Victorian government MP Fiona Richardson has been remembered as a fierce and focused Labor organiser, a wonderful mum and friend, and defender of women.
Hundreds of people including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Premier Daniel Andrews gathered for a state service for Australia’s first family violence minister who died from cancer, aged 50, on August 23.
During a welcome-to-country ceremony at Northcote’s Regal Ballroom on Thursday, Wurundjeri elder Diane Kerr remembered Ms Richardson as a woman who offered the Aboriginal community friendship and understanding.
Victorian government MP Fiona Richardson has been remembered as a fierce and focused Labor organiser, a wonderful mum and friend, and defender of women at her funeral
Hundreds of people including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Premier Daniel Andrews gathered for her state service
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with his wife Chloe at the funeral
‘I hope she flies with Bunjil in her next journey,’ Ms Kerr said.
‘May you soar high.’
Former premier and master of ceremonies Steve Bracks said he was under strict instructions from Ms Richardson’s children, Marcus and Catherine, and husband Stephen Newnham, to keep the memorial celebratory.
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy arriving for the State Memorial Service
‘That’s what Fiona wanted,’ Mr Bracks said.
‘And I’m not brave enough to cross Fiona,’ he said to laughter from mourners.
Elected to the seat of Northcote in 2006, Ms Richardson was put in charge of the nation’s first dedicated family violence ministry in 2014.
She only discussed her own experience with domestic violence in 2016, revealing that she, her siblings and mother had been victims at the hand of her father.
About 700 people have gathered for the state service.
Parliamentarian Jenny Mikakos pictured arriving to the funeral
Former Premier John Brumby also pictured arriving to the service – to say goodbye to Richardson
Health minister Jill Hennessy at the woman’s funeral
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with his wife Chloe arrives for the State Memorial Service for Fiona Richardson at the Regal Ballroom in Melbourne
Former Governor General Peter Holllingworth also appeared to show his respects
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten originally lead the charge in tributes to Richardson
Senator Kim Carr, pictured with dark glasses, arrives at the State Memorial Service for Fiona Richardson
Ronin Scott arriving for the State Memorial Service dressed in a purple scarf and matching tie
The order of service is seen at the State Memorial Service for Fiona Richardson
Premier Daniel Andrews with Governor Linda Dessau arrive at the State Memorial Service
Governor Linda Dessau pinned a purple flower to her jacket for the occasion