Senate debates

Monday, 28 March 2022


Kitching, Senator Kimberley Jane Elizabeth

12:16 pm

Photo of Marielle SmithMarielle Smith (SA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

() (): The incorporated speech read as follows—

Mr President, I cannot say I have known Kimberley for as long as many people in this room.

We first met when I was sworn into the Senate in 2019, and I was instantly captured by her warmth, wit and intelligence. Kimberley was captivating.

I enjoyed her company from the beginning, but it wasn't until I was preparing for the arrival of my daughter Zara that we became friends.

I was serving on nine committees at the time. In order to spend a few precious months with my newborn daughter, I needed to find colleagues to take on the work in my absence.

Kimberley was enthusiastic and willing to take on the most complex and work intensive committees on my behalf. She was excited, even. She was keen to get across the brief, across the mission, and to support the work the Chair and myself had already put in. Most importantly, she reassured me and comforted me that it was okay to take the leave, that I could rely on her.

That started the beginning of the opportunities I had to get to know Kimberley better.

To work with her on committees.

To share a glass of wine.

To celebrate successes, especially her work towards the Magnitsky laws, her incredible legacy to human rights in our world.

And, so importantly to me, to provide support when things were tough.

On one tough day for me, Kimberley was quick to the phone, to offer not just sympathy, but strategy.

It took me by surprise, but in that moment, I saw a glimpse of what an incredible ally she could be to those she cared about.

I know for her closest friends, that ferocity, that loyalty, those qualities of a lioness, will be irreplaceable. I feel lucky to have witnessed it.

I hope Kimberley felt that when things were tough, she had a friend in me too.

I will miss Kimberley. Her cheeky smile, her warm demeanour, that sparkle in her eye. The chats which could range from the need to defend human rights to Senatorial Sartorial style!

I will continue to admire her—for her work ethic, her tenacity, her dedication to the values and ideals she believed in.

And I know she will leavea legacy both here, and around the world. She does so because she always worked with purpose.

And that is something that should inspire and encourage us all.

I want to express my condolences to Kimberley's staff. We all know in this place that the relationship we have with our staff is an incredibly close one, forged by long hours and the need for a deep trust in one another.

The loss they must be feeling at the sudden and tragic passing of not only their boss, but also a close friend, is surely deep and profound.

I also express my sincere condolences to her deeply loved husband Andrew. May we all take inspiration from your partnership and love.

To Kimberley's family and staff, you have so much to be proud of. I am so verysorry for your loss.

Vale Kimberley Kitching. Your legacy will endure.


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