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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…]

Fair Australia: John Howard Headland Speech

“Fair Australia” is one of a series of Headland Speeches given by the Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, during 1995.

The Address was given to the Australian Council of Social Service.



Thank you for the chance to address the 1995 ACOSS Congress, where your theme, “Social Justice: Fact, Fiction and the Future”, gives me an opportunity to outline the Coalition’s view of a Fair Australia, explode some myths and deal with some important specific policy issues.

ACOSS plays a very important community role in raising public policy issues relevant to the needs and aspirations of the disadvantaged in our community.

The people in this room are an important part of the glue which holds our society together. We won’t always agree on every detail of social policy, but we will always have this in common: a desire to provide greater security and fairness for those in need. [Read more…]

The Role of Government: John Howard 1995 Headland Speech

The Role of Government is one of a series of “headland speeches” delivered by John Howard, leader of the Liberal Opposition, in 1995.



John HowardIt gives me a great sense of pleasure and pride to deliver this inaugural Lecture in the Menzies Research Centre’s 1995 National Lecture Series.

This is one of a number of headland speeches I am delivering covering a wide area of government activity. Tonight I want to examine the role of government itself in a modern Australia.

The Liberal tradition has always held that ideas are not political ends in themselves, but the basis for developing practical policies that work for the common good.

The Menzies Research Centre has an important role to play in contributing to that tradition.

It has been established to promote ideas for public policy based on greater individual freedom and dignity, fairer and more competitive enterprise, limited and more accountable government, and a more genuine sense of national community. [Read more…]