Senate debates

Monday, 28 March 2022


Kitching, Senator Kimberley Jane Elizabeth

11:17 am

Photo of Don FarrellDon Farrell (SA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Special Minister of State) Share this | Hansard source

Well, of course she did. She spoke so many languages. In fact, that was the one that I think we might have missed—her Latin skills. Of course, they were all Romance languages that she knew; they all came from Latin.

She pursued that dedication to government accountability in all of her work in this parliament, and, as shadow minister, in Senate question time and through Senate estimates. Of course, her tireless work for human rights was recognised by her Magnitsky award. A great memory for me and my wife was celebrating that award in my office when she returned from Paris, not long before she died. In fact, my wife got to spend time with Kimberley, only a short time before she died, when she came to Adelaide to campaign for the new member for Spence, Matt Burnell, at the Edinburgh base in the north of Adelaide.

In parliament, Kimberley's intellect, her research skills and her ability to quickly understand a wide range of issues and perspectives made her a very valuable asset to the Labor Party and to Australian democracy. She was true to what she believed in and worked towards meaningful outcomes for those people she represented.

As a friend and a colleague, she was full of life—a witty, charming and fun person to be around. She was one of those people that had the ability to make you feel as if you were the most special person in the world. It's a rare ability. She would often bounce into my office, generally with a bottle of champagne in her hand—her office was just down the corridor from mine—and, with that bright smile, impish grin and cheeky laugh, we knew that she was up to something!

As a Labor senator in our nation's parliament, I know her positive contributions to Australian democracy would have only continued to grow over time. Sadly, her time has been cut so tragically short. Kimberley is survived by her husband, her parents and her brother, Ben. Andrew's eulogy to Kimberley at St Patrick's church last week was one of the finest that I've ever heard in my life, and I was very privileged to read a statement from you, Mr President, on behalf of the Senate, praising her work. Like so many on my side of Labor politics, she admired John F Kennedy, and—I think I've got this right, and I'm sure Andrew will tell me if I haven't—Andrew quoted that great president: 'Let us, if we can, step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace.' To Kimberley's family, her friends and colleagues, and to her staff, I offer my deepest condolences. And now it's time to let our friend Kimberley rest in peace.


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