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Bill Shorten: Light On The Hill Address

Bill Shorten has delivered the annual ‘Light on the Hill’ Address in honour of Ben Chifley.

ShortenChifley was Labor Prime Minister from 1945 until 1949. Prior to that, he was Treasurer in the Curtin government from 1941. Amongst other things, Chifley is remembered for his ‘Light on the Hill’ speech to an ALP conference in 1949.

Shorten, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in the Gillard government, was elected to the Melbourne electorate of Maribyrnong in 2007. He was previously National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.

The Ben Chifley Memorial Lecture is given each year in Bathurst, Chifley’s birthplace.

Text of Bill Shorten’s ‘Light on the Hill’ Address in Bathurst.

If things are right, they will come your way.

Those words aren’t mine.

They belong to:

  • a boy who grew up sleeping on a chaff bag in a bush shack with a dirt floor;
  • a young man who started out as a cashier’s assistant in a general store;
  • a unionist who was the youngest first-class locomotive driver in New South Wales;
  • and a politician who never took his eye off the ball – or the horizon.

Of course, I’m talking about Australia’s 16th prime minister and our 19th Treasurer – Bathurst’s own Ben Chifley.

It’s worth remembering when Chifley said those words. [Read more…]


Noel Pearson: The Light On The Hill

This is the text of the Ben Chifley Memorial Lecture delivered by Noel Pearson at the Bathurst Panthers Leagues Club.

Text of Ben Chifley Memorial Lecture delivered by Noel Pearson.

In recent times I have been thinking about the social problems of my people in Cape York Peninsula. The nature and extent of our problems are horrendous. I will not reiterate the statistics here tonight, suffice to say that our society is in a terrible state of dysfunction.

In my consideration of the breakdown of values and relationships in our society – I have come to the view that there has been a significant change in the scale and nature of our problems over the past thirty years. Our social life has declined even as our material circumstances have improved greatly since we gained citizenship. I have also come to the view that we suffered a particular social deterioration once we became dependent on passive welfare. [Read more…]