ACOSS pays tribute to Senator Rachel Siewert for her tireless advocacy to reduce poverty and inequality in Australia.
Senator Siewert has been a stalwart supporter of people on the lowest incomes in Australia, and has done so much to ensure their issues were raised, and voices were heard, in our Federal Parliament and beyond. She has also tirelessly advocated for self-determination and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and equality and human rights for all.
Whether it be lifting income support payments to above the poverty line, or opposing income management and cashless debit, Senator Siewert has always fought hard for the rights of people on the lowest incomes in Australia. As chair of the Community Affairs References Committee, Senator Siewert has helped shine a light on so many injustices; from Robodebt, which was subsequently found to be unlawful, to the inquiry into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability, which called for a Royal Commission that eventually came to pass. She leaves the Australian Federal Parliament with a widely respected reputation of diligence, hard work, deep expertise and dedication to her extensive responsibilities.
Senator Siewert and her office have always been generous with their time to help people participate in the democratic process. She has supported the vital role of the community sector in the Australian community and she has consistently demonstrated a true commitment to supporting local communities to achieve change.
We congratulate Senator Siewert for her 16 years of service and extend our deep gratitude for all she has done to protect and promote the rights of people less powerful in society and her commitment to supporting their voices to be heard.