Accountability Round Table Integrity Awards
On 15th October 2019, ART welcomed two outstanding recipients of its awards for conspicuous integrity in the 45th Parliament:

– The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Smith MP, received the John Button Award
– Ms Cathy McGowan, AO, the former member for Indi, received the Alan Missen Award.

The Hon Kenneth Hayne AC, former justice of the High Court and Royal Commissioner to the Banking Royal Commission, congratulated the winners and spoke of the need for honesty and courage in political office, noting “that reasoned debate about issues of policy are now rare and that trust in all sorts of institutions, governmental and private, had been damaged or destroyed.”

The Chair of ART, Ms Fiona McLeod SC, said both recipients had shown great courage in their parliamentary roles.

“Mr Smith has been an outstanding example of an independent/non-partisan Speaker in the finest traditions of the office, and has done much to restore its standing in recent years. He showed great courage in standing up to the executive government and upholding the role of Parliament.”

“Ms McGowan’s commitment to reforms essential for open, accountable and transparent government has been exemplary. We recognise her commitment to those in her electorate, and her embrace of significant issues crucial to Australia’s Parliamentary democracy, in particular her work on the National Integrity Commission and parliamentary standards Bills.”

– The citations.

– Mr Kenneth Hayne’s speech.
Our Parliamentary Integrity Awards honour those members of the Commonwealth Parliament who serve the public with outstanding integrity, often receiving little recognition, thanks or praise from the community.

Our aim is to remind people that there are MPs and Senators of integrity in the Parliament and to acknowledge and thank those who meet the high standards set by these awards.

ART Integrity Awards – the Button and Missen Awards – are for MPs and Senators who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the public interest in the performing their role with:
Honesty, Civility, Independence and/or Political Courage in one or more of the following:

• Supporting the principles and practice of transparent and accountable government
• Contributing effectively and constructively to parliamentary debate, committee deliberations and/or policy development in a way that promotes and/or supports good parliamentary practice and the institution of parliament
• Pursuing a change in government policy or practice whether generally or in response to a constituency issue or injustice
• Protecting peoples’ political and civil rights.

Previous winners of the ART Integrity Awards:

42nd Parliament: Senator John Faulkner & Petro Georgio, presented by Sir Anthony Mason
43rd Parliament: Mark Dreyfus QC, Melissa Parke & Judi Moylan, presented by Sir Gerard Brennan
44th Parliament: Senator Rachel Siewert, Kelvin Thompson & Andrew Wilkie, presented by The Hon Murray Gleeson, AC