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Anthony Albanese’s friend Kris Cruden died shortly after he became Prime Minister of Australia

Anthony Albanese’s heartbreak as one of his best friends dies of cancer shortly after watching him fulfill his dream of becoming Prime Minister of Australia from her hospital bed

  • Former Leichardt mayor Kris Cruden passed away on Saturday after battling cancer
  • She was a friend of Anthony Albanese and led two of his election campaigns
  • Mr Albanian paid a heartfelt tribute to his former chief of staff on Sunday

Anthony Albanese has mourned the loss of a close friend and former associate who died just weeks after he was elected Prime Minister of Australia.

“Very sad news that my dear friend Kris Cruden passed away peacefully after a long battle with cancer,” Mr Albanian wrote on Sunday.

He described Ms. Cruden as a “compassionate, smart, funny and wonderful woman” who had served as his chief of staff.

Ms Cruden was Mayor of Leichhardt in Sydney for three years between 1996 and 1999 and was a prominent Labor Party figure and a ‘devoted trade unionist’.

Mr Albanian paid tribute to Ms Cruden (pictured) after she died following his election victory

Mr Albanian paid tribute to Ms Cruden (pictured) after she died following his election victory

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She had served as Mr. Albanese’s chief of staff (pictured) and was his local campaign manager for two federal elections

Mr. Albanese had formed a bond with the former president of Grayndler’s Federal Electoral Council after working with her for many years.

“My local campaign manager in two federal elections, Kris made a huge difference to many through her activism,” Ms. Albanese said.

“Life was so much better for everyone who had the privilege of knowing Kris—dearly loved by her family, comrades and friends.”

Mayor Darcy Byrne of the Inner West Council echoed Mr Albanese’s words, describing her as “one of a kind.”

“Kris was a prominent leader in the trade union movement and the Labor Party, and an outstanding person,” said Mr Byrne.

“As all of her thousands of comrades know, Kris was unfailingly loyal and principled—to the very end. There was no stronger person to have in your corner.”

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Mrs Cruden with Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne (pictured), who said she would be missed by the labor movement

Mr Byrne said Mrs Cruden had watched the Albanian election victory from the hospital.

“She watched election night coverage from the hospital and, as always, she valued the collective progress of the Labor Party and the labor movement over her personal problems,” he said.

The general secretary of the Public Service Association of NSW, Stewart Little, said Mr Cruden was a “tireless fighter”.

Kris played an important role in achieving historic pay equality in school education. She will be loved and missed by everyone at the PSA,” he said.

Mr Albanese (second from right) and Mrs Cruden (second from left) with Mr Byrne (left) and lifelong members of Grayndler, the federal electorate of Mr Albaenses

Mr Albanese (second from right) and Mrs Cruden (second from left) with Mr Byrne (left) and lifelong members of Grayndler, the federal electorate of Mr Albaenses

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