"Today, words. Tomorrow, sticks and stones. And the day after that?"
"Let the massacres remind us to turn down our political volume and venom."
"While sticks and stones break bones, words can never hurt? Manifestly untrue. Politics everywhere are holistic, interconnected, and the rhetoric of right or left can produce toxic atmospheres in which lunacy thrives."
"The most intense hatreds are not between political parties but within them. "
"I'm an egg hatcher, not a chicken counter."
"There is a nation for a continent, and a continent for a nation. "
"It is the duty of the State to educate, and the right of the people to demand education."
"A State which has universal suffrage and a wide extension of the jury franchise, must qualify the people by education to rightly exercise the great powers with which they are invested. "
"Creating a nation requires the will of the people! "
"I say further that our system of education should be unsectarian. "
"Politics is just like being mixed up with a bad woman. You know it's not a good idea, but you just can't let it go. "
"Such displays of the Australian spirit engender pride, regardless of background, religion and political persuasion. They are unifying... This spirit of leadership should be reflected in our national symbols and one appropriate way to do that is by finally making the changes needed to make Australia a republic... A country's history does not change because it takes a step forward, but its possibilities for the future do."
"Synergy and serendipity often play a big part in medical and scientific advances. "
"We are increasingly recognising and accepting, respecting and celebrating, our cultural diversity. "
"I'm a great supporter of free speech, but there are limitations on free speech. There are legal limitations on it, and we're trying to strike a balance in this country. But if someone is promoting (terrorism)... we want to make that an offence in Australia."
"I was brought up to believe that entering public office should be one of the highest callings and that being able to direct your energies and abilities to the betterment of your state or your country is one of the greatest contributions of all. And I have always had an intense conviction that individuals can make a difference to the life of their times."
"This policy of trying to get a public opinion consensus before you do anything is the sort of thing you do in the chookyard. "
"We have got to get rid of him. He is a dictator. "
"This weather may break our hearts but it will not break our will."
"As I go about my work as Premier, I know I stand on the shoulders of giants. "
"We are all in this together. When one part of Queensland hurts, every part of Queensland hurts."
"As we weep for what we have lost, and as we grieve for family and friends and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders. We're the people that they breed tough, north of the border. We're the ones that they knock down, and we get up again. "
"We all need to be very patient, which is part of getting people back on their feet, but I do understand. Inevitably, we will see a lot of pain and grief. "
"It is a heartbreaking day for the Queensland Labor Party today. The task for Labor is not to be consumed by that heartbreak."
"I think there are events that happen to us that remind us again about what's really important in life and I think what we've been through in Queensland is one of those."
"I hope and pray that mother nature is leaving us alone to get on with the job of cleaning up and recovering from this event. "
"Running foreign policy is not just about protecting our national interest. It is also being an exemplary global citizen when it comes to protecting human rights and the world's oceans. We can also promote and defend cultural diversity, the idea of a planet of 7 billion that celebrates and does not deny its contradictions."
"We can make sure that our multi-cultural society continues to tick over. There is no need to fetishise multi-culturalism... but relax into our easy-going Australian ethnic and cultural diversity, based on tolerance and respect."
"I like that horse Divide and Rule. I've done that for nearly twenty years."
"As they were leading me up, I looked up and around the galleries and I could feel the whole Aboriginal race, of those who had gone before, were all up there, and I could visualise, I could hear voices and amongst those voices was the voice of my grandfather saying, 'It's alright now boy, you are finally in the council with the Australian Elders. Everything is now going to be alright.'"
"For the first time in the history of this country there was an aboriginal voice in the parliament and that gave me an enormous feeling of overwhelming responsibility. I made people aware, the lawmakers in this country, I made them aware of indigenous people. I think that was an achievement. "
"We as Aboriginal people still have to fight to prove that we are straight out plain human beings, the same as everyone else. You know, I grew up, born on a government blanket under a palm tree. I lived under lantana bushes, I've seen more dinner times than I've seen dinners, I've known discrimination, I've known prejudice, I've known all of those things... but some of that is still with us... and it's got to be changed..."
"We've got to come together, that's what we want for Australia. As one people. We're all Australians, regardless of your ethnic background, regardless of your political belief, regardless of your religious beliefs we are all Australians. "
"What is happening is that effectively there has been a dumbing down and because of that, it is not so much a policy debate but debates about personal attributes, personalities, in the absence of a philosophical position."
