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

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

John HowardAccording 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”. [Read more…]

Governor-General Michael Jeffery’s Australia Day Address

The Governor-General, Michael Jeffery, has delivered his 2005 Australia Day Address.

Jeffery has been Governor-General since August 2003, following the resignation of Dr. Peter Hollingworth. He was previously Governor of Western Australia from 1993 to 2000. [Read more…]

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…]

Crean Calls For Release Of Women And Children From Detention Centres

The Federal Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, has broken a months-long silence from the ALP by calling for the release of women and children from detention centres around the country.

CreanDelivering a speech at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony in Brisbane today, in which he praised multiculturalism, Crean claimed that “we should all be able to agree on at least one thing: that it is just plain wrong to hold innocent children behind razor wire. Children should be out in the community where they can live more normal lives, get an education, and be protected from some of the horrors too many of them have witnessed.”

Crean put forward a 5-point plan of rebuilding Afghanistan, cracking down on people smuggling, protecting the nation’s borders by establishing a coast guard, expediting the processing of refugee applications, and getting the balance right between border protection and compassion.

  • Listen to Crean (15s)

Prepared text of Simon Crean’s speech.

Mr Chairman, Lord Mayor, my fellow parliamentary colleagues and my new fellow citizens.

It’s a great pleasure to speak at your Australia Day citizenship ceremony here today. [Read more…]

Bob Hawke’s 1988 Bicentenary Australia Day Address