It is with a great deal of sadness that I wanted to inform you that, last night, Fiona Richardson MP – Minister for Women, and Australia's first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, passed away at the age of 50.
You know more than anyone, that she was a passionate advocate for the safety of women and children, and dedicated much of her working life to the protection of their best interests.
Thanks to her commitment and dedication, and through the process of a Royal Commission that she helped bring to the fore, Victoria is now taking a lead on the prevention of family violence and the promotion of gender equality.
People right across the sector that had an opportunity to work collaboratively with Minister Richardson on family violence issues, and the establishment of Family Safety Victoria, will appreciate just how big a loss her passing is.
In recent months I, like you, saw her unwavering determination, passion and the sheer hard work in bringing the Government’s flagship commitments on family violence prevention to life.
She also developed Victoria's first Gender Equality Strategy and her legacy will live on through the work of our department and that of the Office of Prevention and Women's Equality.
I know those of you that worked directly with Minister Richardson, will miss her leadership and vision; and I am greatly saddened by the fact that I will now not have the chance to work more closely with her.
I am sure that you will want to join me in extending our sincerest condolences to Minister Richardson’s family and friends at this time.