Bob Carr: What Australia Means To Me

In an extract from his new book, the Premier of NSW, Bob Carr, has described his view of Australian patriotism.

The extract from “What Australia Means To Me” was published in today’s edition of the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

What Australia Means To Me

by Bob Carr

Ten years ago, I said in a speech that there were three elements in an Australian patriotism.

The first was our response to the land itself, unique and beautiful. The second was the people. I said we were a “motley” people, and I meant that in the most generous way, meaning an immigrant people, from diverse sources – indeed, almost every country in the world. [Read more…]


Paul Keating’s ALP Life Membership Speech Of Acceptance

Paul Keating was awarded Life Membership of the ALP at the October NSW State Conference of the party.

Keating delivered an extemporaneous speech of acceptance. His website says of the speech:

“For anyone seeking an understanding of what Paul Keating’s public life was all about, his acceptance speech on the occasion of his life membership of the Labor Party is required reading. Delivered extemporaneously to the 1000-strong NSW ALP Conference, an assembly which had met continually at the Sydney Town Hall for over 100 years, Paul Keating outlined his credo and some of his many achievements with an earthiness demonstrably rooted in his Bankstown working-class origins. He talks of the philosophical and ideological renovation of Labor coming from his policy construct: the golden circle of high growth, productivity and low inflation; of superannuation; of Australia coming to terms with its geography; its identity and the relevance of the republic; Australia finding its security in Asia but going there as ‘us’. The speech is also a reminder of his often bruising parliamentary performances, replete with attacks on John Howard, the Packers and assorted party identities.”

  • Listen to Keating’s acceptance speech

Text of Paul Keating’s ALP Life Membership acceptance speech.

Thank you, one and all, delegates, friends. It’s my very great honour to thank you on behalf of the group assembled here—those of us who have received life membership. All of us have had much from the Labor Party. All of us have had the joy of contributing to it. But all of us have had more from it than we have given to it. There are some of my former federal colleagues here today: Vince Martin, who was the member for Banks and Michael Maher, who was the member for Lowe. Three of my branch members with whom I went to meetings over the years and, of course, many other distinguished people. And on behalf of them, as for myself, I thank you. We all owe the Labor Party—I owe it especially because I was given the singular honour of leading it and of leading it in office. That’s a privilege reserved to very few Australians. [Read more…]


National Identity: John Howard Headland Speech

This is the text of John Howard’s Headland speech on National Identity, one of a series given by the Leader of the Opposition during 1995.

A Reflection on the National Identity Debate

John HowardToday I want to talk about our national identity and the shared values and history that have shaped it. National identity used to be a subject on which there was a broad measure of agreement between the major parties. But the Keating Government is attempting to redefine national identity in a crudely self-serving way.

And in doing so, the Keating Government is living proof of the Orwellian dictum that those who seek to control the future first try to control the past by distorting it for their own particular narrow purpose.

Now is the time to reply: to puncture that hot air balloon. As the debate has become grossly politicised, it’s been accompanied by a negative, simplistic rewriting of history. That too needs to be shown for what it is. [Read more…]