Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 28 September 2012

Will Maid Marion be a new force in Ginninderra and ACT politics?

Elections have the habit of bringing new parties and new candidates with issues which, far from being new issues are old issues that often remain unrecognised although they affect the lives of voters more than they realise. A party of that genre is the Marion Lé Social Justice Party which, for the first time, is entering 5 candidates in the ACT election under the leadership of Marion Lé.

Marion is well known to many Canberrans for her tireless work as a voluntary human rights advocate. So tireless was she in this role, and many others, that she was named Canberra Bicentennial Citizen of the Year (1988); awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (1990) and received the AUSTCARE Award for Outstanding Services to Refugees (1994). In 1999 she was awarded the Medal of Australia (AM) and in 2012 Marion was admitted to the ACT Honour Walk for outstanding ACT Citizens.

With all of these honours one might wonder what more she can do. To understand Marion however is to know that she thinks there are still many problems in the area of social justice, human rights and many other areas of community life. With that in mind she has decided that to do anything to ameliorate or, better still, eradicate these problems she must enter politics.

Hence her Social Justice Party’s objective of being elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly where she can advocate of the ACT’s marginalised and vulnerable of whom she says there are many. Among the many she lists are: children; the elderly; people with disabilities; the sick; the mentally ill; carers (including foster carers and kinship carers), migrants and refugees and many, many women.

Among her other objectives: continuing reform in the ACT Legislative Assembly for better access to the ACT hospital, health, justice and educational systems. Her Social Justice party will also push for reformation of the public housing area and make it an issue that must be tackled quickly by any ACT Government.

A teacher in Canberra for 20 years, 19 of which she spent at St Francis Xavier high school (College) and with qualifications as a BA (Hons), B. Theol., L Theol, TTC (NZ, Qld, NSW), Graduate Diploma in Int. Law (ANU) she also has an intimate knowledge of education problems.

And if fighting on behalf of the marginalised and vulnerable was not enough Marion gave up her teaching role in 2000 and became a migration agent during which she has travelled to refugee camps in several countries and to China, SE Asian, the Pacific, and twice to Afghanistan where on her second visit she looked at the Health system in the Panjshir Valley, home of the Northern Alliance and travelled high into the Hindu Kush.

She has long been outspoken in her opposition to the long term detention of children and as a mother of three and a grandmother (who also provides full time care for two other children), unlike many politicians she practices what she preaches. Little wonder she is totally opposed to the detention of children.

Currently President of Canberra’s Grandparents & Kinship Carers Association, Marion has assisted people of every cultural and religious background and has an ongoing vision of an inclusive Canberra community where social justice is not just a catch phrase but a reality.

Marion is clearly one determined lady who, if elected to the Assembly, will make party MLAs know she intends to invade their comfort zone and hold them to their promise that they wanted to become an MLA to make a difference.

I can only say that now Marion has entered the fray voters in Ginninderra will have some thinking to do before October 20.


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