"There is a hunger for debate on policy, discussion on policy direction. People want to know what you stand for."
"First, agriculture still has an important niche role in the economy; it still feeds us, with around 93% of Australia's food grown here. Second, the one-third of Australians who live in regional Australia are our fellow citizens, and they should not suffer inferior services because of the expenses of distance. Third, there is our obligation to inhabit the land in order to care for it. Indigenous Australians have always known this, and so do many others who live on the land... The promise of federation was a nation for a continent."
"Australia has gained many things in the last thirty years, and I'm not for a moment belittling those gains. But some things have been lost, or misplaced, along the way. Maybe we can come to a new consensus that retrieves some of the best elements of the old one, that fair, visionary, daring and idealistic view that once defined us. Maybe, once again, it will be time."
"The Greens will continue to champion a fairer society rather than simply the economy and to champion the parliament rather than simply the stock exchange. "
"Australia must prioritise education spending. It is not a question of whether or not we have the money, it is a question of how we choose to spend it. "
"Renewable energy is proven technology, the price is dropping, the rest of the world is going that way, that's where our investment should be going as well. "
"There is a spiritual side to our connection with the planet. And in this material world, that's anathema. It is somewhat worrying. What I say... it makes life. It gives us fulfilment. It makes us whole human beings. And without it, we make mistakes. And, boy, are the leaders of the world making mistakes at the moment"
"Power and money are not the only measure of who we truly are."
"With a small fraction of the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the Iraq war, the US and Australia could ensure every starving, sunken-eyed child on the planet could be well fed, have clean water and sanitation and a local school to go to. "
"We must have an expansionary vision, one that captures the imagination and diversity of the whole community, one which befits a nation which has moved beyond the basics of literacy and numeracy and which wants to develop a learning culture, to affirm its democratic traditions and give expression to the diversity and vibrance of its community through its public education system. Putting optimism for everyone back into Australia's future depends on it. "
"I want you to know that I take on this role with solemnity, impartiality, energy, and a profound love for the country we share. "
"The recognition of Indigenous Australians in our founding charter will be a high point on our nation's long journey towards reconciliation, which began with the historic referendum of 1967."
"I also acknowledge the remarkable circumstance of our nation having its first female Governor-General and first female Prime Minister. This historic conjunction should be an inspiration not only to the women and girls of our nation but to all Australians? "
"Australia is no longer the country of 'fair go'; it is a country of 'get what you can'. "
"The official American and Australian line is false. Never before have we been involved in a great national commitment based so much on false assumption and assertions."
"A policy for the future. We are but seven million people... A Third World War is not impossible... We may only have those next 25 years in which to make the best possible use of our second chance to survive. Our first requirement is additional population."
"Populate or perish. "
"There's been much talk recently about a decline in the 'civility' of our public debate. This follows a long period of anxiety about 'values' and disgruntlement about 'spin', and, if I'm reading the tea leaves right, will soon give way to sustained fretting about what our Prime Minister recently called the 'Americanisation' of Australian politics.
I don't think we've put our finger on the precise nature of the problem yet. But we're not jumping at shadows. There is something rotten in the state of Australian democracy, something about which we have good reason to worry."
"The problem isn't etiquette, but a rise in lawlessness. There are rules that have long governed the way the democratic game is played, rules that arise from Enlightenment values. These define what is and isn't cricket when it comes to how individuals and institutions engage in our democracy. It is these procedures and values, often unarticulated and widely taken for granted, that are under siege now..."
"My current fear is that the message being sent by the level of vitriol surrounding Gillard's flawed leadership (but tell me whose wasn't flawed) is being heard by Australian women and girls loud and clear. And the message is: 'Don't aspire to high office,sweetheart, because we'll flay you alive.'"
"You just feel these days that our political rhetoric has been rendered entirely mediocre."
"Fellow citizens, the war is over. The Japanese Government has accepted the terms of surrender imposed by the Allied Nations and hostilities will now cease... At this moment, let us offer thanks to God. Let us remember those whose lives were given that we may enjoy this glorious moment and may look forward to a peace which they have won for us. Let us remember those whose thoughts, with proud sorrow, turn towards gallant, loved ones who will not come back..."
"We must not only desire to win but we must deserve to win."
"We have a great objective - the light on the hill - which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for... "
"One man and a dozen fools would govern better than one man alone."
