Today we honour a great activist and reformer of the Labor Party.

Joan Kirner was a true trailblazer and a passionate advocate for social change, who leaves a lasting legacy of reform.

Joan was the first woman to serve as Premier of Victoria and because of her fierce commitment to gender equality, she will not be our last. Through her work as a passionate advocate for women in politics, she irrevocably changed our party for the better. During her time in Parliament, the Equal Opportunity Act was passed and the Office of Women was established. Labor’s affirmative action rule and the creation of EMILY’s List Australia would not have been possible without her.

Her lifelong commitment to education ensured a fairer and better system for the future of Victorian children.

She was resolute in the face of adversity, generous in spirit and dedicated to social justice. Victoria is stronger and fairer for her service.

I extend my deepest condolences to the Kirner family, especially her husband, Ron, and their three children, Michael, Kate and David.