Kimberley Kitching

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Kimberley Kitching
Senator for Victoria
Assumed office
25 October 2016
Preceded byStephen Conroy
Personal details
Born (1970-02-16) 16 February 1970 (age 49)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Political partyLabor
Spouse(s)
Andrew Landeryou (m. 2000)
Alma materUniversity of Queensland

Kimberley Jane Elizabeth Kitching[1] (born 16 February 1970)[2] is an Australian politician and former lawyer and trade unionist. She has been a Senator for Victoria since October 2016, representing the Labor Party.

Early life[edit]

Kitching was born in Brisbane, the daughter of Bill and Leigh Kitching. She grew up in the suburb of St Lucia, where she was a childhood friend of Chloe Shorten. Her father was a chemistry professor, and during her youth the family spent time in England, Spain, France, Germany, and the United States as her father received academic postings. Kitching completed her schooling at Brisbane Girls Grammar School and then studied arts and law at the University of Queensland. She joined Young Labor as a student.[3]

Pre-politics career[edit]

Kitching was admitted as a solicitor by the Supreme Court of Queensland. She moved to Melbourne in 1995.[3] In the private sector, she worked for LookSmart before it was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, IQ Media (the company operated by her husband Andrew Landeryou)[4] and Drake International, where she was the head of Government and Corporate Relations.[5]

From December 2012, Kitching worked as the General Manager of the Victorian No. 1 Branch of the Health Services Union,[5][6] leaving after a few years.[7] In 2014, she was called to give evidence to the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption relating to her time with the Health Services Union.[1][8]

In 2015 a Vice President of the Fair Work Commission found that Kitching had illegally completed testing on behalf of other union officials to gain right of entry permits.[9][10]

Political career[edit]

Kitching has been involved in Victorian Labor politics for some time, including being vice-president of the party's Victorian Branch.[5] She was a Melbourne City Councillor in the early 2000s,[11][12] and was a senior adviser to several ministries in the government of Labor premier Steve Bracks, as well as to John Lenders, the treasurer in the Brumby government.[5][13][14]

In the 2013 Australian federal election, Kitching made a bid for Labor pre-selection for the Victorian electorates of Lalor and Gellibrand. Her bid was unsuccessful due to opposition from within the party, including from Stephen Conroy.[15][4]

On 13 October 2016, Kitching won pre-selection to fill the Victorian Senate seat vacated by Stephen Conroy's resignation on 30 September.[4][16][17] Kitching's pre-selection was supported by her close friend, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, and by the Labor Right.[8][18] Shorten's support for Kitching generated tension in the party with former frontbencher Anthony Albanese refusing to support her pre-selection,[19] and legal affairs spokesperson Mark Dreyfus threatening to resign from his position in the shadow cabinet, although he did not carry out the threat.[20]

Kitching was formally sworn in as a Senator on 7 November 2016.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Kitching is married to Andrew Landeryou, previously a well-known political blogger; her father-in-law Bill Landeryou was a state government minister in Victoria. The couple married in 2000 after meeting at a Labor fundraising night in country New South Wales. In 2001, the couple purchased Wardlow, a heritage-listed mansion in Parkville, Melbourne. The couple separated due to financial difficulties in the mid-2000s, and Kitching filed for bankruptcy in 2005, selling Wardlow to clear her debts; the bankruptcy was annulled in 2006. They did not divorce and later resumed their relationship.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Trade Union Royal Commission - transcript 26 August 2014" (DOC). Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Commonwealth of Australia. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. ^ Wood, Leonie; Millar, Royce (20 April 2005). "Ex-city councillor loses her mansion". The Age. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Knott, Matthew (2 March 2018). "Why ALP backbencher Kimberley Kitching may become a household name". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Millar, Royce; Schneiders, Ben (13 October 2016). "Shorten backs controversial lawyer Kimberley Kitching for Senate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Kitching, Kimberley (23 August 2014). "Witness Statement" (PDF). Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  6. ^ Schneiders, Ben; Millar, Royce (23 February 2016). "Shorten's mates drive HSU branch to the brink of insolvency". The Age. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  7. ^ Schneiders, Ben (14 October 2016). "Shorten has erred in backing new Senator Kimberley Kitching". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b Hunter, Fergus; Millar, Royce; Schneiders, Ben (14 October 2016). "Coalition accuses Labor of 'union stitch-up' over Senate preselection of 'dodgy' Kimberley Kitching". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  9. ^ Kappelle, Liza (14 October 2016). "Kitching seems a union stitch up: Turnbull". news.com.au. Australian Associated Press. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. ^ Watson, Graeme (26 June 2015). "2015 Fair Work Commission decision regarding Health Services Union-Victoria No. 1 Branch (FWC 3359)". Fair Work Commission. Melbourne. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  11. ^ Donovan, Patrick; Boulton, Martin (8 July 2004). "Mayor thunderstruck with AC/DC". The Age. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Plot thickens! Dirty tricks! Amazing scenes! Media blackout!". Crikey. 1 July 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. ^ Wallace, Rick (13 October 2016). "Conroy Senate vacancy: Kimberley Kitching and Diana Taylor lead field of eight". The Australian. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  14. ^ Lucas, Clay (7 January 2013). "Health union's new regime sacks old staff: Secretary seeks control on spending". The Age. Fairfax Media.
  15. ^ "Kitching to take Conroy's Vic senate spot". Australian Associated Press. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  16. ^ Henderson, Anna; Anderson, Stephanie (16 September 2016). "Stephen Conroy announces retirement; Labor colleagues caught by surprise". ABC News. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  17. ^ Dziedzic, Stephen (13 October 2016). "Stephen Conroy: Labor factional brawl ends as Kimberley Kitching replaces outgoing senator". ABC News. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  18. ^ Woodley, Naomi (18 October 2016). "Government to target Labor's Kimberley Kitching in debate over industrial relations bill". ABC News. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  19. ^ Massola, James (18 October 2016). "Anthony Albanese fails to endorse Bill Shorten's key ally Kimberley Kitching for Senate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  20. ^ Massola, James (24 November 2016). "Mark Dreyfus threatened to resign if Bill Shorten allowed Kimberley Kitching Senate post". The Age. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Controversial Labor senator sworn in". SBS. 7 November 2016.