Senator breaks into song during farewell (+video)

Leaving parliament may be a blessing in disguise for Labor Senator Ursula Stephens, who looks prepped to shine on another stage - in showbiz.

The Irish-born Australian stopped short of doing a jig during her valedictory speech in the Senate, instead providing the house with a shaky duck analogy, a famous Australian poem and a wee Irish melody (from 22min 30sec in the video).

After tipping her glass to the Irish ambassador, Senator Stephens burst into song to bid farewell to her colleagues.

"For all the comrades e'er I had, they would wish me one more day to stay," she reverberated clearly across the chamber.

A little less clear was the duck analogy which the senator used to back into her message about caring for the 51 million people displaced around the world.

The story goes: Canberra traffic was banked up on Senator Stephens' way to work recently because a duck had been injured and another duck had stayed by its side.

"And I thought to myself, yes, even a duck looks after its mate," she said.

That was followed by the senator reciting Dame Mary Gilmore's Nationality poem which famously declares "this loaf is my son's bread".

"We must find a way to feed our own son and also look after our fellow human beings in need."

Leader of the opposition in the senate, Penny Wong, congratulated Senator Stephens on her 12-year term and said ending in song was a nice touch.

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