Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching dies | Blue Mountains Gazette
Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching died suddenly aged 52 of a suspected heart attack.
Colleagues and friends began sharing tributes on social media, with Labor leader Anthony Albanese saying the party was in shock at the tragic news.
“My sincere condolences to her family. Kimberley will be missed by all of us,” he said on Twitter.
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten said Senator Kitching suffered from a “heart condition” on Thursday night in Melbourne and died shortly after.
Mr Shorten said his passing was a huge loss for Labor and the nation.
“To know Kimberley was to be touched not only by her serene intellect, but also by her incredible warmth and liveliness,” he said in a statement.
“As a Labor senator, she has shown tireless energy and conscience, which has recently won international recognition for her human rights work.
“Our hearts go out to her husband Andrew, his family and loved ones.”
Labor MP Madeleine King wrote how much she would miss the senator.
“She was a steadfast and supportive colleague. Smart, hardworking, dedicated, funny and amusing,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I wish I had told him that. I’m going to miss the shared coffees at Aussies and around the building. I’m going to miss Kimberley.”
Senator Kitching joined the Senate in 2016 and was a Labor Party member for nearly three decades.
She was born in Brisbane in 1970 and served as a Melbourne councilor between 2001 and 2004.
Senator Kitching has also worked as the general manager of the Union of Health Care Workers and as special counsel at the Cornwall Stodart law firm.
She chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade and served as Deputy Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Legislation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the senator was a “serious parliamentarian with a deep interest in Australia’s national security”.
“She had a passion for Australia’s national interest and stood up for it,” he said.
“She demonstrated that her passion for her country was always greater than any partisan opinion. She clearly loved her country and it really showed.”
Mr Morrison said Senator Kitching ‘follows his conscience and is not afraid of anything’.
“She was respected by those on both sides of Parliament – she was a parliamentarian in the truest sense of the word. Senator Kitching was deeply respected by the Coalition,” he said.
“To Senator Kitching’s family, I offer the government’s condolences.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the senator was a beautiful woman and her death a tragic loss.
“I am deeply, sincerely and terribly upset to hear the tragic news of a dear and dear friend, Senator Kimberley Kitching,” he said.
“I know she is with our Lord, and I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to her family.”
Liberal Senator James Paterson said she was a “true patriot”.
“She was a warrior for her cause, a friend of freedom and a true patriot who had a huge impact during her short time in the Senate,” he said.
“A huge loss for parliament, the PLA and its family.”
Australian Associated Press