Today, I pay tribute to Anna Burke MP for her remarkable service to the Labor Party and the people of Australia following her decision to retire from politics at the next election.
In 1998, Anna wrested the seat of Chisholm from the Liberals and has served the people of her electorate with passion and purpose for 17 years and a further five victories.
Anna has represented her community and the cause of progress with energy and integrity, particularly as an advocate for taking real action on climate change and the humane treatment of refugees.
Fittingly, Anna's electorate was named for Caroline Chisholm, ‘The Immigrants' Friend', for her work with new immigrants to New South Wales in the 19th century. Chisholm argued for jobs, accommodation and proper support for migrants who were often treated as second class citizens.
As the Member for Chisholm, Anna upheld this tradition as a fearless and tireless advocate for the rights of asylum seekers. Her unflinching dedication has earned her deep respect both inside and outside our party.
In an often fractious and contested Parliament, Anna was a skilful, impartial and patient Speaker, becoming only the second woman to hold the position in the history of federation.
Anna has served the people of Chisholm, our party and Australia with absolute distinction.
She leaves with our heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude.
We wish Anna, her husband Stephen and children Maddie and John the very best for the future.
WEDNESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053