Ms Bird (Cunningham) (10:07): While the parliament was sitting last week I received devastating news about a wonderful local lady and Wollongong City Council Labor councillor who passed away suddenly. Vicky King was a very well-regarded local and it was just devastating to hear the news that she had passed away last Tuesday. My thoughts and I'm sure the thoughts of the community I represent are with her family: her husband, Charlie; their children, Peter, Sylvia, David, Clare, Hanna and Matika; and their seven grandchildren. As a grandparent, Vicky and I would often share grandparent-boasting stories.
Vicky served and advocated for our community for 19 years as a councillor. She joined council in 1987 and remained a councillor until 2004. She was re-elected to council in September 2017. She was a passionate advocate for our community, and in particular the residents of the ward she represented in the southern suburbs. The Illawarra Mercury has told great stories about Vicky taking her children to council with her. She was a trailblazer not only for women but also for mums in public life, and that was a groundbreaking action. She has always been a proud mum with funny stories about her children and grandchildren, who she loved very dearly.
She was a member of the Port Kembla branch of the Labor Party, and their president, Michael Wilson, has provided me with a statement from the branch that I'd like to put on the record. It says:
Vicky will long be remembered as a woman of vision and boundless who loved and respected her friends and served her community with skill and commitment. She was fundamental to the Labor movement in the Illawarra and a champion for women in leadership roles.
Vicky was a committed supporter of social justice in our society and a force to be reckoned with as she consulted with her residents and brought forward their needs. Vicky served our Branch and her community for a long time and was passionate about the southern suburbs of Wollongong. Her commitment contributed to a range of infrastructure and services that we all enjoy and benefit from.
We will miss her.
I certainly share those sentiments of the Port Kembla branch and the Labor Party membership across our local area.
It was such shocking news, because we had no idea that we were about to hear that Vicky had passed. We were so proud of the work she was doing on council and her work in many community organisations that she'd been involved with, always standing up for somebody who wasn't able to stand up for themselves. Vicky was a tigress if she got onto your cause and campaign. She absolutely was motivated by standing up for people who couldn't do that for themselves. She made us very proud and she'll be terribly, terribly missed. We all extend our sympathy to her family.
Watch Sharon’s speech here.