Thank you Kelly Vincent

Received just now, I am posting the full email. I cried when I read it, and can only thank Kelly Vincent for all she has done, and will continue to do. Her work, her incredible enthusiasm and passion, and most of all her intergrity, has been truly inspirational.

Integrity is missing in so many people today; Kelly Vincent has it in abundance.

I love Kelly’s final quote in this email, which is so relevant to people with dementia:

“The journey is not over, it’s just different.”

Declaration of the Poll – thank you Kelly Vincent!

The Declaration of the Poll for the Upper House was finally made on 26th April.  Despite our strong campaigning effort, it was confirmed that we did not retain the seat held by Kelly Vincent since 2010.  Naturally the entire Dignity Party team are very disappointed at this outcome, but we intend to continue our work, because we know there is a vital need for us in the South Australian political landscape.  We also put forward an incredible team of candidates, and want to continue to develop their talent to strengthen our cause.

As the President of the Dignity Party, it’s been an absolute privilege to work alongside Kelly Vincent. She provided South Australia, and Australia, with eight extraordinary years of parliamentary service, her contribution has left an important legacy.  She entered the political fray as a 21 year old, bringing with her a youthful energy that stirred up the dusty halls of power; she got action and results and drew positive attention to issues of disability and human rights.

The outstanding achievements and outcomes delivered to constituents by Kelly and the talented team in her office are too numerous to list; Kelly has saved the lives of many many constituents, improved choices for and given opportunities to over 350,000 forgotten South Australians.

The Dignity Party campaign team (myself, Phillip Beddall, Anna Tree and Cathi Tucker) attended the Declaration of the Poll with Kelly Vincent.  Speaking to the media, Kelly put our loss down to the fact that Nick Xenophon’s SA Best drew attention away from other small parties throughout the campaign, and that this along with a lack of preference deals with the major parties and widespread confusion around the new voting system stacked the odds against her re-election.

“Nothing that’s happened over the last few weeks and here today takes away from what the Dignity Party has achieved,” Kelly Vincent said at the Electoral Commission of South Australia.

“We’ve not only improved lives, we’ve saved lives through the investments we’ve secured.”

In the speeches from the newly elected Legislative Councillors, Kelly was warmly acknowledged and praised from all sides of politics.  It was stated that Kelly Vincent has changed the conversation in terms of disability and inclusion in our state and in so doing has become the benchmark for credible politicians.

Once again, on behalf of the Board, the Membership, supporters and volunteers of the Dignity Party I thank Kelly for her tremendous work, it has been an absolutely outstanding contribution to public life and as a group we could not be prouder.

Following the State election the Dignity Party’s election review process involves a transparent and thorough campaign debrief of our team.  If there is any feedback you would like to offer please let me know.

Democracy relies on participation, and throughout the recent campaign process we have identified many barriers to voting that, in particular, disenfranchise people with disabilities. Kelly Vincent’s persistent work championing the disability rights agenda realised new electronic assisted voting systems for the Vision Impaired and Blind. For example, voting for registered Braille users was a first for South Australia. Despite this inclusive example of positive legislative change, there is a long way to go with many of the 700+ voting booths across SA still inaccessible for people with disability and the elderly.

The Labor/Liberal duopoly continues to dominate the agenda, and perhaps contrary to their wishes, recent changes to the Electoral Act to introduce optional preferential above the line voting resulted in an increase  for minority party and independents, greater than at any other election.  So the message is don’t suffer fools lightly voters, the independent voice is here to stay and so are we.

Approximately 20,000 South Australians with intellectual disabilities were desperate to vote 1 for Kelly Vincent but without the necessary supports it is likely that very few from this cohort group were able to formally cast a valid vote.  The unrealised potential of these votes alone would have re-elected Kelly and ensured those people ongoing political representation and advocacy.

However, Kelly and I both know the work of the Dignity Party is not done, there is so much more to be addressed for the human rights of South Australians. We are eager to begin the next chapter for the Dignity Party, so that we can continue our important work. Kelly has proven herself to be a true leader who is valued, admired and respected in the community.

Kelly has sought to reassure those who are offering commiserations that –  “The journey is not over, it’s just different.”

Thank you Kelly!

Received from Rick Neagle, President, Dignity Party SA

 

12 thoughts on “Thank you Kelly Vincent

  1. I am sad to see Kelly Vincent lose her seat in the parliament of SA. I live in Queensland and the majority of news here is insular, particularly on state matters and this is the first time I heard there was a dignity party and the fact that it actually had a seat in an Australian parliament when so often parliaments are dominated by the two major parties.

    To all of you in SA.and to Kelly, there will be other elections and while this maybe another set back and another broken dream, do not give up! To the people that run the dignity party well what an extraordinary name for a party and what a fantastic cause upon which to base your platform! There is a future and while I am often given to despair, I think the future is worth fighting for. Thank you Kate for posting this, you made me aware of an isolated pocket of hope in a far off place that is at least three to four days drive away. I will contact the dignity party and pass on my well wishes.

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    • Thanks Colin, Kelly and her team will appreciate hearing from you. I have a dream one day they will be in every state, or develop into a major National party. Kelly Vincent should be the Prime Minister! Seriously!

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      • Exactly what i was thinking Kate. I am disabled too I suffer from Bipolar Disorder and I personally feel the need for a strong unified party that has the ethos of the “Dignity Party’. I also hope for its spread nationally. “Dignity” is a brilliant choice of word to describe the party for often the life choices and chances of a disabled person is a factor of just that; their dignity and how they are respected and treated by the health system and society at large. The measure of strength of any culture is not found it its technology or infrastructure, rather it is found in how it treats and values its most vulnerable.

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      • Thank you Kate. I am going to contact a friend of mine who has just attained her PhD in Philosophy. I studied political philosophy with her years ago at Macquarie Uni. I will put that my last sentence of mine to her that ..”The measure of strength of any culture is not found it its technology or infrastructure, rather it is found in how it treats and values its most vulnerable..”. I will ask her what she makes or it because over the past few decades our culture has in my view, increasingly neglected its most vulnerable.

        I have experienced that first hand over the past twenty years when for long periods I have been unable to find work but instead of getting mad (angry) as I once did I am going to find a way of getting even. I believe I need to talk to my old uni friend to help me find that way. If ever there was a litmus test of true prosperity, it would be the number of people who are truly vulnerable that live in fear, be it uncertainty over their housing, their future, whether they are going to have enough money to make ends meet even whether they are going to be treated with respect at the hands of the health system that or how they are going to cope with the inevitable review from the social security authorities.

        Yesterday I talked to a fellow who had just moved to town and he has to get out of the accommodation he is in at the moment because it is rat infested hole. He is living in fear because he cannot breathe, bad asthma from inhaling dust due to occupational disease, This is only one example of thousands where people live in fear needlessly and shamefully given a society that is as advanced and dare I say “fortunate” as ours.

        My friend is a lawyer and together we may be able to resurrect the lost political economy of dignity. Sadly I am beginning to think that those that govern us and those that set the agenda in society need a proportion of people that are vulnerable as a scapegoat to pacify the population. That may be “the way things are” but there is nothing that could ever make that virtuous or right!

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  2. it is appalling how the Major parties closed shop and allowed more Middle aged Men to be elected rather than this dynamic woman. It is a pleasure to know her and to support her. I for one hope she is not lost to public life

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    • Agree Robyn… I once respected NX, but no longer do, as he did basically destroy the Dignity Partys ability to retain Kellys seat, and his party does nothing for people with disabilities. Kelly Vincent is, from my personal experience, the only politician who has real integrity, and truly puts her constituents first. 😦

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