Saturday, 15 October 2016

New Labor Senator for Victoria Kimberly Kitching - who is she?

This is newly appointed Senator for Victoria Kimberly Kitching in her own words on 23 August 2014:

“I speak 4 languages. I have tertiary qualifications, including a law degree.

I have been admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland. 

I have been elected as a Councillor of the City of Melbourne, a Corporation that at that time had a budget of approximately $300 million.

I have worked as a Senior Advisor to the Minister for Industry and Trade, Major Projects and Information and Communications Technology; and as a Senior Advisor to the Treasurer of Victoria who with the Premier and other members of the Expenditure Review Committee sets (at that time) a $45 billion State Budget (FY09- 10).

I have been employed in private enterprise: I was an employee at LookSmart, a technology company that went on to list on the NASDAQ, and was involved in the first tranche of its capital raising; I have also been employed at Drake International, the largest privately owned human resources company globally and was responsible for their Government and Corporate Relations, and for strategic human resources advice for clients.

I have been a Director on several boards, and have been a Vice President and Trustee of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party.

In late 2012 I was studying for the entrance exam to participate in the Victorian Bar Readers' Course.”

A fairly impressive resume.

The problem for the federal Labor Party is those words are taken from the first of two witness statements tendered to the Abbott Government’s notorious  Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption in which Kitching was giving evidence concerning her time as General Manager in the equally notorious Victoria No.1 Branch of the Health Services Union. [See here and here]

Her husband past president of Melbourne University Student Union and former political blogger, Andrew Landeryou, is not necessarily seen by all as an asset to her new career in the Senate – having been associated with the health union's past power struggles and then arrested in St. Kilda at 2.40am on the morning of the July 2016 federal election for allegedly vandalising Greens and Liberal polling material at multiple polling stations from Elwood to Port Melbourne, and allegedly driving at volunteers who tried to stop them.

Already a couple of media commentators are characterising Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s endorsement of Kimberly Kitching as either “courageous” or “brave” – either way it is not meant as a compliment to Mr. Shorten’s judgment.

* Image found at @kimbakit

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