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Victoria mourns former health minister

Former State Premier Jeff Kennett has described his health minister Marie Tehan as an "intelligent, compassionate and hard-working individual who was sustained by her Catholic faith".

The high-profile minister in the Kennett Liberal Government retired in 1999 after 12 years in politics. The 64 year old mother of six succumbed to a rare brain disease on Sunday night after battling deteriorating health for months.

Mrs Tehan, who also served as Minister for Conservation and Land Management, will be honoured with a state funeral at St Malachy's Catholic Church at Nagambie, north of Melbourne, on Friday.

Current Liberal leader Robert Doyle said Mrs Tehan did much to remove the stigma that was an additional burden for mental health sufferers.

"Marie Tehan will long be remembered for her very personal commitment to the delivery of better mental health services and her determination to remove the stigma of mental illness," he said.

Deputy Liberal leader Phil Honeywood recalled that while attending a Catholic church service in Richmond, Mrs Tehan became concerned when the priest made critical remarks about the Kennett government.

Mr Honeywood said Mrs Tehan promptly stood up, said to the priest, "You are wrong", and walked out of the church.

Victoria mourns former [Health] minister [Marie Tehan] (Herald-Sun 2/11/04)
Tributes for ex-minister Marie Tehan (The Age 2/11/04)
Former Kennett minister Marie Tehan dies (The Age/AAP 1/11/04)

2 Nov 2004