Senator Kathy Michelmore, a doctor and shadow Health Minister, is expected to leave by the end of next month. *File photo
Senator Kathy Michelmore, a doctor and shadow Health Minister, is expected to leave by the end of next month. *File photo
FRIDAY, OCT. 28: OBA Senator Kathy Michelmore is to step down after six months in the job to move Down Under with her Australian husband and family.

Sen. Michelmore, a doctor and shadow Health Minister, is expected to leave for a new life in New South Wales by the end of next month.

She said she was moving to allow her husband to spend more time with her family and to let the couple’s two children experience their Australian heritage.

Sen. Michelmore said: “I believe that the tide of history is with the One Bermuda Alliance. The birth of the OBA has generated widespread interest and support and has made people believe that change can happen.

“It’s clear that people are looking for change and that they are looking to the OBA to help get the island back on track and working again.”

Sen. Michelmore, who works as an occupational health physician at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, will take up a post as a GP in Australia.

She said: “I recognize that many people may ask ‘why leave now?’ when the political landscape is becoming more and more exciting.

“Timing is never perfect and a move at any time would probably disappoint. However, our family has a new adventure ahead and our circumstances mean that now is the time for us.”

She added that — although she will be based thousands of miles away — like many Bermudians resident overseas, she would retain a keen interest in political debate on the island.

Sen. Michelmore said: “I became involved in politics because I believe Bermudians want and deserve more from our Government and political system than they are getting.

“Bermuda’s style of politics has historically been very divisive and has made consensus-building and decision-making more difficult than need be and this has damaged our community spirit.”

Dr Michelmore, former deputy leader of the BDA, was appointed to the Senate in May by interim leader John Barritt after the bulk of the former UBP members merged with the third party to form the OBA.

The 39-year-old studied medicine at the University of Newcastle in the north of England and won the Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship, which allowed her to spend a year at Magdalene College, Oxford, to complete a Ph.D.

She worked in England for several years before returning to Bermuda in 2002.

OBA leader and fellow Senator Craig Cannonier said: “Kathy will be missed. She has been a voice for reason and consensus-building. She never spoke without first carefully developing her understanding of the issues, always with a view to finding solutions.

“She is a positive spirit and, much as I regret to say it, Bermuda’s loss will be Australia’s gain. We wish her and her family all the best in their new life Down Under.

“The silver lining in this development is that she will continue to stay in touch and contribute her views. That’s the beauty of the internet age. The planet’s the same size, but the world’s been brought closer.”

It is understood that a replacement for Senator Michelmore will not be announced until after Tuesday’s Devonshire South Central by-election.