Vale Joan Kirner AC

EMILY’s List is deeply saddened by the death of former premier and EMILY’s List founder Joan Kirner AC.

Joan was part of a group of women leaders who came together in the early 1990s to fight for the inclusion of affirmative action policies in the ALP. This group included Carmen Lawrence, Kay Setches, Helen Creed and Julia Gillard.

To monitor and assist in achieving these policies, the women established EMILY’s List, a not-for- profit, political support network committed to supporting women to become members of the federal, state and territory parliaments. Since its inception in 1996, EMILY’s List has assisted more than 210 women to enter Australian parliaments.

While part of the group which set up the organisation, Joan remained integral to its successful development by taking on the volunteer role of Co-Convenor for the first eight years.

After relinquishing this role, Joan remained an incredibly active supporter and ambassador for the organisation. She was always available to mentor new candidates and MPs, to advise and support staff members and volunteers and to attend and promote any EMILY’s List fundraising event.

She also remained a tireless and vocal advocate for EMILY’s List’s key principles of equity, childcare, equal pay, diversity and choice.

Joan loved life and loved being involved in the lives of those around her, particularly her family, friends and loved colleagues. She loved meeting people, especially young people, and never failed to remember those she had met over decades of political and community life.

Joan believed that everyone had a role to play and made sure she did her utmost to encourage everyone she met to have the confidence to play whatever role suited them best.

While Australia’s political and community sectors are all the better for Joan’s amazing contribution, her passing will leave a gap unable to be filled.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan’s family and we pass onto them our thanks for sharing Joan and supporting her to spend so much time guiding and assisting our organisation to grow and prosper.

Spokesperson: Tanja Kovac, National Co-Convenor, EMILY’s List Australia, 0419 910 577 Media Contact: Sophie Arnold, Deputy National Coordinator, 0421 214 334/ deputync@emilyslist.org.au

EMILY’s List Australia is a financial and political support network for progressive Labor women candidates, providing financial support, training, mentoring and gender gap research.

Online: www.emilyslist.org.au Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EMILYsListAus