200 Orange Independent supporters identify Dr Helen Haines as their next candidate for Indi

VOICES for Indi (V4i) has  brought to fruition a rigorous 12-month planning process that has enabled Orange supporters to decide the future Orange Independent candidate for Indi, resulting in Wangaratta’s Helen Haines accepting the invitation as the candidate.

Dr Helen Haines (Photo Credit Jamie Kronberg)

V4i spokesperson Alana Johnson said up to 200 Orange supporters came together in Benalla on 12 January, in the heart of the electorate, to determine by consensus who would be the next candidate.

Participants engaged in a deliberative process that involved listening to three impressive applicants – all women – and assessing their suitability through a series of collaborative decision-making exercises.

The assessment measured the applicants’ skills and strengths against those that Orange supporters in a V4i survey in November 2018 identified as essential. These were honesty, integrity, empathy, respect and resilience, and the ability to communicate, listen, negotiate, engage and lead.

Alana said the Forum had been a powerful community-driven event that stemmed from more than 12 months of intensive planning and consultation.

“This rigorous process has engaged people from every Indi community and has demonstrated, again, V4i’s commitment to doing politics differently,’’ she said.



Joan Simms, Beechworth

“The process created is thoughtful, considerate and groundbreaking – a blueprint for community democracy.”


Jane Kealey, Wangaratta

“This is true community engagement in the political process, reflecting Voices for Indi’s work that’s enabled us to choose a citizen to represent us.”


Florent Thivillier, Benalla

“This has enabled the community to play a direct, deliberative role in the process to select the next Orange Independent candidate for Indi.”