Two minute statement

19 June 2023

I rise today to remember Janette Mary Kennedy, a proud member of the Australian Labor Party, who, sadly, passed away on Friday 26 May this year. Jan joined the ALP in 1964 and has been a stalwart of our movement for decades. She was Labor through and through, starting her career as a nurse and joining the union movement at the age of 17. This was the start of a long career in the health sector, working as a maternal and child health nurse.

In 1975, Jan and other volunteers founded the Waverley community health centre. This centre grew into Monash Link and then became Link Health and Community, where I had the pleasure to serve on the board with Jan, prior to my time in this place. It was always obvious in our meetings that Jan’s passion for community health had not been diminished at all since she’d founded the centre back in 1975.

Jan was a strong and effective advocate for the rights of women and for workers, both within the ALP and within our society. She stood as the ALP’s candidate for the state seat of Bennettswood at the 1992 election in Victoria, and, of course, was essential to her husband’s, Cyril Kennedy’s, success as the state member for Waverley province in the Victorian Legislative Council from 1979 until 1992.

Thank you, Jan, for your decades of dedication to our party and to our movement. My condolences go out to Cyril, their children and grandchildren. Vale, comrade Jan Kennedy.