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Sen. Tony Sheldon (ALP-NSW) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Tony Sheldon, ALP, New South Wales.

Listen to Sheldon (26m):

Watch Sheldon (30m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Tony Sheldon, ALP, New South Wales.

The PRESIDENT (17:03): Order! Before I call Senator Sheldon, I remind honourable senators that this is his first speech; therefore, I ask that the usual courtesies be extended to him.

Senator SHELDON (New South Wales) (17:03): I acknowledge the traditional owners of this place and pay my respects to elders, past, present and emerging. I’m so proud to be in the Ngunnawal country in the parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, a House for all people. And I pledge to progress the agenda of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, to recognise First Nations people in our Constitution. [Read more…]


Terry Young (Lib-Longman) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Terry Young, the Liberal National Party member for Longman, Queensland.

Listen to Young (21m):

Watch Young (24m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Terry Young, Liberal member for Longman.

Mr YOUNG (Longman) (11:58): Well, this is cool. There are lot of people shaking their head back in Longman and Kallangur, where I was brought up, particularly a couple of high school teachers! Thank you all for giving up your time to listen to my maiden speech. No-one has proofread this. Many people offered to assist—many much more qualified than I—but I believe a parliamentarian’s first speech should be theirs and theirs alone. I will be accountable for every word spoken. As a believer in personal responsibility, I assure you that these words are all mine. [Read more…]


Sen. Mitch Fifield (Lib-Vic) – Valedictory Speeches

These are the valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield, Liberal, Victoria.

Fifield, 52, was appointed to the Senate on March 3, 2004, filling a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Richard Alston.

Fifield served as a minister in the governments of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, between September 2013 and May 2019. He was Minister for the Arts and Minister for Communications from 2015 until 2019.

He was Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate between 2017 and 2018, and Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 2018 to 2019.

Prior to entering parliament, Fifield worked for Treasurer Peter Costello (1996-2003) as a senior political adviser. He was also a senior policy adviser to Alan Brown, the Victorian Minister for Transcpot (1992-96).

Fifield, bruised by the leadership turmoil in the Liberal Party in 2018, will soon take up the post of Ambassador to the United Nations.

Listen to the valedictory speeches for Fifield (57m):

Watch the valedictories (57m):

Hansard transcript of valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield.

The PRESIDENT (18:33): Pursuant to order, the Senate will now move to valedictory statements.

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (18:33): Colleagues and friends, doesn’t it go by in the blink of an eye? It was a little over 15 years ago that I rose to speak for the first time in this great chamber. I did so as the 487th senator to serve in this place since Federation. This struck me at the time as being a pretty small number, but since I arrived 120 senators have left this place. I cite these figures to highlight that, while ours may be a select group, our custodianship is transitory. To be chosen by your party peers to be their flag-bearer, to be endorsed by the voters, to be afforded a platform and resources to pursue the national interest, there are few greater privileges. Today, for me, represents the culmination of a decade and a half in the Senate, and the drawing of stumps on a parliamentary and a ministerial career. But today also represents for me the conclusion of 31 years in full-time professional politics and 23 years working in this building. [Read more…]


Sen. Matt O’Sullivan (Lib-WA) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the Senate of Senator Matt O’Sullivan, Liberal, Western Australia.

Listen to O’Sullivan (24m):

Watch O’Sullivan (28m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Matt O’Sullivan, Liberal, Western Australia.

The PRESIDENT (18:05): Pursuant to order, I will now ask Senator O’Sullivan to come forward and make his first speech, and I ask senators to observe the usual courtesies.

Senator O’SULLIVAN (Western Australia) (18:05): Mr President, as this is my first speech, may I start by congratulating you on being elected as President of the Senate. I’d also like to congratulate my fellow Western Australian Senators elected at the 18 May election: Senators Linda Reynolds, Patrick Dodson, Slade Brockman, Louise Pratt and Jordon Steele-John. Together we have the immense privilege of representing Western Australia, and I look forward to working with you to deliver for the great state of Western Australia. [Read more…]


Sen. Tim Ayres (ALP-NSW) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Tim Ayres, ALP, New South Wales.

Listen to Ayres (28m):

Watch Ayres (33m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Tim Ayres, ALP, New South Wales.

Senator AYRES (New South Wales) (17:33): ‘A Senator’s first speech is daunting,’ I had in my first line, but it’s not as daunting, I think, as what Senator Hughes just faced. I want to congratulate her for what you could describe as courage under fire. I want to use my comments today to set out how my life experiences shapes my approach to democracy and equity, and to point out the challenge that inequality poses to our democratic system and some of the principles that will drive my work in the Senate. [Read more…]


Sen. Hollie Hughes (Lib-NSW) – Maiden Speech

This is maiden speech to the Senate by NSW Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes.

Listen to Hughes (27m):

Watch Hughes (34m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Hollie Hughes, Liberal, New South Wales.

The PRESIDENT (17:00): Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Hughes to make her first speech. I ask that the usual courtesies be extended to her.

Senator HUGHES (New South Wales) (17:00): I’d like to acknowledge that we’re meeting today on the traditional lands of the Ngunawal people. I acknowledge them as custodians and traditional owners of this land and I extend my respects to elders past and present. [Read more…]


James Stevens (Lib-Sturt) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by James Stevens, Liberal member for Sturt, South Australia.

Listen to Stevens (26m):

Watch Stevens (27m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by James Stevens, Liberal member for Sturt.

The SPEAKER (16:28): The question is that the address be agreed to. Before I call the honourable member for Sturt, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech and I ask the House to extend to him the usual courtesies.

Mr STEVENS (Sturt) (16:28): Mr Speaker, can I start by congratulating you on your deserved re-election as Speaker of this parliament. I look forward to behaving myself to the extent that the rest of my colleagues seem to under your firm but fair chairmanship. [Read more…]