Kimberley Jane Elizabeth Kitching (16 February 1970 – 10 March 2022) was an Australian politician, lawyer, and trade unionist. A member of the Labor Party, she was a Senator for Victoria from October 2016 until her death.
Ms. Kitching was born in Melbourne and studied law at the University of Queensland and worked as a lawyer before entering politics. She was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 2006 and served in the Labor shadow ministry from 2010 to 2014. In 2016 Ms. Kitching was elected to the Senate. She was a member of the Labor front bench from 2019 to 2022.
Death & Allegations of Bullying
Ms. Kitching died suddenly on 10 March 2022 at the age of 52. She was found dead in her home in Melbourne. The cause of death was not immediately known, but it was later revealed that she had died of a suspected heart attack.
Following Ms. Kitching's death, allegations emerged that she had been subjected to a sustained campaign of bullying by her Labor colleagues. Journalist Sharri Markson writing for The Australian alleged Labor politicians Penny Wong, Katy Gallagher and Kristina Keneally as being part of a "triple alliance" of "mean girls" and accused them of bullying Ms. Kitching. All three MPs denied these allegations.
One of these accusations was made by former-Labor MP, Michael Danby, who described her treatment by Labor colleagues as "beyond fair treatment and differences of opinions," and "nothing short of bullying."
The Labor Party denied the allegations of bullying and said that Ms. Kitching had never made any formal complaints about her treatment. However the allegations led to calls for an independent inquiry into the matter. In March 2022 Labor leader Anthony Albanese announced that there would be no independent inquiry into the allegations of bullying against Ms. Kitching.
Sources & Further Reading