Vale, Hon Fiona Richardson, much loved MP Member for Northcote 2006 – 2017.
Fiona became Australia’s first minister for the prevention of family violence. She spoke out about her own family’s trauma from an abusive father.
Fiona was diagnosed with breast cancer and took time off in 2013 to recover. In a statement the day before her death, Fiona said “I remain passionately committed to the vision shared by myself and other victim-survivors to eradicate violence in the home within a generation and to end its dangerous and costly impact on families and children.”
Anti-family violence campaigner Rosie Batty said Ms Richardson was an inspiration, and her death should be a catalyst, bringing together politicians and the wider community to complete the work she began.
“This creates an opportunity in the worst way possible to really understand how important it is, that we really honour who she was, and her contribution and have a united commitment to fulfilling her vision.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said “Under her watch a dark and silent tragedy was brought into the harsh and unforgiving light of a royal commission — and the 2,000 pages of that commission’s final report are her greatest legacy to public life,” he said.
Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.
Fiona Richardson has been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1991. She was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Northcote in the Parliament of Victoria in November 2006, was re-elected in November 2010 and again in November 2014. She is currently serving as Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence in the Labor Government, which was elected in Novemebr 2014.
Fiona Richardson migrated to Australia with her parents and two brothers in 1969. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Politics and Psychology. Richardson worked at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital before travelling to the United Kingdom. She returned to Australia in 1994 when she began work for the VACC, advocating on behalf of service station operators. Since 1996 Richardson has worked as an Electorate Officer for Mary Gillett, Julia Gillard, Gareth Evans, Martin Ferguson and Stephen Conroy. She was elected MLA for Northcote in late 2006, and became Parliamentary Secretary for Education.