"The greatest gift on this planet is to love and be loved."
"We'll keep the bastards honest. "
"Why do people have to be dragged to the polls? It's not because they are dumb. They know they don't have much of a say. They have a vote every three years and that's all. If we're really going to get past apathy and reactivate, you've got to give people real power and the only way to give people real power is to have real say over real issues."
"Conscience is our magnetic compass; reason our chart."
"I saw one of my primary tasks was to do what I could to restore confidence, to ensure that people knew and cared about their predicament and that governments were committed to helping. Equally an optimism had to be engendered, a belief that not only would they recover but would emerge 'bigger, brighter and better than ever.'"
"Communication is the conduit of leadership from the Prime Minister down to the leading hand of a small group of council workers fixing the roads. Leadership uncommunicated is leadership unrequited!"
"I must say that part of our national wealth is not only the nation's people but those people who lead them."
"Australia in a relative sense remains more secure and safe than most countries in the world. But security, like health, happiness and good looks, is ephemeral. It consumes vast amounts of our treasure but it puts at risk on a daily basis that most precious part, our sons and daughters. We must have a stake not just in where and why they pass into harm's way, but when and why they can return home. It's in the national interest."
"But the people of the disaster area fundamentally needed to understand that the rest of Australia had noticed their misery and their stoicism and their intense sense of community and determination to arise from the sodden wreckage of their homes, and that Australians would dig deep to help. I helped to describe the community ethos which quickly triumphed over incipient despair. It is this mobilisation of the unifying spirit that thrills us all, even as we mourn."
"Politics is always my temptation but not my vocation. I feel absolutely committed to what I'm doing."
"These days politics is more about gaining and holding office than using office to improve things."
"The prudential regulation that I have put in place has been absolutely critical. The fiscal policy which we have put in place has been absolutely critical and if people looked at Australia now turn its back on economic reform, which of course industrial relations rollback or throwback would be, let me tell you, that would really start affecting confidence. "
"This is not the kind of country where you would feel comfortable if you were opposed to democracy, parliamentary law, independent courts and so I would say to people who don't feel comfortable with those values there might be other countries where they'd feel more comfortable with their own values or beliefs. "
"I think Australians are rightly suspicious of people who will try and use religion for another end. I don't think that's right and I don't think it should be done, but I think it should inform values, and it does."
"Our system of government is one of checks and balances. It requires compromise - compromise between the Executive and the Parliament, compromise between one House and another, compromise between the States and the Commonwealth and compromise between groups of persons with legitimate interests and other groups with other legitimate interests. There is room for compromise? indeed demand for it.. in a system of checks and balances. "
"You know in politics you are dealing in the realm of choices. You don't always have clear-cut decision between a thoroughly principled position and a thoroughly unprincipled one. You're making snap decisions with paucity of information, generally trying to do the best that you can, but you will make errors, and sometimes it's a decision between a bad and a worse alternative. It has to be done, because we need to order our society, and of politics it can literally be said: Bad job, but someone's got to do it."
"You find actually over the years that you get attributed with a lot of things you didn't do and you don't get reported on a lot of things you did do and I must say, when I read some of these things I wonder where the journalists get them from. They generally speak to somebody who's spoken to somebody who was down the back of a pub who heard the barman say, and gradually finds its way into magazines or articles but no, that's not the case. "
"Sexism and misogyny offer no benefit to our advancement as a society. Distortions in power relations become further entrenched. Active discrimination is entrenched."
"For a start, we need to resist the de-stabilising of our minority government by challenging those who promote the idea that it has no legitimacy. Second, we need to 'out' the sexism and misogyny that are being directed towards the nation's first woman prime minister. Such attitudes are degrading of the person who is holding the top job and who is performing with skill and effective leadership under demanding political circumstances. Sexist insults also degrade the office of prime minister. And by extension, they degrade all women and girls in this country. Do we truly believe in a fair go? Are we signalling to the next generations of women and girls that,when push comes to shove, they really don't have a place in key power positions?"
"We all have a key role to play in contesting and changing the tone, quality and focus of current political debate in all of its dimensions. We need to make the most of the information contained in A Switch in Time and do what we can to redirect negative, destructive undercurrents into a more productive,respectful and civil political discourse. And we should do this now, before it's too late."
