Joan Kirner’s legacy looms large over the Labor Party and the women’s movement.
Of Victorian Labor MPs, 44 per cent are women, and that hasn’t happened by accident.
Joan’s vision and determination helped give women a voice, and seats, in state and federal parliaments.
They have been able to champion significant change, from abortion law reform to today’s efforts to eradicate family violence.
During her time in Parliament, the Equal Opportunity Act was passed and the Office of Women was established.
When Joan retired from Parliament, she helped establish EMILY’s List Australia and successfully saw the introduction of an affirmative action target – or quota – to lift the participation of women in the Labor Party and the Parliament.
Whenever you spoke to Joan, she wanted to know what you were doing and working on, but she also encouraged you to take up the fight.
Joan touched so many lives in Victoria, as a teacher, mother, education campaigner and parliamentarian.
There are many people across the state, particularly women, who will want to honour her memory.
The Andrews Labor Government, in consultation with the Kirner family, will consider the most appropriate way to remember Joan and her legacy.
Reviewed 19 August 2020