Farewells from Parliament

Several members of parliament made valedictory—farewell—statements before retiring from Parliament, some after serving for many years.

Feb 27, 2019

Kellie O’Dwyer

The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, the Minister for Women and Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Member for Higgins, began her valedictory speech with words from her first speech—‘I will never forget that politics is about people and that people can make a difference.’

She highlighted the importance of the work that members do—‘There is a ferocity and urgency that is a permanent overlay to everything that is said and done here, because politics affects everyone, because the decisions made in this place affect the choices and opportunities of millions of Australians and the sort of Australia that we are and that we might become.’

Transcript of Ms O’Dwyer’s valedictory speech

Video of Ms O’Dwyer’s valedictory speech

Wayne Swan

In reflecting on his quarter of a century as a member of parliament, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, the Member for Lilley, highlighted the honour he felt in representing the people of his electorate—‘A political career, I think, is worthless if it's not grounded in the lives of the people that you represent.’ He also noted his place in history as ‘deputy PM and Treasurer under Australia's first female Prime Minister.’

Mr Swan spoke about the importance of equality in our society—‘We have generalised affluence, but that is now threatened here by rising inequality. That is something that we have to avoid at all costs. Inequality breeds disdain, resentment, suspicion, arrogance and callousness.’

He concluded by thanking parliamentary staff and noting that ‘We will not prosper as a country unless we value the contributions of everyone in our community and in our workforce—the cleaners, the office workers—just as we value the work of the policy strategists, the entrepreneurs.’

Transcript of Mr Swan’s valedictory speech

Video of Mr Swan’s valedictory speech

Senator John Williams

Senator John Williams, known to friends and colleagues as ‘Wacka’, reflected on his 11 years as a senator for New South Wales and people’s perception of the Parliament. ‘The one sad thing that I see about the Senate is that it works a lot better than the public think. When the public look at the TV, they see hand grenades being thrown around the chamber—a bitter atmosphere. It is not like that at all. We work closely together on our committee work and we have achieved so much.’

Transcript of Senator Williams’s valedictory speech

Video of Senator Williams’s valedictory speech

Other members of parliament who made valedictory statements include:

Ms Jenny Macklin MP

Transcript of Ms Macklin’s valedictory speech

Video of Ms Macklin’s valedictory speech

Ms Kate Ellis MP

Transcript of Ms Ellis’ valedictory speech

Video of Ms Ellis’ valedictory speech

Senator Jacinta Collins

Transcript of Senator Collins’ valedictory speech

Video of Senator Collins' valedictory speech

Senator David Leyonhjelm

Transcript of Senator Leyonhjelm’s valedictory speech

Video of Senator Leyonhjelm’s valedictory speech

Ms Gai Brodtmann MP

Transcript of Ms Brodtmann’s valedictory speech

Video of Ms Brodtmann’s valedictory speech

Ms Julie Bishop MP

Transcript of Ms Bishop’s speech

Video of Ms Bishop’s speech