Suzanna Sheed remembered Fiona Richardson as a ‘‘woman to be reckoned with’’ when Victorian Parliament paused to pay tribute to the former MP.
Question Time was suspended in parliament on Tuesday as MPs from all sides came together to remember Ms Richardson, who lost her battle with cancer two weeks ago.
The Member for Shepparton described Ms Richardson as a politician who rose above the petty point-scoring of politics.
‘‘She was respected and admired by political friends and foes alike and by many outside these walls, and she clearly knew how to set lofty goals and see them through,’’ Ms Sheed said.
Ms Sheed praised Ms Richardson’s achievements as Women’s Minister and her role in shining a light on the scourge of family violence and championing the rights of women.
‘‘Fiona was in the town in the middle of last year as part of her six-week statewide consultation to determine the government’s blueprint for gender equality,’’ she said.
‘‘(My staff) witnessed firsthand Fiona’s passion for her work, her ability to connect with others, her generosity and her endless compassion in fighting to break the cycle of family violence.’’
Fiona Richardson was first elected to parliament as the Labor member for Northcote at the 2006 state election.
She served as the Women’s Minister and the Prevention of Family Violence Minister in the Andrews Government, where she oversaw Australia’s first Royal Commission into the issue of family violence.
Premier Daniel Andrews remembered Ms Richardson as a champion of women.
‘‘Fiona spent every day of her working life challenging a culture that tells women that they are less talented, less deserving and less worthy,’’ Mr Andrews said.