"Be assured of the calibre of our national character. This war may see the end of much that we have painfully and slowly built in our 150 years of existence. But even though all of it go, there will still be Australians fighting on Australian soil until the turning point be reached, and we will advance over blackened ruins, through blasted and fire-swept cities, across scorched plains, until we drive the enemy into the sea."
"If I liken the Pacific War to a football match, I can say to you that the first half is over, we have kicked off after the interval, and we are going to carry the ball into enemy territory for a smashing victory."
"Captaining the government of a nation is a bit more exacting than captain of a football team. I know for I've done both."
"Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links of kinship with the United Kingdom. We know the problems that the United Kingdom faces. We know the constant threat of invasion, we know the dangers of dispersal of strength, but we know, too, that Australia can go and Britain can still hold on."
"A colonial Liberal is one who favours state interference with liberty and industry at the pleasure and in the interest of the majority, while those who stand for the free play of individual choice and energy are classed as conservatives. "
"The reconstructive element in liberalism must now come to the front. In political economy, having induced politicians to discard that old program, 'let the devil take the hindmost', liberalism must now inculcate a new teaching in regard to the poorest in the community, that all should have their due. By fixing a minimum rate of wages and wise factory legislation, wealth will be prevented from taking advantage of the needy, and the latter will be saved from leading wretched lives. "
"We look forward to social and unemployment insurances, to improved health services, to a wise control of our economy to avert, if possible, all booms and slumps which tend to convert Labor as the right method of development - or whether the industrial development of Australia along the lines of state control is the proper one. "
"There is a broad principle involved here and it is upon this that the battle must be fought. I was suspected of some sort of disposition to run counter to the fusion, but there is no man in Australia who ought to be more proud of the fusion that I should be, since I laid its foundation in the battle that I fought before the electorate three years ago. It was then that I called for an alliance between free traders and protectionists. "
"'What is Liberalism?' The question which separates us is whether the development of Australia on the lines of private enterprise is the right method of development, of whether the industrial development of Australia along the lines of state control is the proper one. "
"Australians generally do believe in justice and tolerance and are not racist, but we are perhaps too accepting of racism and tolerance in our midst... The intolerance and racism is something that many indigenous people are confronted with on a daily basis... I believe that racial discrimination should not be tolerated in our society, and enshrining this in the constitution would be an act that enhances us all."
"Rejecting discrimination in the constitution would empower us all."
"We have much to contribute to the world; ways of knowing and being that are going to be essential to everyone's survival on our planet. As true citizens of Australia, properly acknowledged in our constitution, we can look forward not only to improving our own lot, but helping Australia contribute to the well-being of all the world's peoples. "
"Indigenous people's rights and interests can be enshrined in a way that is beyond symbolic, and that recognises and embraces the rich and vibrant nature of our indigenous cultures and economies, while ensuring that our rights and interests are forever protected and guaranteed. "
"The history of human suffering of the indigenous people of this country cannot be assuaged by legal decisions or the opening of a purse. It can be assuaged only the opening of hearts."
"It looks as if politicians are saying what they think the public want to hear, not what they need to hear, and the public know it, and they're very cynical about it."
"Today, about two-thirds of men over sixty-five in Australia are no longer at work. Many of these have been retired when they were still very valuable with their skills, wisdom and knowledge... the aim of society should be to introduce more flexibility in the whole question."
"Young people have a very, very important voice in the political process. We are certainly not naive enough to believe that we are the only ones who have a voice in the political process, or that we are the only ones that care about our future, or that we even have the skills or knowledge to shape or design our future. What we do believe, though, us that no one is more invested in the future than young people. No one is more invested in decisions that are made today than young people. And someone born today, they may not have a voice, but what we decide today on how we develop our infrastructure, for example, or how we plan our cities, or how we bridge the divide between cities and regional centres, it's not going to affect the people who are making those decisions. It will affect us, young people... Young people do have a right to have their voice heard in decisions that are made today."
"There are certain things that we can do to make our lives happier when we are able to work together to do things like building a public transport system. It's all about resources for the future, thinking beyond the next election, doing what's right and prudent; not merely what is popular at the time."
"Young people have more at stake in politics and in policy than any generation, yet their voice is not often heard."
"The quality of the policy debate in the last election campaign was as desolate as it gets, including - it has to be acknowledged - on the Labor side: all Hill and no Light."
"Madam President, there are few good things written about politicians but many challenges issued to us. The great Australian writer Patrick White issued this challenge in his poem Nine thoughts from Sydney 1970…
Where is the politician who will flower like the leptospermum citrata,
Who will sound like the surf out of the Antarctic.
