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Leave Cathy Freeman alone to focus on Olympics.

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Senator Meg Lees Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Sport

Press Release Dated: 30 Jul 2000

Press Release Number: 00/447 Portfolio: Sport Related: Status of Women

Leave Cathy Freeman alone to focus on Olympics Australia’s champion athlete, Ms Cathy Freeman, ought to be left alone to focus on her Olympic task, according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Meg Lees, responding to suggestions that Cathy Freeman might choose to pursue a career in politics after athletics, said that such speculation on the part of people other than Ms Freeman, was untimely and unhelpful.

Senator Lees, a former Physical Education teacher, said she well understood the need to focus on one thing at a time, especially when that ‘thing’ was representing Australia in the Olympic Games in Sydney later this year.

“Like most Australians, I have admired Cathy Freeman for a long time. I am especially admiring when she speaks out on behalf of her people,” said Senator Lees.

“If Ms Freeman wants to pursue a career in politics after she concludes her athletics career - and her political beliefs, values and principles are consistent with those of the Democrats, of course, -we would welcome her with open arms.

“I would point out that the Australian Democrats is the only political party in 20 years to

pre-select an Indigenous Australian, my colleague Senator Aden Ridgeway, in a winnable Federal seat.

“The Australian Democrats is also the only party to have elected women to lead the Federal

Parliamentary Division.

“In terms of encouraging Indigenous Australians and women into the ranks, the Australian Democrats are second to none.

“However, these are decisions for Cathy Freeman to make later. The important thing for all our athletes to do now is to focus on the

challenge ahead, the Olympic Games, and to know that they all have our best wishes,” concluded Senator Lees.


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 10:07:47