Legislative Council: Thursday, July 06, 2023


Jenkins, Mrs A.

The Hon. C. BONAROS (14:56): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney a question about murdered Adelaide grandmother Anna Jenkins.

Leave granted.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: As we speak in this place today, the funeral service of Anna and her devoted husband, Frank, is concluding at Glenelg. As many in this place would know, the Malaysian-born lady who I refer to, 65, a loving and besotted grandmother, was abducted and murdered in Penang, Malaysia in December 2017 while in the country with Frank to visit her elderly mother.

Her death, the subsequent investigation and coronial inquiry have been well articulated in this place. I don't intend to canvass that again. All of that will now be the subject of a hearing before the Malaysian High Court due to be heard next month. Sadly, her husband of 84 passed away last month after a battle with dementia. In a final heartbreaking move, Anna's and Frank's children, Greg and Jen, have decided to bury their parents together with the skeletal remains of their mum, found by Greg, placed on her loving husband's chest in a shared coffin.

Earlier this year, my colleague asked the Attorney if the South Australian Coroner would follow through with his request to conduct an inquiry himself here in SA. The Attorney committed to follow up the matter and provide feedback. It was also revealed that the issue of victims of crime funding applying extraterritorially is something his office would be looking at after my colleague asked if local victims of crime should be eligible for funding to help recover legal costs from the Victims of Crime Fund regardless of where a person has died. My questions to the Attorney today are:

1. Has that feedback been provided by the Coroner on his ability and/or interest to conduct a coronial inquest of his own?

2. Can the Attorney update the chamber on victims of crime funding applying to those deaths that have occurred extraterritorially?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:58): I thank the honourable member for her question and note her colleague's extraordinary dedication to this cause, having attended part of the coronial inquest in Malaysia himself. First of all, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Greg Jenkins and Jen Bowen, the children of Anna Jenkins, who I have had the pleasure of meeting with personally. I am touched and blown away by their courage and their dedication, having made dozens of trips to Malaysia over the last few years to try to find that answer of what happened to their mother.

I have referred the matter to the Coroner and the request that has been made about whether the Coroner will look into this. I have not had an update from the Coroner about the ability to do that, and I understand that is a question the Coroner will look at—for a death that occurred not in Australia but overseas. In relation to the Victims of Crime Fund, it is something I have asked for advice on. I have asked for further advice on that. I do not have a conclusive answer back, but certainly, having had the benefit of meeting Greg and Jen, it is something I am following up.