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Public Education Party

Public Education Party
Returning OfficerGlen Stelzer
Founded2014; 10 years ago (2014)
Preceded by

The Public Education Party is a minor political party in New South Wales. It was registered in early 2014 under the name Voluntary Euthanasia Party as the NSW branch of the federal party of the same name. It advocated for legislative change to allow voluntary euthanasia in New South Wales.

In 2019, the New South Wales branch voted to become the branch of the Reason Party. In late 2022, the NSW branch of Reason merged with the Fairer Education Party to become the Public Education Party.


Voluntary Euthanasia Party (NSW)

Voluntary Euthanasia Party (NSW)
ConvenorShayne Higson
FoundersShayne Higson, Barry Shine
Founded2014; 10 years ago (2014)
DissolvedDecember 2019
Merged intoReason Party
IdeologySingle-issue politics
Website (defunct)

The party began its existence as the New South Wales branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP). The VEP was founded in 2013 to bring attention to the need for voluntary assisted dying law reform and to bring together advocates from the Dying with Dignity and Exit International movements. The immediate goal of the VEP was to make voluntary euthanasia a central issue at the September 2013 Federal election.


The New South Wales VEP nominated two candidates for the Senate at the 2013 Australian federal election[1] and two candidates for the Senate at the 2016 Australian federal election.[2] The VEP did not run any candidates in the 2019 Australian federal election, rather they focused on canvasing the views of major candidates in key electorates. The federal party voluntarily de-registered in March 2021.[3]


The VEP stood sixteen candidates for the New South Wales Legislative Council in the 2015 New South Wales state election on 28 March 2015. The lead candidate was Shayne Higson. Higson began advocating for voluntary assisted dying legislation after her mother died from a brain tumour in 2012.[4] The VEP received 40,710 votes (0.94% of votes).[5]

The VEP stood sixteen candidates for the New South Wales Legislative Council in the 2019 New South Wales state election on 23 March 2019. Shayne Higson resumed her role as lead candidate.[6] The VEP received 46,971 votes (1.06% of votes).[7] Higson finished in 26th place out of 364 candidates; seats were awarded to those who finished in the top 21 places.

Reason Party (NSW)

Reason Party (NSW)
Returning OfficerShayne Higson
Founded2019; 5 years ago (2019)
DissolvedDecember 2022
Preceded by
Succeeded by
  • Public Education Party
IdeologyCivil libertarianism
Secular liberalism
Drug liberalisation
Political positionCentre to centre-left[8]
Colours  Teal

In December 2019, the VEP's NSW branch voted overwhelmingly to become the NSW branch of the Reason Party, on the grounds that being a single issue political party was a liability, and the Reason party were established supporters of voluntary euthanasia. Reason party leader Fiona Patten also stated the merger made sense for Reason as they did not have a branch in NSW, where VEP was well established.[9] In February 2022, Jane Caro announced that she was standing as a candidate for the party for a New South Wales Australian Senate seat in the 2022 Australian federal election.[10] Caro was unsuccessful.

Public Education Party

In 2022, the NSW branch of Reason merged with the unregistered Fairer Education Party, going under the name of the Public Education Party.[11] The party applied to change its name in December 2022.[12] Shayne Higson initially remained as the Registered Officer but was eventually replaced in this role by Glen Stelzer, who stood as the party's candidate for Balmain in 2023.


  1. ^ "Voluntary Euthanasia Party bids for Senate seats". SBS News. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Voluntary Euthanasia Party Voluntary Deregistration" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  4. ^ Caddy, Amelia (11 May 2013). "Shayne helpless in the face of mother's suffering". The Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  5. ^ "First Preference Group Votes - Check Count Complete". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 2015. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "New South Wales 2019 Election - Legislative Council – Ballot Paper" (PDF). NSW Electoral Commission. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Legislative Council Check Count Statewide Summary". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Martin-Guzman, David (22 August 2017). "Australian Sex Party becomes new 'Reason' party in attempt to capture centrist, disengaged voters". Bendigo Advertiser.
  9. ^ Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (December 29, 2019). "'New voices': Reason Party comes to NSW to revive push for assisted dying laws". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  10. ^ Curtis, Katina (24 February 2022). "'We're heading in precisely the wrong direction': Jane Caro chases Senate spot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Reason NSW joins forces with Fairer Education Party to form the new Public Education Party". Public Education Party. January 18, 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-04.
  12. ^ Puglisi, Leonardo (22 November 2022). "Reason Party applies to change their name to Public Education Party in NSW". 6 News. Archived from the original on 28 November 2022.
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Public Education Party
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