Jane Garrett: integrity and kindness

Play Video

Condolence motion

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (10:53):

I rise today to speak and pay homage to someone who we all know was a beautiful woman, the Honourable Jane Garrett, who I only knew for three and a half years, but that time was spent enjoying Jane’s wisdom, intellect and company and listening to her laughter.

Jane was a person who spoke in this place with dedication, authenticity and great passion. She was a genuine woman who always wanted the best for all those around her. I remember seeing on my phone the news that Jane had passed, and like hearing that message of when Lady Di had passed away, I will never forget what I was doing at that time. It was absolute disbelief. This must have been a mistake. This cannot be true. How can we lose somebody who made such an incredible contribution to life and to her family?

I have to say that Jane and I shared a cup of tea at times. However, that may be not entirely true. We all know that Jane loved a little drop of red, and it was over a glass or three that we bonded and shared stories. All the while I would sit and listen with enormous admiration for a woman who I believed could have one day been the Premier of this state.

Prior to entering this place, my colleague Stuart Grimley and I were fully aware of Jane and her work within this Parliament, which many of you have articulated so beautifully today. In particular when she was Minister for Emergency Services I recall seeing Jane in the media during what was a terribly difficult time that has well been documented. I remember thinking what a courageous person Jane was, and the integrity that she showed in the most
difficult of times was something for us all to behold—a beautiful woman who, like Fiona Richardson, has been taken far too soon and who I will always remember as the smiling, courageous and formidable woman that she was.

On behalf of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, we express our sincere sympathy to Jane’s husband, James, her children, Molly, Sasha and Max, indeed all of Jane’s family, friends and colleagues and in particular her partner in crime, Mark Gepp MP.

Rest in peace, Jane, and may we all take a leaf from your book of integrity and kindness.

Video image: The Age