Former Vic senator Mehmet Tillem dead

Former Victorian Labor senator Mehmet Tillem has died and is being remembered for speaking out for those who couldn't find their voice.

The 45-year-old died on Saturday in Victoria after a cardiac arrest and his funeral was held on Sunday.

"Mehmet Tillem was committed to providing opportunity to those who don't have it, providing a hand up for those who needed it, ensuring people had a voice when they couldn't find it," Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said on Sunday.

The Turkish-born former senator moved to Australia when he was two and joined the Labor party when he was 19.

"His life is emblematic of Australian multiculturalism at its best," Mr Marles said.

"Mehmet's time in the Parliament was short, but his work and sacrifice for the Labor movement and the Australian public was not."

He has been survived by his wife, son and his parents.

Mr Tillem was the first person of Turkish background to serve in the senate and the second Muslim in the parliament.

He replaced former MP David Feeney when he resigned from the senate in 2013.