Victorian Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching has died suddenly aged 52.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese confirmed Senator Kitching’s death tonight.
“The Labor family is in shock tonight at the tragic news that our friend and colleague Senator Kimberley Kitching has died suddenly in Melbourne,” Mr Albanese wrote on Twitter.
“My sincere condolences to her family.
“Kimberley will be missed by us all.”
A former lawyer, Senator Kitching served the Senate from 2016 after filling the seat vacated by Stephen Conroy’s retirement.
Close friend and former federal Labor leader Bill Shorten shared a poignant tribute to Senator Kitching this evening.
“To know Kimberley was to be touched not just by her serene intellect but her incredible warmth and vivacity,” Mr Shorten wrote.
“Her passing is an immense loss to Labor and the nation.”
He included a passage from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also shared his condolences to Senator Kitching’s loved ones.
“Deeply saddened at the news Victorian Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching passed away suddenly today, aged just 52,” Mr Morrison wrote on social media.
“Our deepest condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues.”
Earlier today, Senator Kitching had shared a message of support for those affected by flooding in Queensland and NSW.
“My thoughts are with those in New South Wales and Queensland who have lost their homes, businesses, loved ones,” a post on Senator Kitching’s Facebook account read.
“Having grown up in Queensland, I know the chaos floods can cause.
“The footage of community members, flood victims, SES volunteers and ADF personnel stepping up to contribute to the rescue and, in some places, the recovery from the floods, is poignant.
“It reminds me of the camaraderie that defines the Australian character.”