September 5, 2022

Helen Haines awarded Alan Missen Award for work on integrity in politics

Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines has been awarded the prestigious Alan Missen Award by the Accountability Round Table, in recognition of her work to introduce a federal integrity commission.

Dr Haines was a joint recipient of the award with Independent Member for Warringah Zali Steggall and former Independent Senator Rex Patrick, recognising her work in the 46th Parliament drafting and introducing the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill.

In his remarks about Dr Haines, Accountability Round Table Director Professor Spencer Zifcak said the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill was a “first class anti corruption law” and “a draft bill as fine as it could possibly be”. Professor Zifcak said Dr Haines’ Bill had been “very influential” in shaping the bill for the National Anti Corruption Commission, which the Government is set to introduce next week.

“I am honoured and humbled to accept this Award, which recognises years of work from many people, all working towards bringing integrity and accountability in federal politics,” Dr Haines said.

“It is fitting that this announcement was made as we are preparing to finally see the legislation for the National Anti-Corruption Commission under development by the Government. That will be the culmination of one stage of work on integrity in politics, but also the start of a new stage: making sure the Commission is the best model it can be, and that a culture of integrity is ingrained at all levels of politics and government.

“I look forward to working with the Government to improve the National Anti-Corruption Commission and to continue to champion integrity and accountability in politics.

“At its heart, this award acknowledges the people of Indi, because without their strong desire to see politics done differently, to be directly involved in their democracy, and to demand better from the representatives, none of this would have happened.”

Former Member for Indi Cathy McGowan was also recognised with the Missen Award in 2019, and was present to see Dr Haines receive the award on Monday.

The Missen Award recognises backbenchers (including independents and members of minority parties), whose behaviour is exemplary and reflects the best traditions of political service to the community.

The award winner will, in the relevant period, have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the public interest in the performance of his or her role with Honesty, Civility Independence and/or Political Courage, in one or more of the following areas:

  • Supporting the principles and practice of transparent and accountable government
  • Contributing effectively and constructively to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and/or policy development in a way that promotes and/or supports good parliamentary practice and the institution of parliament.
  • Pursuing a change in government policy or practice whether generally or in response to a constituency issue or injustice.
  • Protecting peoples’ political and civil rights

The Award is named for Alan Missen, Liberal Senator for Victoria from 1974 to 1986. He was a champion of civil liberties, and known for his commitment to following his principles, even if it meant going against the will of his party.

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