Former Tasmanian Labor Senator Jean Hearn has died at age 96.
Mrs Hearn served in the Australian Senate from 1980 to 1985.
She was a passionate advocate for social justice and world peace, often holding her own party to account during the Hawke years.
On Tuesday, Mrs Hearn’s eldest son Michael Howe reflected on his mother’s life.
“Jean Hearn always tried to make a positive difference and devoted considerable energy to working for the wellbeing of her community, peace and opportunity for young people,” Mr Howe said.
“She was particularly able to channel those passions into her parliamentary career.”
Born Jean Margaret Button in Launceston in 1921, Mrs Hearn was the eldest of four children and was raised at Smithton.
Mrs Hearn married Frederick William Howe in 1940, with whom she had one child, Michael.
Mr Howe served in the 2/40th Australian Imperial Force battalion during the Second World War.
He died in 1944 in a prisoner of war camp in Java.
This sparked Mrs Hearn’s life-long commitment to pacifism.
She remarried in 1948, wedding Alfred Beverley Hearn, who was a teacher.
Mrs Hearn worked in a number of professions over her lifetime, including as a librarian, a school supervisor and a civil celebrant.
She had been a member of the Australian Labor Party for 29 years when she was elected to the Senate in 1980.
Mrs Hearn was a staunch proponent of Steiner education, which informed her education advocacy.
Deputy state Labor leader Michelle O’Byrne said Mrs Hearn “never gave up”.
Mrs Hearn worked for Ms O’Byrne’s late uncle Justin O’Byrne, himself a former Labor senator, in the 1970s.
“Walking away from something was unacceptable to Jean,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“I think [her legacy] was that you don’t have to compromise your true values as you progress the things you want to do.”
Mrs Hearn established the Tamar Community Peace Trust in 2015, seeking to promote a non-violent approach to conflict resolution.
Tamar Community Peace Trust chairwoman Jo Archer said Mrs Hearn’s legacy would “live on” through the trust.
Ms Archer said Mrs Hearn “helped thousands of people through her passion for education and parenting”.