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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 June 2019
4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 JUNE 2019 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ‘Prioritising family’ and an ‘exciting’ professional opportunity, the reasons behind Dalidakis’ resignation ZOE THOMAIDOU The decision made by former Victorian minister Philip Dalidakis to resign from parliament this week, was reportedly a shock for many. The 43-year-old Greek Australian was elected in the first Andrews Government in 2014 as the upper house representative for the Southern Metropolitan Region and soon after was appointed small business minister. He held the portfolio - including those of the trade and investment, innovation and digital economy ministries - until the recent Labor government reshuffle for equal gender representation in the cabinet saw him stepping down from the frontbench. On Monday, after Mr Dalidakis had officially tendered his resignation, it was confirmed he landed a senior position at Australia Post, which begins on 1 July, according to his contract. He will unofficially be seen around his new offices even sooner as he gets a feel for his new role. If anything, the former high-profile Labor MP has made it clear that quitting politics was not a choice on a whim. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Dalidakis reiterated that his resignation was a conscious decision that emerged after he reassessed his personal priorities. "As I said in my statement, for the last 6 months having stepped aside from the cabinet has given me an op- portunity to reflect on what I was wanting to do in relation to time with my family," he said, explaining how his role as a parliamentarian resulted in him missing out on family events, such as parentteacher interviews and the kids' sport finals as a matter of course. "Having missed far too many [events] in the last four and a half years I made a decision to go back into the private sector[...]There's no doubt that working in the private sector provides a greater deal of flexibility and also work-life balance than being a member of parliament and a public figure does." Responding to comments linking his resignation to losing his cabinet role 6 months ago, Mr Dalidakis says the only relevance lies in the fact that not being a cabinet minister gave him the opportunity to "reflect on what was important to me". "Stepping away from the ministry was the right thing to do because it was a policy I believed in and I continue to think the Premier's desire to have a cabinet 50-50 gender diverse is important". And while prioritising his children was the main factor driving his decision, he acknowledges the professional opportunity presented to him was also a motive. "I've been afforded a great opportunity at Australia Post and these types of positions don't become available very often, so to re-enter the private sector in such a senior Once submitted before Governor Linda Dessau on Monday, Mr Dalidakis' resignation became effective immediately, which is standard protocol in the Victorian Parliament. Asked about why he didn't hand in his resignation a few days later, considering his official start at Australia Post is not until 1 July, he points to the administrative processes required when exiting parliament, including tasks such as meeting with the department of parliamentary services and going through a checking process with the asset register. "There is a lot entailed with actually leaving the parliament that takes a number of days[...] there is a range of things you must account for and processes you need to go through from an administrative perspective." Following his visit to the Governor's office on Monday, Mr Dalidakis met with Premier Daniel Andrews to notify him in person about his decision. Mr Andrews thanked the PHOTO: AAP/DANIEL POCKETT executive position is also quite an exciting opportunity for me". Mr Dalidakis will assume the role of executive general manager of corporate services at Australia Post. According to the postal carrier's 2018 annual report the most recent predecessor of the senior position, Christopher Blake, was paid $1.5 million that year. Meanwhile, Mr Dalidakis' resignation is said to have caused a headache for the Andrews government, given that it came a week before the winter break and amidst government efforts to garner support for passing reforms on the state's fire services under the CFA bill. But the former Labor MP is adamant his departure will not make a difference in the outcome. "The simple mathematics of the vote when I was there there were 21 votes out of 40 that were supporting the legislation. Without me being there, [it's] 20 out of 39 so there's still an absolute majority in terms of support for that bill." former Labor MP for his service in a succinct public statement that afternoon. "The Premier has led the reelection of the government last year, I think he's done a marvellous job and I look forward to him continuing to do that, and of course being [...]a strong supporter of our multicultural community which includes a significant part played by the Greek community", Mr Dalidakis concluded. MP Vamvakinou launches Australian Sickle Cell Advocacy Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited form of anaemia, a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. Acknowledging the growing number of people affected by sickle cell disease in Australia, MP Maria Vamvakinou officially launched the Australian Sickle Cell Advocacy Inc – a platform to raise awareness and support – at the Royal Children's Hospital on SCD Awareness Day (19 June). The auditorium was filled with healthcare professionals, carers, patients, and families all there to advocate on behalf of those affected by SCD in Melbourne "I want to thank the group's executive director and founder Agnes Nsofwa for all her hard work in raising awareness on sickle cell disease in Australia," said MP Vamvakinou of the mother, who along with her husband Preston, have given up their time and energy to to advocate on issues affecting sufferers of SCD after their beautiful daughter Mapalo Joy was diagnosed when she was a baby. In her speech, MP Vamvakinou referred to the phenomenal work of cell biologist and neuroscientist Panos Ioannou, that has been continued by Dr Jim Vadolas following his passing. MP Maria Vamvakinou was at the official opening and addressed the crowd along with other esteemed speakers.
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