Retired magistrate Pat O’Shane AM has just announced her candidacy for the seat of Leichhardt in the next federal election.
A Kuku Yalanji woman from Mossman, Ms O’Shane’s distinguished career has included teaching, public service, and university chancellorship.
Ms O’Shane has been voted as one of Australia’s living treasures by the National Trust, and in 2021 was awarded a NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award for her tireless and longstanding advocacy and support of her community. She retired from the bench of magistrates in NSW in 2013 to work on a pro bono basis. Ms O’Shane returned to Cairns in 2019.
Ms O’Shane said she is running for the seat of Leichhardt because:
“As a vocal advocate for climate action, social justice and youth justice, I will hold the government accountable to secure a better future for all of Leichhardt – not just the big end of town.”
“Warren Entsch has been the LNP member for Leichhardt for 22 years. In all of that time he has become very stable – or at least he says so on his billboards. But, stable does not mean able!”
The Cairns branch of the Socialist Alliance launched their federal election campaign in October, backing local candidate Renee Lees for the Queensland Senate and now Ms O’Shane for the lower house. Ms Lees is a community lawyer, activist and mum.
O’Shane’s candidacy in Leichhardt — which stretches from the Torres Strait, south through Cape York Peninsula, Cooktown, the Daintree, Mossman, Port Douglas, and Kuranda, to most of Cairns — is an opportunity to ensure progressive views from regional Australia are known and heard at a national level.