Scott Morrison: Australia, The Land Of Our Adoption

The Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison, has delivered a speech on immigration and multiculturalism in which he depicts Australia as a nation of “adopted children” and calls for Australians to honour their national inheritance.

MorrisonIt was delivered at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, Kings College, London.

Morrison argues that Australia’s nationalism “is divorced from ethnicity, race and religion, disarming what is often a volatile and potentially negative combination”.

He says the “traditions, values and ethnic culture” of immigrants to Australia “are part of the process of transition from our old lands, culture and ways of life to the new that has been part of the national and cultural journey of Australians for centuries. It is an iterative process, taking place over a lifetime and generations, as we exchange and adapt the old for the new, bringing what’s best, leaving the rest and embracing over time a new national identity”.

Morrison points to Henry Parkes, Robert Lowe and WC Wentworth as examples of the inheritors of a “modern liberal democratic immigration nation” becoming its stewards.

The Howard government reoriented multiculturalism, says Morrison. It sought “to bring a greater focus on what communities had in common as Australians”, adopting a policy that “deliberately set out to explicitly recognize the supremacy of Australian values, the primacy of the English language, respect for existing institutions and adherence to the rule of law”. [Read more…]


Gillard, Lowy And Abbott: Australian Multicultural Council Lecture

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott have joined in honouring Frank Lowy at the inaugural Australian Multicultural Council Lecture.

Gillard introduced Lowy and Abbott gave the vote of thanks. [Read more…]


Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture 2012: Chris Bowen

This is the text of the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture delivered by the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen.

Chris BowenThank you and it’s a pleasure to join you tonight to give the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture.

I’d like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to the elders – past and present – and thank them for their stewardship of our land over the millennia.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell, Arthur’s daughter, who is here with us tonight. I know Mary Elizabeth herself has an abiding interest in both the past and future of the Labor Party, including her father’s legacy.

I would also like to thank my friend Maria Vamvakinou for the invitation to be here. Maria is a first class Member of Parliament. She makes unfailingly thoughtful contributions in our Caucus and in Parliament. She is a fearless advocate for her community and, in my area of responsibility, a passionate believer in multiculturalism. Best of all, I count her as a trusty counsel and a firm friend. [Read more…]


PM Fails Australia As Racist Division Continues: Brown

As Sydney’s southern suburbs were beset by mob violence for the second day, the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, said the Prime Minister had “failed the nation”.

Brown accused John Howard of engaging in “dog-whistle politics”, an allegation first levelled at the Liberal leader over his attitude to Pauline Hanson in 1996 and asylum-seekers in 2001. [Read more…]


Howard Claims No ‘Underlying Racism’ In Australia; Cautions Against ‘Rush To Judgement’

John Howard, says he does “not accept that there is underlying racism in this country”.

John HowardSpeaking at a press conference today, the Prime Minister said: “I think it’s important that we do not rush to judgement about these events.”

As he did when Pauline Hanson arrived on the political scene in 1996, Howard steered a course through the political and racial minefield arising from the riots in Cronulla and Maroubra yesterday. Whilst “unconditionally” condemning the violence, and repudiating attacks on people based on race, appearance, or ethnicity, Howard argued that “this is first and foremost a question of the application of the law of this country”.

Howard went on to say that “it would be an enormous mistake if we began to wallow in generalised self-criticism, because the overwhelming majority of Australians have the proper instincts and decent attitudes and decent values.” He said that “newcomers to this country must embrace our values” and “those who were born here must respect and accept as fellow Australians, those who have chosen to make this country their home.” [Read more…]


Iemma Announces Police Strike Force To Combat Race Violence

The NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, has announced the formation of a police strike force to combat the violence that erupted around Sydney’s southern beaches yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference with the Police Minister, Carl Scully, and the Commissioner of Police, Ken Moroney, Iemma condemned the violence at Cronulla yesterday afternoon and at Maroubra last night. [Read more…]


‘Terrorism Repugnant To Islam’: Muslim Summit

The summit of Islamic leaders and John Howard has broken up in Canberra. Speaking at a joint press conference, the Prime Minister said that “the education and sourcing of imams”, including the issue of what is taught in Islamic schools, was discussed at the meeting.

The President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Dr Ameer Ali, described the summit as an “historic event, first of its kind.” He said: “It was very constructive and very fruitful. We agreed to denounce extremism, terrorism and the teaching of hatred in this country. We believe in the Australian family, we are all members of the same family.” [Read more…]