Vale Joan Kirner

Farewell to the Polkadot Premier.

Joan Kirner, Victoria’s first and only woman premier, passed away yesterday, aged 76. Mrs Kirner came to power in February 1989, following John Cain as Labor leader.

The former teacher led the party to an overwhelming defeat in August the following year – some would say she had been left to mop up the mess after too many years of poor economic management.

The media were particularly unkind to Joan Kirner, lampooning her fashion taste and body shape in a way few male politicians are pilloried.

Soon after losing the election in 1990, Mrs Kirner left politics but remained highly political, establishing EMILY’s List – an organisation devoted to supporting and promoting women in politics.

Many women are indebted to Mrs Kirner’s tireless efforts on their behalves – as well as her dignity and humour.

Julia Gillard has described her as an inspiration and a mentor – you can read more on her Facebook page

What are you memories of Joan Kirner?

Written by Kaye Fallick