Australia’s first Minister for Family Violence Prevention Fiona Richardson has passed away, just a day after announcing she was taking time off to focus on her health after being diagnosed with multiple tumours.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that tragic news in a statement released on Wednesday night.
“It is my sad and solemn duty to confirm that Fiona Richardson – Member for Northcote, Minister and mother of two – has passed away at the age of 50,” he wrote.
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“The best people in public life are those who live their values. In fighting for her community, in standing up for the safety of women and children, and in seeking the power of government and all its vast possibilities, Fiona not only lived her values, she demanded the same of us all.
“I send my sincere condolences to her husband Stephen, her children Marcus and Catherine, to all her family and friends, and to her colleagues in Parliament and across the party.”
“Fiona fought until the very end. In fact, she only relieved herself of her parliamentary responsibilities yesterday.
“She did all of this not for herself, but for others”.
Tributes for Ms Richardson have since flooded social media.
Victorian MP Fiona Richardson dies after battling multiple tumours announced yesterday she was taking more time off after being diagnosed. pic.twitter.com/wMgH8c7hPH
— Brandi Saari (@brandilmelb) August 23, 2017
Vale Fiona Richardson. A warrior for her causes, a woman of outstanding ability, an MP of conviction. Rest in peace. #springst
— Louise Staley MP (@LouiseStaley) August 23, 2017
The remarkable Fiona Richardson MP will be sadly missed. A pioneer in gender equality & prevention of family violence. In this generation. pic.twitter.com/AdmyBZK7Ma
— Kate Jenkins (@Kate_Jenkins_) August 23, 2017
A strong advocate for working people & tireless in her determination to end family violence. Vale Fiona Richardson. Very sad news. #springst
— Vic Trades Hall (@VicUnions) August 23, 2017
It’s hard to express the grief Labor MPs are feeling as they try to speak about the sudden death of Fiona Richardson. Awful. #springst
— Matt Johnston (@Media_Matt) August 23, 2017
Vale Labor warrior, Minister and friend Fiona Richardson. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends. Jodi and Brendan
— Brendan O’Connor (@BOConnorMP) August 23, 2017