Who has in his hands the knots of coolibah,
And in his soul the tears of migrants landing from Piraeus?
If we, as members of parliament, bear the sentiments of this challenge in mind in our words and our deeds, then I for one believe we will better earn the respect of our communities and perhaps ignite in young Australians a flame of faith in their parliamentary system and their parliamentary representatives. That for me is a challenge worth meeting. "
"Fantastically, Australia is still the lucky country. We have the flawed but necessary gift of democracy. Currently there is a debate about whether there is racism in Australia. There is racism in every country in the world. Relatively speaking, we are tolerant of one another. We have a large and giving land and, if you haven't seen its beauty, you haven't seen a beauty precious to the earth."
"I think his biggest contribution has been making many Australians believe that they still have a place in their own democracy - and that change can still come from individual acts of courage and belief. That is a necessary pre-condition for any democracy to continue because democracy isn't founded in parliaments or parties - it's founded in the belief in each of us that we can affect our own world for the better."
"... Regardless of how you see it happening, the end result is that Australia is in the top bracket of parliamentary democracies in the world. That is the gift my generation were handed... that and the natural resources of a large and bountiful land. We all have a duty to care for this country... We need to have a militant regard for this land and its assets. Australian democracy is imperfect. Nonetheless it delivers rights and freedoms that people in countries such as Syria are dying for. We should not take democracy for granted as we took for granted those delicate, beautiful waterways that met the first Europeans and are now sick, exhausted rivers. Australia has problems... The question is whether a significant number of Australians really want to think about them..."
"If we've learnt anything from the tornado of retrosexism that gathers force whenever women in positions of power dare to speak openly about the inequality that even they face, it's that women are expected to smile sweetly even as the most powerful one among us is being aggressively mocked and undermined. Protesting the rampant and ongoing degradation of women is obviously just a manipulative tactical distraction from the "real issues" affecting voting Australians."
"What all this tells me is that a large proportion of the people in positions of power across Australia - politicians and media pundits included - just don't consider the beating down of women to be of any consequence. Half the time they won't even acknowledge it, let alone take a stand against it, preferring instead to gaslight women and pretend it's all in their head. Are these the kinds of people we want making decisions for us? The ones who think mockery about women's genitals is bad when it targets no one in particular, but OK when it targets the Prime Minister?"
"This is the welfare generation, and that is incredibly sad. That will be judged in history as being far worse, I believe, than the stolen generation, because we are literally losing thousands and thousands of our indigenous brothers and sisters to the effects of welfare ? drugs, gunja, low morale, alcoholism. I see it everyday and it can stop. The solution is education, training and a guaranteed opportunity. "
"We must now change course. Welfare has not worked. It has a place, always, in the most desperate times, but if it replaces a person's will, if it turns their kind of feather bed into quicksand, then it is failing the indigenous people. "
"Although I entertain great respect and regard for the female sex I consider the qualifications of the ladies to be already sufficiently charming without adding to their influence in society by conferring on them the right to vote for members of the legislature."
"Not only will the happiness of families but accord at elections be seriously interfered with if the ladies can rush to the polls in an excited state."
"Flexibility in pursuit of the nation's interests must never be allowed to degenerate into expediency."
"There are alternative policies available to Australian governments. They have not taken them because neither party is willing to lift substantially the humanitarian intake... Meanwhile our political leaders continue to demean Australia, to portray us as a narrow, wealthy, selfish community by debates they conduct between themselves. Thinking that this is only an Australian matter of no consequence to anyone else is false. It certainly affects the way other countries view Australia. Our policies set Australia apart from our own region and apart from the world at large. The Australian people deserve much better. Hopefully, one day our politicians will treat the Australian community with respect, instead of the contempt they show with their judgement of Australians."
"Secrecy is completely inadequate for democracy but totally appropriate for tyranny. If the minister will not inform the public, then we are within our rights to assume the worst."
"A strong multicultural Australia that draws strength from its diversity, that debates real issues of importance to ourselves and to common humanity, has contributed so much in the past. It must do so again. The pettiness and meanness of the current debates about asylum seekers and indeed on other issues that are dealt with on a totally partisan basis must be put aside. There is a special obligation on our political leaders to lift themselves off the bottom and take the debate in a different direction - based on fact not hyperbole, based on humanitarian rather than punitive considerations; to rejoin the bipartisanship that will be needed to make meaningful contributions to such complex global challenges. We should also ask ourselves what we as Australians need to do so that politicians will learn to appeal to the best of our natures and cease playing politics with the lives of vulnerable people."
