Vinnies CEO Resigns to ‘Fight Inequality Within Parliament’
21 August 2018 at 8:31 am
Dr John Falzon has resigned as national CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society to seek federal Labor preselection, vowing to continue “the fight against inequality within parliament”.
Falzon’s immediate resignation from the charity on Monday comes after 17 years of service, including the last 12 years as CEO of the national council.
Falzon told Pro Bono News he was resigning from the position to seek preselection as a Labor candidate in the newly created federal seat of Canberra.
“I make this decision as a means of continuing the fight against inequality within parliament just as I have spent my working life fighting it from within the community sector,” Falzon said.
“What has always been clear to me from the outset is what people long for is not charity. It is justice. And this can only be delivered through good policy and good legislation, painstakingly crafted and informed by the experience of the people it affects.
“This is why I was pleased to work closely, for example, with Tanya Plibersek on the national homelessness strategy and with Julia Gillard in shaping the social inclusion agenda. And it why I am taking this step, to continue the battle against inequality, but from a very different trench.”
A leading voice of Australia’s social sector, Falzon has served on the board of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), in addition to his work with St Vincent de Paul.
Falzon said he was deeply grateful to the members of the St Vincent de Paul Society for the faith and support they gave him as national CEO.
“During my time as Vinnies CEO I worked closely with governments, oppositions and crossbenchers to influence and shape legislation to address the causes of inequality,” he said.
“I was pleased to see the organisation grow into a powerful and highly respected advocacy voice for social justice and progressive social change.”
St Vincent de Paul Society national president, Graham West, thanked Falzon for his “long and dedicated service to the society and his commitment to the cause of social justice”.
Falzon first revealed he was running for Labor preselection in July, and said at the time he hoped to drive progressive change from within the party.
His preselection bid has been formally endorsed by the left faction of the Australian Capital Territory Labor Party.
Preselection voting is expected to take place in late August with endorsed candidates to be announced in early September, The Canberra Times reported.