Former Nicholls ward councillor and mayor Jane Garrett was remembered by Yarra City Council last week when Cr Amanda Stone moved a motion of condolence, recording the council's appreciation for her dedicated service to the Yarra community.
Cr Steve Jolly, who seconded the motion, made an emotional contribution on his former friend and colleague, who was elected to Yarra in November 2008 and became mayor in 2010.
Jolly credited Garrett with playing a pivotal role in securing a major refurbishment of Victoria Park and ensuring the new North Fitzroy Library was not built in the Edinburgh Gardens.
He said that after moving on to state parliament in 2010 the Labor Party member and former lawyer "took on forces that were stronger than her" and was "crushed politically".
Describing his speech as "one of the saddest things I've ever had to do as a councillor", Jolly noted that Garrett was extremely funny, warm and self-deprecating and, when she spoke to people, made them feel that "you were the person she wanted to be with at that particular moment of time".
Jolly said he believed Garrett, the former member for Brunswick, then Eastern Victoria Region, copped a lot of criticism for traits that were expected in male politicians.
Cr Stone described Garrett as an enthusiastic and energetic councillor, who was adept at dealing with divergent views and determined to make a difference.
Like Jolly, Stone described Garrett's death at 49 as tragic for her family and " unjust for someone so full of life" and extended her sympathies.
Garrett died on July 2 from cancer first diagnosed in 2016.