Labor MP Peta Murphy died years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. After confirming the 50-year-old’s death earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese disclosed that she and her husband, Rod, were at their family home. Her cancer was first discovered in 2011, and not long after her election victory in 2019, it returned. 

Murphy dedicated her public service career to raising awareness of cancer. Mr. Albanese conveyed genuine grief, saying that the loss of Ms. Murphy had devastated his government.

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Who was Peta Murphy?

From 2019 until she died in 2023, Peta Jan Murphy, an Australian politician and member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), represented Dunkley as a member of parliament (MP) in the House of Representatives.

Murphy, who was born in Goulburn, New South Wales, on November 1, 1973, attended the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne to further his legal studies. She worked as a solicitor and barrister after completing her education before joining the Victorian Public Service. 

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She worked in the Victorian legal system in several roles, including Team Leader at the Victorian Law Reform Commission and Senior Public Defender at Victoria Legal Aid. She became Brendan O’Connor’s chief of staff when he became Labor Shadow Minister in 2016.

Murphy was the first woman to represent the Victorian seat of Dunkley in the House of Representatives after her victory during the 2019 federal election. 

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She made contributions to the House Standing Committee on Justice and Security as well as the House Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs within Parliament. On December 4, 2023, Peta Jan Murphy’s life and career came to an end.

Over her career, Murphy supported equality and social justice. She was a fervent supporter of workers’ rights and their interests. She also vehemently denounced the government’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, highlighting her dedication to humanitarian principles and human rights.