Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has released a heartfelt statement following the death of his beloved wife Michelle.
The 61-year-old shared news of his wife’s passing on Friday morning, confirming she had “succumbed to her long battle with cancer”.
In the beautiful statement titled “my darling wife”, Abetz, who first joined the Liberal Party in 1976, thanked the public for their support over past year, explaining how much it meant to Michelle throughout her fight against the terrible disease.
“It is with immense sadness that I advise that my darling wife Michelle has succumbed to her long battle with cancer,” he began.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our many friends who have been so incredibly supportive in recent years which has provided Michelle so much courage and strength to fight this very long battle.
“We have been sustained by our Christian faith during this period and thank the Christian community around Australia for their prayerful support.”
The current Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, went on to thank the media for not pressing them for information during the difficult time.
“I also want to thank the media who have been very generous in protecting my family’s privacy since 2015 to allow us to deal with this matter as a private one,” Abetz continued. “To that end, on behalf of my family and myself, I ask for privacy at this difficult time.”
The senator ended by asking for the public to consider donating to Bowel Cancer Australia, which supports those suffering from the disease.
Abetz has held many roles within the government throughout his career, from State President to Special Minister of State and Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation.
In 2010 he was appointed the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, becoming the first Tasmanian Liberal to occupy the role. Five years later he moved to the backbench, where he still held a significant position within the party.
Abetz currently holds the position of Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. He is also the member of a range of other committees including the Joint Standing Committee on Law Enforcement and the Senate Standing Committee on Privileges.
Some of the senator’s major achievements include overseeing government employment programs including Jobactive and Work for the Dole.