Mrs Wendy Jenkins - speech to Parliament

Mr GILES (Scullin) (16:12): I rise to draw the attention of the House to the passing of Wendy Jenkins, whose funeral took place in Melbourne this morning. I am very pleased that my friend the member for Chisholm was able to attend and to hear that it was a very fitting send-off. Hazel Eileen Jenkins, known as Wendy, made an extraordinary and indeed indelible contribution to the electorate of Scullin and to the Labor Party.

While I only met her on a few occasions, and I do not presume to have known her well, it is important to acknowledge her achievements in this place.

Wendy was married to Dr Harry Jenkins, who represented the electorate of Scullin from 1969 to 1986, and was the mother of the representative who succeeded him, Harry Jenkins. I can only speculate as to her influence on their many parliamentary achievements, although I am aware of how proud she was of both of them. Her personal achievements deserve and warrant serious attention. Wendy was a life member of the Victorian Branch of the ALP and was the first at many things—notably, the first woman on Whittlesea Shire and a real trailblazer in terms of women's involvement in the Labor Party, in Victoria and nationally. She famously stood up to Gough—the start of a friendship, I believe—and always stood up for social justice. She was very involved in the Lions Club and, until very recently, she was a delegate to the ALP's state conference, continuing her deep involvement at every level, going back to before intervention. She always put others first.

I extend all my best wishes to all of Wendy's family at this time and, in particular, to Harry and Michele. I know she will be greatly missed but always remembered.


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