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Australia says farewell to exhausted campaigner

Director of campaign group GetUP! resigns after fainting on live TV earlier this month
Simon Sheikh resigned as director of GetUp! after overwork

The director of Australian campaign group GetUp! has resigned after fainting on a live TV discussion show earlier this month.

Simon Sheik, who has fought tirelessly for gay rights and other causes for four years, said that he had already decided to resign before fainting on political discussion show Q&A.

‘GetUp! is the kind of organization that really takes up all of your energy,’ said Sheikh in an interview with Sydney Morning Herald. ‘I’m 100% certain it’s the right decision because I’m so relieved having made it.’

Sheik, 26, has been director of GetUp! for four years, campaigning for environment, mental health and gay rights issues.

National convenor of Australia Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, who worked closely with Sheik on campaigns, said that his commitment has contributed to the growth of the movement for gay marriage in Australia.

‘Simon should be especially proud of the role he played in organising the dinner with the Prime Minister and same-sex couples, the hugely popular "It's time" video, and game-changing role GetUP! played at the Australian Labor Party national conference that resulted in their policy change to favor same-sex marriage,’ said Greenwich.

Sheik will be replaced at GetUP! by current deputy national director Sam McLean.

‘Sam shares Simon's commitment to the reform and his vision to make Australia a more fair and equitable place,’ said Greenwich.

Watch GetUp!'s 'It's time' gay marriage campaign video here:

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