State parliament is back for 2018 – and this week there was a special guest.
Early childhood and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Sarah Mitchell welcomed her second child with husband Anthony in late November – a girl, Maltilda.
Sporting a thick mat of hair (“That’s from Sarah’s side of the family”) Matilda made her first parliamentary visit as Members kicked off the 2018 sitting year.
“I think Niall Blair was the first to get a cuddle, but everyone has been great, coming in to say hi and generally being clucky,” Ms Mitchell said.
The Mitchells’ four-year-old Annabelle has also been around the halls this week “holding meetings” and “typing” with members of Ms Mitchell’s staff.
“There’s a family room now up on level 12 now which has cots, toys, a TV and a heap of Disney movies,” Anthony said.
Matilda will travel with Ms Mitchell to and from Gunnedah during the first six months with Annabelle in preschool and Anthony working part-time for now.
Ms Mitchell said the support from parliament, and from their their families and friends, was crucial in empowering her to be a “mum MP.”
“Our situation is different to everyone else’s, but, if anything, we hope other women out there wanting to have a shot at parliament know that having a child does not count you out.”
Despite bursting into tears at one point and, as this writer suspects, soiling herself, Matilda’s behaviour was reportedly a step up from the antics of many in the Lower House during a rowdy opening week.
The Upper House resumes next week.