"The debate went on, playing politics with people's lives. To me, that is about as low as you can go."
"Sometimes you can have competing election promises."
"I believe there is a special obligation on Australians who have come or whose parents have come here in the post-war years, to work for and maintain that Australia, because that is the Australia they came to, that is the Australia that received them so warmly and that is the Australia to which they have already contributed so much in so many different ways."
"Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action. "
"Most asylum seekers do get permanent visas, so the earlier they receive the appropriate help, the faster they will become part of the community. They'll get jobs and start paying taxes too. They will see Australia as a nation with a sense of care and concern. That's so important for a cohesive society. It helps build a sense of belonging. And in terms of common decency, it's what should be happening... For God's sake, this is Australia, people should be treated with decency and humanity."
"At the moment people get on boats because they flee terror at home and believe the many years' long wait in UNHCR camps is not a valid option, especially if they have children in their care. After the Vietnam War, Australia took a larger humanitarian intake than at any other period in our history. The Australian community accepted that. They were told why we needed to do it, and why it was the only ethical decent policy that a wealthy advanced country should adopt."
"The great task of statesmanship is to apply past lessons to new situations, to draw correct analogies to understand and act upon present forces, to recognise the need for change.... "
"Many who fled from Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union in the postwar years would have had to pay people for some part of their journey which ultimately led them to Australia. What has been forgotten in this debate is that desperate people will go to any lengths to get to a country that they believe to be safe and that they know will give them, and more particularly their children, a future."
"If a need for a sense of independence is important for Australia, there is a need to our politicians in Canberra to start to kill the view that we are a racist nation. At heart, I don't believe the great majority of Australians are racist, but the government has behaved as though we are. The government has really demeaned us, not just the government, but the government and the opposition, the political process. Both sides of the equation have really done Australia an enormous disservice."
"The asylum-seeker debate in Australia is demeaning and miserable. The politicians who participate in it have contempt for the Australian people. They believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that if they appeal to the fearful and mean sides of our nature, they will win support. They are showing that they believe we won't know enough about the world to know that for the most part what they are saying is plainly false. Australia should not seek to avoid its obligations."
"Life wasn't meant to be easy..."
"People die because they find living too painful. "
"Difference and oneness are not separate entitities but one part of a whole. A multicultural society won't work if governments are blind to difference. Nor will it work if it descends into an unthinking cultural relativism. It seems to me that Australia has the opportunity to show the rest of the region that it is possible to have a robust democratic and civic culture that at the same time respects and values religious and cultural pluralism. To set this as an objective for our community, raises the bar to the highest level. Why not? Our nation is still young, our opportunities are many and we have the wisdom of different cultures and religions to guide us through these troubled times."
"The core strands of my involvement in public life are a belief in the need to strive wherever possible for equality of treatment and opportunity, to ensure all people have the means to a decent livelihood."
"It is now well understood that humans ultimately depend on the health of the planet for their wellbeing."
"Humans remain entirely atmosphere dependent, so there is no choice but to respond to extreme climatic behaviour and its many effects."
"This is the rollcall of evolution happening in the space of a few generations, the greatest loss of living things that make up our biodiversity since the disappearance of the dinosaurs."
"...The history of interaction between the settlers and the settled, the occupiers and the owners is really very dark. Succeeding waves of settlers are oblivious to the original takeover; don't want to know about it. It is only the resilience and the strength, the honesty and the earth-strength of the Aboriginal people that has enabled them to survive... There is a darkness in our history and only when we can shine the light in and on to it will we pick up a vision..."
"Over the Christmas period, I spent time with both Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, and you listen to stories and tales of how hard it can be when it's really hard, and I think we easily all talk ourselves into the proposition that it's never been as hard as this. Well it's been hard in the past. It's been really hard. So you keep doing it and, the more you do it, the more you gain strength and confidence that you can do it."
"So in many ways for me, having lived through what I've lived through, and endured what I've endured, I've got more confidence that I can do the next bit - and there's something sustaining about that."
