Statement from Bill Shortern MP, Leader of the Opposition
VALE CON SCIACCA AO
Today our party and our movement mourns the loss of an icon, a true believer and a
fearless warrior for the Labor cause. We honour Con Sciacca’s life of service to others.
Con was a much-loved member of our Labor family. A mentor, a friend, a constant
source of wise counsel for Prime Ministers, Premiers, generations of Labor
parliamentarians – and indeed people in public life right across the political spectrum.
I will always be grateful for Con’s friendship, for what he taught me and for his unstinting
For 15 years, in two different stints Con served as the Member for Bowman and as
Minister for Veterans Affairs in the Keating Government. He remains widely regarded as
one of Australia’s best Veterans Affairs Ministers and his work on the ‘Australia
Remembers’ campaign, honouring the courage and sacrifice of Australians who served
in the Second World War is still the gold standard for the respect we show those who
served our nation.
As a Shadow Minister under Kim Beazley, Con relished the opportunity to celebrate his
own Italian heritage and Australia’s great multicultural character. As a successful man
from humble beginnings, Con shared a deep affinity for all who come to this country
seeking a better life for their families and enriching Australia as a result.
Con was always one of those people who excelled in everything he turned his hand to:
in the law, politics and as a highly-successful businessman. But his great and diverse
success never changed him. His essential qualities: resilience, loyalty, good humour,
love of family held true, always.
Today the Labor family sends its love to Con’s family. His wife Karen amazed us all with
her strength and devotion throughout his illness and she is in our hearts today. We offer
our deepest sympathies to Con’s daughter Zina, his adored granddaughter Grace and
his step-sons Daniel and Nicholas Toth.
Con fought the good fight, longer and tougher than most. We will all miss him.
May he rest in peace.