Seven candidates of Hellenic Australian origin won ALP pre-selection this week and are preparing to contest seats in the next Victorian election to be held in November 2014.
Apart from Jenny Mikakos, who will be a candidate again in the Northern Metropolitan Region, the other candidates who are already sitting members and have been re endorsed are, Lee Tarlamis for the South East Metropolitan Region and Jennifer Kanis the MLA for Melbourne. Amongst those who seek to enter state parliament and have been selected are Phillip Dalidakis for the Southern Metropolitan Region, Stephen Dimopoulos for Oakleigh, Nick Staikos, Bentleigh and Helen Constas who will run for the seat of Frankston.
Moreland mayor Lambros Tapinos withdrew his nomination for pre selection for the seat of Pascoe Valeas. Also, Steven Tsitas withdrew his own nomination for preselecting for the seat of Northcote.
Mr Andrews who was keen to wrap up pre-selections by Christmas, in order to avoid potential infighting in the lead up to the 2014 elections, had his wish handed this week, when the Central Panel endorsed the ALP candidates.
The number of Members of Parliament of Greek heritage are expected to be re enforced with newcomers after the next state election.
In the meantime, in the new Victorian Shadow Cabinet announced by Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition this week, MP for Northern Metropolitan Region, Jenny Mikakos, has been given the prime office of Community Services, Seniors and Ageing and Children.
The labor front bench reshuffle was announced well ahead of the state election in an effort by the Victorian Opposition leader to consolidate his lead in the polls and to establish a leadership team ready to govern if elected.
After the announcement of her promotion, Ms Jenny Mikakos, set to become the most senior Greek Australian labour member of parliament in Victoria, following the departure of John Pandazopoulos, said: “I’m very humbled and honoured to take on this very important portfolio that works with some of the most vulnerable members of our community. I will be doing everything I can to ensure the election of an Andrews Labor Government.”