As farewell speeches go it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps at eight minutes it was extraordinarily brief for a politician, but not much else.
But what set it apart were the circumstances.
When South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher made her emotional farewell speech to the Senate it was revealed she had been charged with shoplifting for a second time.
Her first offence was last year when she was acquitted of stealing groceries at a supermarket in Adelaide.
In her speech, Ms Fisher, who was elected to the South Australia Senate in 2007, said she was stepping down so she could deal with her depression.
In her eight-minute speech to parliament she noted her contribution to a number of policy directions.
But as her speech turned to thanking everyone who had supported her in her battle with mental illness she broke down:
Of course I carry deep sorrow that my now infamous depression has taken me to a point where I can no longer ask the community to support me in the Senate, a position of trust where consistency and predictability of conduct must be a given,” she said.
It’s been a privilege to participate in senate committees and I tried to do my bit and uphold the integrity of Senate processes.
This proved to be a brave speech from someone who has much more to wrestle with than a shoplifting charge.
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The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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