It is with great sadness that I pay tribute to Susan Ryan AO today.
Susan dedicated her life to public service through many different roles, both in public office as a Labor senator and minister, as well as in senior roles across in the private and public sector.
Her distinguished career included many firsts.
She was the first Senator for the Australian Capital Territory and the first Labor Senator for the ACT.
The first Labor woman appointed to a frontbench position.
The first Labor woman appointed to a ministry.
The first Labor woman to enter Cabinet.
She will be remembered as the woman who led the way, who built the path that Labor woman, including myself have followed.
She showed women all around Australia that not only was “a woman’s place is in the Senate” – a woman’s place was at every table where the decisions were being made.
A servant to the people, a passionate advocate for gender equality and for a world free from discrimination, her enormous contribution to shaping our nation will live on even though she is no longer with us.
I send my sincere condolences to Susan’s children, family and loved ones on what must be the most difficult of days today.