Labor senator Kimberley Kitching died suddenly at the age of 52 on suspicion of a heart attack.
Colleagues and friends are beginning to share compliments on social media, and Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the party was shocked by the tragic news.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to her family. Kimberly will miss us all,” he said on Twitter.
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten said Senator Kitcheng suffered a “heart problem” in Melbourne on Thursday night and died shortly thereafter.
Mr Shorten said her death was an immense loss to Labor and the public.
“Knowing Kimberly was not only impressed with her gentle intelligence, but also with her incredible warmth and vibrancy,” he said in a statement.
“As a Labor Senator, she is relentlessly energetic and sincere, and recently her human rights activities have gained international recognition.
“Our heart is directed at her husband Andrew, her family, and loved ones.”
Labor Rep. Madeleine King wrote about how much to miss the Senator.
“She was a solid and supportive colleague. She was smart, diligent, devoted, entertaining, and fun to be around,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I wish I had told her that. I miss the coffee shared with Australia around the building. I miss Kimberly.”
Senator Kitchengu joined the Senate in 2016 and has been a member of the Labor Party for almost 30 years.
She was born in Brisbane in 1970 and became a councilor in Melbourne between 2001 and 2004.
Senator Kitchengue also worked as general manager of the Healthcare Workers’ Union and as a special counsel at the law firm Cornwall Stodart.
She chaired the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Reference Committee and was Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Legislative Committee.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Senator was “a serious parliamentarian with a deep interest in Australia’s national security.”
“She was passionate about Australia’s national interest and insisted on it,” he said.
“She showed that her passion for her country was always greater than her partisan view. She clearly loved her country, and it really showed.”
Morrison said Senator Kitchengue “followed her conscience and was not afraid.”
“She was respected by people on both sides of the parliament. She was truly a member of parliament. Senator Kitchengue was deeply respected by the coalition,” he said.
“I express my government sympathy to Senator Kitchengu’s family.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the senator was a beautiful woman and her death was a tragic loss.
“I’m deeply, honestly and terribly angry when I hear the tragic news about Senator Kimberley Kitching, my dear and dear friend,” he said.
“I know she is with our Lord, and I offer my heartfelt and deep condolences to her family.”
Liberal senator James Patterson said she was a “true patriot.”
“She was a warrior for her cause, a friend of liberty, and a true patriot who had a great influence on her short time in the Senate,” he said.
“It’s a big loss for Congress, ALP and her family.”