Western suburbs Upper House Greens MLC Colleen Hartland will step down from the Victorian Parliament when parliament resumes in February.
She will be replaced by recently preselected Greens representative Huong Truong.
Ms Hartland, a former Maribyrnong councillor, has served as a Member for the Western Metropolitan Region since 2006 when she joined Sue Pennicuik and Greg Barber as the first Greens MPs in the Victorian Parliament.
Ms Hartland said it has been an “incredible honour” to represent her community, but announced on Monday that she is stepping down due to exhaustion and the job’s toll on her health.
She told Star Weekly it was not a decision she had made lightly.
“It’s something I have deliberated for some time, making this decision was something I have thought about over the last year,” she said.
“I’m someone who gives everything 100 per cent and I have just got to that stage where the exhaustion means I can only give 90 per cent.”
Ms Hartland said legislative breakthroughs stand as some the highlights of her time in Parliament, including the decriminalisation of abortion, a safe injecting room trial for Richmond and new laws around end of life choices.
“There are lots of little things that are often behind the scenes as well.”
A joint sitting of both houses of Parliament will be required before Sunshine resident Huong Truong can step into the role.
This is likely to take place in the February 20 sitting week.
Ms Truong, 33, will become the first Vietnamese-Australian woman to sit in any Parliament in Australia.
The mother of two, who grew up in Maidstone and Sunshine, is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and has vowed to raise the voice of the unheard in Victoria’s Parliament if elected to the upper house at the next state election.
She said Ms Hartland has been “working really bloody hard for 11 years” and she understands her decision to step down.
Ms Truong said she will be fighting for the west to receive a fairer share of infrastructure and investment to create more liveable suburbs.
She has also backed the community campaign against the West Gate Tunnel project.
“I think it’s a $7 billion mistake and we are already seeing community groups rising up against this,” she said.
Noting the recent media storm around African youth, Ms Truong said also wants to bring more attention to the “incredible people” from a range of cultural backgrounds making a positive mark in the western suburbs and beyond.
“We have been a bit of an exaggeration and targetting of community groups,” she said.
“The best thing we can do is just show their stories on a broader platform.”
Ms Hartland’s retirement follows the announced retirement of inner-west Labor MPs Marsha Thomson in Footscray and Wade Noonan in Williamstown at the November election.