House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Constituency Statements

Kovacs, Mrs Lorraine

10:10 am

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to pay tribute to a marvellous Australian woman who was also a friend and a mentor to me from when I first came into politics, Lorraine Kovacs. Living in Yatala in my electorate, Lorraine was still an active member of the LNP and a volunteer at the age of 80. She loved nothing more than an election campaign: handing out how-to-vote cards, working as a scrutineer and doing all of the other things that come with that.

One of her most prized possessions was her photo with Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Lorraine was born in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton in 1941 and grew up in Pascoe Vale. Her first job was with the ES&A Bank. A temporary posting to the Victorian country town of Bendigo fortuitously led her to the YMCA dance on a Saturday night, where with she would meet her future husband. The union would last more than half a century. Married in October 1961, Lorraine and her husband settled in Melbourne's eastern suburbs and had three children: Caroline, Rob and Julie.

Lorraine always wanted to travel and, following the usual family holidays across Australia, she finally had the chance to spread her wings, visiting destinations such as the South Pacific, Asia, the US, Mexico, Alaska, the UK and Europe. As well as her passion for travel, Lorraine was actively involved in the Scouting movement, where she was an Akela.

Lorraine was also a political trailblazer, serving as a councillor for the City of Berwick in Melbourne's outer east from 1986 to 1989, including a term as mayor from 1988 to 1989. As well as her three children, Lorraine became a grandmother to seven grandchildren: Caitlyn, Noah, Jack, Amy, Mollie, Shen-nay and Josh, and loved nothing better than spending time with them and watching them grow. Lorraine's sudden passing was an unexpected shock for all who knew her. Out one day recently, enjoying what she always enjoyed doing—getting her nails done and catching up with friends for lunch—she suffered a fall from which she would never recover. My condolences to Lorraine's children, Caroline, Rob and Julie, and to her many grandchildren and friends. My staff, my wife, Judi, and I will miss Lorraine's enthusiasm, passion and commitment to me and my team over many campaigns. More importantly, it's a loss—sadly felt—for our community and her family. May she rest in peace.