Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Parliamentary Representation

Valedictory

8:22 pm

Photo of Louise PrattLouise Pratt (WA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Environment and Water (Senate)) Share this | Hansard source

Tonight, it is a great honour to pay tribute to two wonderful colleagues in Senator Claire Moore and Senator Doug Cameron. Senator Moore, you have given visibility to so many issues in this place and through committees and have been a role model for not only me but a great many other people in the labour movement and in the community. Yours is an enormous legacy that I and many others will never forget. I've seen the way you have been guided by the solid principles that belong in our party of social inclusion. But you are also, importantly, about community empowerment and empowering those whose voices aren't heard.

Underneath all of that is a framework deeply embedded in feminism, and you are a great custodian of that banner in our party. It is a banner that is passed on intergenerationally within our movement. When you spoke of suffragettes in your first speech, I not only thought of great women in the labour movement; I very much think of you as a modern day suffragette, Claire. One can see that in your experience in navigating pro-choice debates in this place as part of a feminist vanguard, when all the rules on how this place normally conducts its business get broken. You are as sharp as a tack and have your eye on the ball on that every time.

You've been a key part of creating a force and culture of sisterhood in the Labor Party, starting with Emily's List and permeating feminist communities right around Australia. It's impossible to do justice to your legacy in these very short remarks tonight, but I really want to say thank you for that custodianship and the values that I and so many others hold dear not only in the Labor Party but in feminist movements right around Australia and globally.

It seems strange to me that Doug won't be here after the election. His vigour and talent have been a real driving force in this place. I noticed him in the formation of my affiliation and attachment to the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, where both Jock Ferguson and Doug Cameron had unintelligible Scottish accents, but I learnt from them about what it means to show courage and solidarity in the face of adversity. It was terrific to be on the same side as Doug in debates—sometimes when you had your back against the wall. Even at those times, whether it was the ABCC or other things where we lost internal votes, the influence and the reliability of the positions that Doug took always had a lasting impact on the ultimate outcomes that were achieved in our movement. His stamp on the vocational education and training and housing policies that we're taking to the election is very clear. I want to say to both Claire and Doug: you both embody so much of what we are fighting for on this side of the chamber and at the next election. You will be a motivating force in the weeks to come and always into the future.

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