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Labour MP Peta Murphy Passes Away at 50 Following Cancer Fight

‘Every one of us in the Labor family is broken-hearted by the death of our beloved Peta Murphy,’ the prime minister said.

Labor MP Peta Murphy has died at home surrounded by family after a battle with breast cancer.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the death of the MP for Dunkley at a media conference in Canberra on Monday.

“Every one of us in the Labor family is broken-hearted by the death of our beloved Peta Murphy,” he said of the 50-year-old Victorian.

“Peta Murphy was brave, she was courageous, and she was loved.”

In 2019, two weeks before being sworn in, she was told her breast cancer had returned.

In her first speech she vowed to use her public platform to help others.

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“Ladies, check your breasts. Men, stop ignoring what your body is telling you,” she told parliament.

Ms. Murphy was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 just before she was due to move to San Francisco with her husband Rod.

Before entering parliament, Ms. Murphy served as a barrister and Victorian public defender, before working as a chief of staff to now Labor minister Brendan O’Connor.

Mr. Albanese said the late MP was much admired and respected in parliament and among her electorate.

“The people Peta represented admired her determination, they respected her passion, and they responded, above all, to her absolute authenticity,” he said.

“It was always clear just how much Peta cared for her community, her colleagues and our country … right up till last week, she insisted on coming to parliament.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said Ms. Murphy had served Labor, her constituents and the Australian people “with grace and distinction.”

“It was impossible not to be impressed by the heartfelt and heroic way she spoke about causes dear to her: bettering the lives of women, children and families,” Mr. Dutton said in a statement.

In parliament, Foreign Minister Penny Wong paid tribute to her colleague.

“She was loved, she was respected by all of us, greatly admired by her community that she represented with passion and determination even through all her illness,” she said.

“Peta’s strength was unmatched, and she will be greatly missed by us all.”

Labor MP Andrew Leigh, who worked alongside Ms. Murphy in the late 1990s, said she was passionate about social justice and curious about the world.

“The world needs more Peta Murphies,” he said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said Ms. Murphy, who was the first woman to represent her seat, was much respected in Victoria.

“We’re all poorer without her.”

CFMEU national secretary Zach Smith hailed her as a champion for workers.

“Peta leaves behind such a strong contribution that it’s hard to believe she was only in parliament for a little over four years,” he said.

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