Malvern – Labor: Oliver Squires

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Malvern – Labor: Oliver Squires

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Labor waited until early November, less than a month out from the election, to reveal their Malvern candidate, all but confirming that they hold little hope of snatching the seat from the Liberals.

Indeed, given the Liberals’ decision to not contest four crucial seats- Brunswick, Richmond, Northcote and Melbourne- in inner Melbourne, consequently greatly boosting the Greens’ chances of taking all four, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Labor offer a candidate at all.

As for Squires himself, he comes from an teaching background, having taught maths and science for many years in Australia as well as the UK. He has also worked as a cancer diagnostics researcher.

He has been involved in many social projects prior to entering politics, some of which he continues to be involved in today. Among them is LaunchPad, an initiative to provide women throughout the world with “low-cost, eco-friendly sanitary pads”, with the hope that providing them will allow more women to finish school while also allowing women to begin running the initiative themselves in coming years.

Squires was also the co-founder of Youth Unite for Education (YUFE), working alongside Macquarie University students to encourage young people to be involved in community service activities, and FreeCityChat, a formerly Brisbane-based service where he and a group of youths provide a “free chat service” open for all.

Squires says he is passionate about the environment, sustainability, social justice, health research and eradicating world poverty.

He currently works as the Head of Maths at a Catholic high school in Windsor.

With the electorate all but guaranteed to be blue again in 2018, the aim for Labor will be to retain their shrinking hold on second place. With the Greens growing in popularity, albeit slowly, the presence of both in the seat undoubtedly means neither will have the numbers to truly challenge Michael O’Brien and the Liberal Party, but Squires and Labor will hardly want to cede influence in the electorate even further.