Farewell to Joan Kirner

Joan Kirner, an important leading woman in Victoria’s history and the first and only female Premier of the State and a women with great social respect, has died this afternoon at the age of 76 years. Mrs Kirner contributed significantly to Victorian politics right from her first election win in 1982 until her retirement in 1992 when Jeff Kennett was elected. And after leaving parliament, she remained a driving force in women’s leadership, guiding young Labor women to join and excel in the party. The founder of EMILY’s List Australia, her achievements and support drove women to be stronger and more successful around her.

She died having fought hard against oesophageal cancer, and her family confirmed the death on Monday evening.

Julia Gillard released a statement on Twitter after her death, paying tribute to a woman who was “passionately committed to social justice”.

We remember Joan for her commitment to education. For becoming the first women to lead the State of Victoria. For her love of family and community.After her time as Premier, Joan could have chosen a quieter and easier life.But that simply would not have been Joan. Instead, her generosity of spirit and capacity for hard work meant her formidable energy went in to ensuring more Labor women entered parliament. Labors affirmative action rule and the creation of Emily List would not have been possible with Joan.  For a generation of a Labor women, including me, she was an inspiration and a mentor. We admired her stoicism. We celebrated her policy achievements.We were guided by her wisdom,” wrote Ms Gillard. 

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Joan_Kirner Mr Shorten also shared his incredible sadness at her passing.  “Joan Kirner’s was a life lived for the transformative power of education: as a community advocate, parliamentarian, Minister and Premier of Victoria…. Tow powerful principles defined her always,” he wrote.  “A dauntless warrior for social democracy and a leader of the market of women through the institutions of power.  
Mrs Kirner had a great sense of humour, and this clip below from The Late Show shows her in fine form, playing “I Love Rock n Roll” on live television.
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There have been many tweets celebrating her life overnight. Our condolences go out to her family.
How do you remember Joan Kirner? 

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