Retiring Cunningham MP Sharon Bird has received a standing ovation as she delivered her farewell address in Parliament on Tuesday.
Ms Bird announced she was leaving politics two weeks ago after serving for 18 years.
Ms Bird said she wanted to retire to spend more time with her family, especially her grandchildren, as she had been away from her loved ones often while Parliament was sitting in Canberra.
She will not contest the next election but will continue to act in the role until a new member is chosen.
In her valedictory speech, Ms Bird spoke about how her community had been affected by the pandemic in the past two years, especially those in the education sector, the more vulnerable people as well as those in casual work.
"The challenges that were faced and met show the great resilience of our community but also show where we need to improve for the future," she said.
"We must learn lessons from this period and deliver better policy, legislation and programs to strengthen and improve and not just slip back into the same flawed structures.
"These sorts of challenges of reform and growth for our society have always been part of the great Australian Labor Party project."
Ms Bird said it had been an "enormous honour and a great joy" to represent her community since she won the safe Labor seat of Cunningham in 2004.
"I am acutely conscious that public debate has become more fractured and uncivil over recent years but I have to say that local people have almost always approached me on the multitude of traditional and new platforms available to them with civility and respect," she said.
"Even when they profoundly disagree with my view or position on an issue, they express that compassionately and civilly to me and it is my sincere hope that we can all continue to debate the big and small issues with passion and conviction in a robust debate that challenges our thinking that never becomes aggressive or violent in expression.
"Thank you to each and every person across my community who has supported me, challenged me, disagreed with me but all trusted me to be their voice in this place.
"Of course I will continue to do this job with all my heart and energy up until the election."
The former teacher started her political career as a staffer in 1995 for the former member for Throsby Colin Hollis and returned to work in 2004 as the member of Cunningham.
She said the nature of the job had changed dramatically over the years, noting that when she was first elected she had a MySpace account and a mobile phone that was not connected to the internet.
Ms Bird spoke about her various roles in Parliament and on committees.
She went on to thank a large number of people who she has worked with, became friends with in her role or had supported her over her 18 years.
She gave particularity thanks to her staff, Labor colleagues and local people, businesses, clubs, committees, organisations and groups.
Ms Bird said some of the most notable moments in the House of representatives chamber she witnessed was former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations, the achievement of marriage equality, the delivery of legislation for a National Disability Insurance Scheme and the first day of the first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
She said some of her highlights from her career was being introduced to former US President Barack Obama and speaking briefly to Queen Elizabeth.
Ms Bird ended her speech by thanking her family members for their unwavering encouragement, help, love and endless support.
"Being the member for Cunningham has been a privilege, an honour and a responsibility only made possible becuase of so many other wonderful people and my extraordinary electorate," she concluded.
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