In the final parliamentary sitting week for 2023, it is devastating to hear of the passing of the Member for Dunkley, Peta Murphy.
Peta served the Labor Party, her constituents and the Australian people with grace and distinction.
Peta was a girl from Wagga whose road to parliament was paved by the inspiration she drew from the Hawke and Keating governments.
In her maiden speech, Peta spoke about aspiring to be a parliamentarian who wanted to enlarge our national imagination and promote robust debates and ideas. Looking back on her more than 4.5 years as the Member for Dunkley, Peta unquestionably lived up to the ideals she set for herself.
Peta was someone who was highly respected across Parliament. As a solicitor, barrister and senior public defender, Peta saw people at their complete lows. It was those experiences which motivated her to seek political office and play a part in championing holistic approaches to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and dysfunction.
For anyone who was on the opposing side of politics to Peta and sat on the opposite side of the chamber to her, it was impossible not to be impressed by the heartfelt and heroic way she spoke about causes dear to her: bettering the lives of women, children and families.
Twice Peta battled breast cancer, which she described as ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘sneaky’. But in her unrelenting advocacy for awareness-raising, treatment and funding, Peta unquestionably has helped many Australian women. It was one of her many fine contributions to public life.
On behalf of the Coalition, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Peta’s family, friends and Labor Party colleagues.
04 December 2023