Page 1565 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (11.20), by leave: I must admit that that, by far, has been the best speech that you have given in the chamber. Mrs Jones knows exactly how I feel about politics, and for her to stand up and say nice things about every single person in this chamber is quite refreshing, and I love it. I think we should do more of that. So I thank her for raising the bar.

I have known Giulia for many years now. I have known her before politics, and she has become a great source of mentorship and comfort to me. I remember one time when I was campaigning back in 2016 and she messaged me and called me continuously. She said, “Elizabeth, when you go out into the electorate, you will face adversity. You will face other people who will hate you, not only because of who you are, but because of the party that you belong to.” And I was like, “Yes, I will be fine, Giulia.” Little did I know that, as soon as I hit the shops and somebody saw the blue sign, there would be swearing and spitting. And I thought, “Wow, Giulia was right.” And so I stood there, and I was shedding a few tears. I remember messaging Giulia that evening, because I received a message from her after she had campaigned all day long and was looking after her kids. She was still very thoughtful about others. She messaged me and said, “How did today go?”

And I just poured out my soul about politics, that I hated politics: “I do not even know why I am doing this.” But Giulia provided words of comfort, love, inspiration and courage to move forward, and she has not changed one bit; she still continues to do the same thing. Even when I got into office, in the first year it was very difficult for me to adjust from being a full-time mum of five kids—from the kitchen to the parliament. It was a completely different environment. Giulia made sure that I felt comfortable in this space and that I knew what to do next. Forever I will be grateful for that—for her mentorship and also for her friendship. I will always be grateful for that.

As a local member I have admired the amount of work that she has diligently provided to her constituents. I have admired her diligence in listening to them and coming into this chamber to be a voice for them. I have admired her strength to tackle the opposition every time that there was a very robust debate. I have always admired her strength and her ability to stand up for other people as well as for herself. That is one thing that I will always carry, and I am very grateful for that example. On top of that, we have been hearing about her kindness towards everybody and I think she has just raised the bar even more. We need to show more kindness to each other, no matter what politics we belong to, what side we belong to, or what policy we may disagree with. Showing kindness to each, as well as to the staff of MLAs, is ever so important.

I thank the member for pointing that out, because that is a great legacy to leave behind in the ACT Legislative Assembly, and it has been quite refreshing to hear all of the back work that Mrs Jones has done with her constituents, but also the kindness that she has shown to everybody in this room. I did not know about that, but I am not surprised that she has done that, because that is who she is. She is an angel in disguise in this place, and I will forever be grateful for that.

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