Vale Jan Kennedy

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I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the life of Janette Mary Kennedy, Jan to all her friends and comrades, who, sadly, passed away last Friday. The saying goes that behind every good man is a great woman, and nothing could be truer than that of the wife of Cyril Kennedy, a past member for Waverley in the other place. Jan was a force to be reckoned with. She was always a voice for the marginalised, the weak and the unloved and would always have her voice heard. Jan was a community-minded woman with a passion for social justice. Jan started her career as a nurse and was a proud trade unionist, joining at the age of 17. She spent her career working in the health sector as a maternal and child health nurse, looking after the newest babies in the east.

Jan, with other volunteers, founded the Waverley Community Health Centre in 1975 to provide counselling services to those who needed it in the community. She stayed involved and on the board of management for many years. Waverley Community Health Centre grew and became Link Health and Community, a service that currently operates in the eastern suburbs. She was Labor’s candidate for the seat of Bennettswood at the 1992 state election. She was passionate about advancing the rights of women, both within the party and more broadly in our society.

I was fortunate to meet Jan when I attended my first ALP branch meeting at Waverley West back in 2012. Jan was always there with great advice and encouragement, and she was always committed to the cause. Jan contributed so much to our community, especially in the spaces of community health and women’s rights. The legacy of her hard work will continue, and Jan will be missed by all. Vale, Jan Kennedy.

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