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Integrity in Public Office Project

Image: Quakers gathered for Integrity Project action, at Parliament House in Canberra, August 2022.

Integrity in Public Office Project

The Integrity Project is about Quakers going public with our testimony to integrity. It is a concern we are taking into the public realm, as Quakers have done for centuries (learn more HERE).

  • This project was endorsed by Australia Yearly Meeting at the annual gathering, Yearly Meeting, in July 2022.
  • The two-year project consists of holding a banner with the words “Show Integrity in Public Office” at Parliament House in Canberra, accompanied by a social media campaign. 
  • On the 4 August 2022, Quakers held the first action at Parliament House in Canberra.
  • View Friends speaking about the Integrity Project here and here
  • The next planned action will in February 2023 and we are asking other groups and individuals with the same concern, to join this action. 

The project is independent from politicians and other organisations. Like-minded organisations have informed the project and will receive action updates. The project contributes to the groundswell in Australia for Integrity in Public Office and the establishment of a strong federal Integrity Commission.

Quakers in Australia ask for: 

  • the allocation of grants on the basis of merit, not vote buying;
  • the capping of political donations and their declaration in real time;
  • the limiting of industry influence in political decision-making when the common good or the environment are not served;
  • the legislation of real consequences for politicians/ senior public servants/ appointees who prove to lack integrity; and
  • the cessation of time-wasting personal attacks under ‘parliamentary privilege’.

How you can get involved

  • Look for our work on our Quakers Australia Facebook page and Twitter @IntegrityAust and share on your social media. We will continually update our social media.
  • Print out and share this flyer about the Project.
  • Contact your federal member of Parliament or senator to advocate for a strong federal Integrity Commission.
  • Contact your State or Territory governments and local governments to advocate for greater integrity in public office
  • Keep abreast of integrity in public office issues and go public when integrity is lacking

Background to this project

The project arose from a deep frustration and concern in Wies Schuiringa, about the lack of integrity in federal and State parliaments, the lack of repercussions for politicians when they had obviously shown a lack of integrity and the very weak proposed federal Integrity Commission bill that was not presented in parliament in late 2021. The strong and comprehensive integrity bill by an independent member of parliament was voted against to be presented in parliament.

Since this project developed in late 2021, the need for a federal integrity commission has gained a lot more traction and it was part of the campaign by the independent candidates in the last federal election. The new Labor government has committed to establish an Integrity Commission.

Despite these good intentions, this project will continue, as changing the subculture in the federal parliament will take a lot of determination. Not adhering to integrity has become entrenched and involves billions of dollars e.g., in contracts awarded without tenders, legislation passed or not passed, revolving door appointments with influential industries. The report State Capture describes non-integrity well. 

The Project is independent of politicians and other organisations.

  • The report State Capture describes non-integrity in public office well. (A 2-page report summary can be found HERE.)
  • Also read the Quaker Peace & Legislation Committee paper on State Capture-Corrupting Democracy  HERE.

Contact information

For more information, contact Wies Schuiringa: wies.schuiringa1@gmail.com