House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Statements by Members

Tilley, Ms Gina

1:33 pm

Photo of Patrick GormanPatrick Gorman (Perth, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Western Australia) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to pay tribute to Gina Tilley. Gina passed away on Sunday 13 February. She was known to many in this place for her work with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. She was one of Kevin's most trusted staff members and was a key member of his rise to the prime ministership of Australia. This is a very sad week for everyone who worked with her and Kevin.

Gina featured in many election night speeches, and you couldn't miss her—big, bright red hair, tattoos everywhere, and a great sense of humour. She always called me 'poss' no matter what the occasion, where we were or who we were with. It was Gina who recommended that Kevin hire a young woman called Jess Bukowski, who would become my wife. She was a proud and active feminist. She was a mentor to many women who worked in this place. One of Gina's lasting achievements was helping Foreign Minister Rudd introduce gender diverse passports. She was loved by the Griffith community for her work on the Griffith Australia Day Awards, the Morningside Festival and many other events.

I'll finish with the words of her friend Fleur Foster:

Gina was the 2nd longest serving staff member for Kevin Rudd AC, who clocked up 9.5 years or service with him before heading to Micah Projects.

She loved unconditionally, she exuded empathy and lived her all too short life with wild passion and creativity.

She leaves behind her beloved daughter Afrique and her mother Nellie.

Vale, Gina Tilley.

Photo of Trent ZimmermanTrent Zimmerman (North Sydney, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Perth for that tribute.