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
"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.