It's that time of the six-year electoral Senate cycle again, where departing senators give their valedictory speeches outlining what they've accomplished and how their political dreams were crushed, delivered with a hefty dose of nostalgia, wisdom and a dig at their foes. We'll be covering most of the speeches in coming days, but first up we have departing South Australian Liberal senators Nick Minchin and Alan Ferguson as well as Victorian Liberal senator Julian McGauran, all of whom delivered their speeches yesterday ...

Nick Minchin: The 30th of June will, in my case, bring to an end not just 18 years in the Senate but 32 years of full-time involvement in politics. Unusually for the conservative side of politics, I have spent virtually all my working life serving the Liberal cause rather than, perhaps more sensibly, pursuing a career in the profession for which I was trained: the law. My 18 years in this place were preceded by 14 years serving as a full-time professional officer in the Liberal Party at both state and federal level, and I must say it was superb training for my years of service in the Senate.

The transition I made from the Liberal Party’s professional wing to the parliament is also not common. I remain only the second Liberal Party state director in the history of our party, after John Carrick, to serve in the Senate. I do note with pleasure that former state directors David Kemp, Petro Georgiou and Scott Morrison have made the transition to the House of Representatives, serving there with great distinction.