'

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Australian charities facing perfect storm - Speech, House of Representatives


I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) charities are the most trusted sector in Australian public life; and

(b) the Government's failure to act on fundraising reform is costing Australian charities over $1 million every month;

(2) acknowledges that:

(a) Australia's current framework of fundraising regulation creates unnecessary problems for charities and organisations who rely on donations from Australian supporters;

(b) current fundraising laws no longer meet the objectives that guided the decision to regulate donations;

(c) current fundraising compliance regimes do not allow charities to cultivate donor activity and make optimal use of the resources donors provide;

(d) meeting the requirements of Australia's seven different fundraising regimes is causing needless productivity loss for thousands of Australian charities and not-for-profits;

(e) Australia's current frameworks for investigation and enforcement have failed to adapt to the contemporary fundraising environment;

(f) current fundraising laws do not meet the donor-focused expectations and requirements that should govern fundraising regulation in the 21st century; and

(g) the mechanisms that regulate third party fundraisers should ensure the culture of third party fundraisers matches community perceptions of their clients;

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Looking for an Office Manager

I'm looking for a full-time office manager to join my team, working out of my electorate office in Gungahlin. Women and people from racial or ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in politics are especially encouraged to apply.

This position will involve managing the office and coordinating my diary, plus lots of community engagement and local problem solving. In a typical day, you might be helping someone at the front counter with a Centrelink problem, coordinating a 5000-letter mailout, planning a campaign on local issues, and arranging an online community forum. Below, there’s some dot-points that will give you a better sense of what our office does.

One of the great things about Fenner is that constituents are passionate about issues big and small, from climate change to the local postbox. I share their desire to improve the quality of the democratic conversation. My office is guided by ten ‘Principles of Politics’, which are set out at the bottom of this post.

In an era when some people are turning to extreme parties of the right and left, the best way for mainstream parliamentarians to maintain the trust of our electors is to engage on big issues, be accessible in town hall meetings and mobile offices, and use conventional and new media channels. We send out a monthly email (‘The Leigh Report’), produce two podcasts (‘Andrew Leigh - Speeches and Conversations’ and ‘The Good Life - Andrew Leigh in Conversation’), and use Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter to expand the political conversation. We recently held our inaugural tele-town hall, engaging over the phone with more than 3000 constituents, and I expect we'll hold another one before too long.

If you want to know more about our values and the activities of the office, check out those social media channels or our website, www.andrewleigh.com.

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Protest an essential part of a democracy - Transcript, Sky News

SUBJECTS: US protests and the importance of protests in democracies; Indigenous incarceration; Australian economy; charities.
PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Joining me now to discuss this is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning to you. Thanks for joining us. Before we get to the situation in Australia, you've spent so much time in the US, done a lot of work there. Just want to get your view on what you've seen over the past eight days now as we're continuing to watch live pictures of an eighth straight day of protests in the United States.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: They’re shocking scenes and they really do remind you of 1968 and the riots that tore through the country then. The spark seems to have ignited a huge level of anger and frustration among so many Americans, not just at the treatment of African-Americans but at the huge level of inequality in America. And I worry too that it undermines America's ability to encourage other countries in the world to pursue a peaceful path to democracy, to ensure that they create opportunities for protesters to speak their mind – because protest is after all an essential part of a democracy.

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Essential workers at risk of losing jobs in charity sector - Media Release


Hundreds of thousands of workers in mental health, patient support, employment services, emergency relief and health research could lose their jobs if the Morrison Government doesn’t take action to help the charity sector, new modelling has found.

A new report issued today by Social Ventures Australia and the Centre for Social Impact outlined concerns for the charities and not-for-profit sector, which is facing both falling revenue and increased demand for services amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

They found that a 20 per cent fall in revenue to the sector would put nearly 250,000 charity workers out of a job and see as many as one in six charities at high risk of closing down.

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How Fire Hurt Our Firms - Op Ed, The Canberra Times


The Canberra Times, 3 June 2020

When coronavirus hit, one thing many Canberra households didn’t have to rush out and buy were N95 masks.

That’s because we already had plenty in the cupboard from summer, when Canberra’s air quality was 22 times the hazardous rating. On some days in December and January, air quality in the bush capital was the worst in the world. People debated how many cigarettes you would have to smoke to do as much lung damage as just breathing our air. Was it half a pack, one pack or two?

The effect of the summer bushfires on Canberra was brutal. For weeks, outdoor activity was almost impossible. Restaurants, hotels, arts events, and the sporting sector were hit hard.

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National Volunteer Week - Media Release








This week marks National Volunteer Week.

Recent events have reminded us of the importance of volunteers and their contribution to the Australian community.

Emergency relief services and food relief organisations have provided assistance with food and bills as well as ensuring our most vulnerable Australians remain socially connected during the pandemic.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.