Australia is a better and fairer nation due to the contribution of my friend Jenny Macklin to public life.
I have had the honour of working with Jenny since the day we were both elected to Parliament in 1996.
There is no doubt that Jenny Macklin has been the stand out contributor to policy development in the Australian Labor Party since that time.
The Apology, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Paid Parental Leave, and the Royal Commission into the Response of Institutions to Childhood Sexual Abuse are just some of Jenny’s legacies.
Jenny ensured the largest ever increase to the Aged Pension and Disability Support Pension, which was driven by her commitment to social justice and overcoming social disadvantage.
Jenny’s service as a Minister, Deputy Leader, Shadow Minister and member of key Committees – including Parliamentary Tactics and the Expenditure Review Committee, have been critical, over more than two decades.
Jenny leaves the Parliament with respect from all sides and is recognised as having more knowledge over income support and the attainment of social justice than anyone across the Parliament.
As someone who has had the pleasure of sitting next to Jenny on the front bench for a long time, I will miss her sense of humour and passionate advocacy.
I wish Jenny, Ross and all her family all the best for the future.