Senator Rhiannon’s last speech

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon made her last speech—known as a valedictory statement—to the Senate.

Aug 29, 2018

Senator Rhiannon retired from the Senate after serving for 7 years, and before the end of her term of office. Under section 15 of the Australian Constitution, if a senator retires before the end of his or her term, a new senator is appointed to fill the casual vacancy. The appointment is made by the parliament in the state or territory from which the retiring senator was chosen.  The new senator is appointed from the same political party as the previous senator. The NSW Parliament has appointed Dr Mehreen Faruqi to replace Senator Rhiannon.

In her speech, Senator Rhiannon described herself as an ‘outlier’ who, before she became a senator, saw Parliament as ‘a place where we went to protest, not to get a job.’

Later, she explained, ‘Before I came into parliament, I believed that people working together are the drivers of progressive change. Our history illustrates this truth.’ In conclusion, Senator Rhiannon stated, ‘I'm leaving parliament, but I'm not leaving politics. I look forward to returning to the streets. Thank you very much to all my colleagues in this place.’