Since your announcement last week, I have read the tributes in social and mainstream media with interest.
If there’s a theme to them, it goes to the distinctive blend of hard-headed policy nous and heart-felt compassion that you’ve brought to the Parliament, and to all the various positions you’ve held across your impressive political career.
Over many years, I have engaged with many politicians. My sense would be that not very many of them would either attract or deserve the kind of praise you have received.
As Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia at the time, I know how hard you worked to get the national apology over the line in 2008. It was a far from inevitable achievement and a moment none of us will forget.
Your support of the work of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition was similarly committed, principled and non-partisan.
In other words, you’ve done important things for all the right reasons and our nation owes you a great debt of gratitude.
All the very best for whatever lies ahead – I have no doubt you will continue to make your mark.