Former Canberra Liberal Giulia Jones has taken a new position as chief executive of Painaustralia.
Mrs Jones resigned from the ACT Legislative Assembly two weeks ago after spending almost a decade in Opposition.
She’d already stepped down from her position as Deputy Leader of the Canberra Liberals in late January and had been on leave since then.
Last week, Mrs Jones said her departure was so she could spend more time with her large family and health reasons, although there have been multiple suggestions relationships within the party room were strained.
She has not ruled out a return to politics in the future but said it wouldn’t be to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Painaustralia is an advocacy body representing people living with pain, their families and their carers.
Mrs Jones said she was honoured to take up the position as chief executive.
“In health, there are so many ailments that present challenges to people that it may come as a surprise to many to learn that one in five Australians live with long term pain,” Mrs Jones said.
“Understanding the pervasive effect pain is having on so many people in our community is difficult to grasp because so many people suffer in silence.
“Pain is a medical condition in and of itself.”
Mrs Jones said she was looking forward to working with politicians across the country, academics, medical experts and practitioners and those living with pain to secure the most relief possible.
Painaustralia chairman Duncan Lewis welcomed the appointment of Mrs Jones, who was formerly the Opposition spokesperson for health.
“Mrs Jones not only has a deep understanding of the health system but a genuine empathy for people suffering from health-related issues. In politics, she has earned a reputation as a determined advocate, striving to ensure governments provide the best health systems possible,” Mr Lewis said.
“The board of Painaustralia is certain she will provide robust advocacy into the future for those consumers who live with chronic pain.”
It’s not yet known who will replace Mrs Jones in her former seat of Murrumbidgee, but the forerunner is 2020 Liberal candidate Amardeep Singh if he still wants the position.
The ACT Electoral Commission is currently conducting a countback of the seat.
Countbacks in the ACT’s Hare-Clark system occur by recounting the vacating member’s ballot papers to determine which candidate was the next most favoured candidate chosen by the voters who elected the vacating MLA.
This can now be completed automatically and results can be known within minutes. However, it’s understood it can take up to 10 business days for a result to be formally announced.