Senator for South Australia
A former law lecturer and Adelaide City councillor, Linda Kirk was elected as a Labor senator for South Australia in 2001. She entered Parliament believing in a ‘strong, democratic and republican system of constitutional government’ and equality for all.
Throughout her parliamentary career she was very focused on legal and constitutional matters, particularly those surrounding anti-terrorism legislation, migration, reconciliation and mandatory detention of refugees. She was also a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and proposed legislation in relation to judicial misbehaviour and incapacity.
Senator Kirk often spoke of her concerns regarding the prevalence of child abuse and the effectiveness of child protection. She also highlighted a number of women’s issues including paid maternity leave and domestic violence. Access to and funding for higher education and the importance of a fair system of industrial relations were also important themes. Her interest in foreign affairs and international relations extended to issues such as the Iraq War, the treatment of Australian citizens held in Guantanamo Bay and the assessment of international treaties.
After serving as Deputy Opposition Whip she retired in 2007. In 2009 she was appointed to the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal.