Gillard And Abbott Attend Australia Day Citizenship Ceremonies

The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader attended citizenship ceremonies as part of the 2013 celebrations of Australia Day.

Gillard-Margolyes

Julia Gillard spoke and presented citizenship certificates at a ceremony in Canberra. Amongst others, she welcomed the actor Miriam Margolyes as an Australian citizen.

Tony Abbott spoke at a citizenship ceremony at Holdfast Bay in Adelaide. He told the gathering that whilst diversity is cherished, so too is unity.

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Tony Abbott’s remarks at the City of Holdfast Bay Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony, Adelaide.

Abbott

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Mr Mayor, distinguished parliamentary colleagues, particularly my federal parliamentary colleagues Steve Georganas, Andrew Southcott and Senator Simon Birmingham, ladies and gentlemen. It is a thrill and an honour for me to be here at Glenelg on this Australia Day and to say to this fine group of Australians and Australians to be, Happy Birthday Australia. [Read more…]


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…]


John Howard’s Australia Day Address to the National Press Club

John HowardAustralia Day embodies a “profound truth and a simple irony”, according to the Prime Minister, John Howard.

According to Howard, “the truth is that people come to this country because they want to be Australians. The irony is that no institution or code lays down a test of Australianness. Such is the nature of our free society.”

Addressing the National Press Club in the Great Hall of Canberra’s Parliament House, Howard fielded many questions about yesterday’s reshuffle and the position of the National Party, but his speech focussed on what he said was “the secret of Australia’s greatness – our sense of balance”.

This balance can be seen in the balance between private and public economic activity, the balance in national identity between unity and diversity, the balance between history and geography in our global strategy, and the balance in our politics between rights and democratic responsibility.

In a speech that called for a new approach to the teaching of history in schools and which argued against the need for a bill of rights, Howard also called for tolerance and respect in the light of the Cronulla riots last month.

  • Listen to Howard’s National Press Club Address.

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This is the transcript of the Address to the National Press Club by the Prime Minister, John Howard, in the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra.

A sense of balance: The Australian Achievement in 2006

Thank you very much Mr Randall. Tomorrow, with a simple yet eloquent pledge, about 14,000 people from more than 70 countries of origin will become Australian citizens. This Australia Day celebration of citizenship embodies a profound truth and a simple irony. [Read more…]