"At the end of the day government is about teamwork and partnership and we will be proving that by working together. "
"All my life I've believed that men and women have equal capacities and talents - consequently there should be equality in life's chances. "
"The concept of social inclusion in essence means replacing a welfarist approach to helping the underprivileged with one of investing in them and their communities to bring them into the mainstream market economy. It's a modern and fresh approach that views everyone as a potential wealth creator and invests in their human capital. My reason for adopting such an approach is simple: at a time when Australia needs more skilled people and has an ageing population, we simply can't afford to have one in ten or more of our people out of the workforce due to unemployment, low skills or the effects of chronic poverty. Social inclusion is an economic imperative. "
"Thank you very much Deputy Speaker and I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.
The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs.
Let's go through the Opposition Leader's repulsive double standards, repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism..."
"The best days for this country are ahead of it, not behind it. "
"We see community organizations as major service providers and economic drivers rather than as recipients or distributors of charity, and coordinators of volunteers. Today they constitute what's referred to as 'the social economy'. "
"One of my prized possessions is still the prefect's tie that I got in this school. I keep it with me. It was the first leadership position I ever had. "
"I know reform is never easy. But I know reform is right."
"Protest to be effective, must be followed by resolute action and at this crisis in world history when materialistic energy aims at overthrowing spiritual energy and moral values, action needs to develop into a world crusade for the Spiritual Humanity."
"I know too much from personal observation from how the poor and working classes live to be satisfied with a system which makes their lives one unceasing round of toil, deprivation and anxiety."
"Nothing-was more degrading than for a woman to have to marry for a home. Love should be the sole reason. Surely those with a brain-to think, eyes to see and a mind-to reason must realise that the capitalist system must cease and a co-operative system prevail in its place."
"This land shall be inhabited."
"Room for millions more."
"Australia for Tomorrow."
"AUSTRALIA - LAND OF TOMORROW."
"His FUTURE is in your hands. Take him to Australia. You can go to Australia as a family under the assisted passage scheme. ADULTS PAY 10 POUNDS - CHILDREN FREE."
"One nation, one people, one destiny."
"Australian democracy is genuinely benevolent, but is preoccupied with its own affairs. From time to time it remembers the primitive people it has dispossessed, and sheds over their predestined passing an economical tear."
"Governments must give to all those who have hit life's hurdles the chance to rebuild and have a future."
"My guess is that most Australians today would vote for Babe. A piglet who dreams of being a statesmanlike sheepdog. Who merely by asking politely, can lead the electorate two by two through the gate where the grass is always greener."
"The Government claims that it's following the will of the people. I didn't even know we'd died."
"I think personal diplomacy has caused a lot of mischief and harm, and has impeded the progress of peace in the world. It leads to a very great fallacy - the almost pathetic belief of some Foreign Ministers - that, if they had lunch with someone and called him by his Christian name, they have changed the fundamental facts of relationship between nations."
"Do you know why I have credibility? Because I don't exude morality."
"... no-one is more conscious than I of our tendency to conservatism as a people, and of the need, therefore, for those who would advocate change to temper their fervour with a sense of gradualism. This constraint sits happily with me..."
"The things which are most important don't always scream the loudest. "
"... we are still prisoners of our colonial history."
"Australia stands poised on the threshold of the 1980's more divided within itself, more uncertain of the future, more prone to internal conflict, than at any other period in its history."
"This stuff about the meek inheriting the earth is a lot of bullshit. The weak need the strong to look after 'em."
"People have become cynical about politics and this is unhealthy and dangerous for our body politic."
"I find a fence a very uncomfortable place to squat my bottom."
"It is entirely possible to argue for an amendment of Westminster without arguing for either the presidential system or indeed entering the lists at all on behalf of those who believe we should become a Republic. The issues are quite separate."
"The world will not wait for us."
"While society cannot provide employment for its members, the production/work/income nexus has to be abandoned as a justification for our present parsimony to the unemployed. An assumption cannot be used to justify making second-class citizens of those who are unfortunate enough to constitute living proof of the inaccuracy of that assumption."
"Peoples have come to experience that political structures and divisions of power are not immutable. Nor will they perceive the distribution of wealth and resources between nations to be unalterably ordained by heaven and incapable of drastic rearrangement by the less than gentle manipulation of man."
"Politics to some extent has become debased in our country, in part because of the perceptions people have of politicians, but also because the actual practice of Government has become too remote from them. Parliament does not provide the link to Government,... it is perceived essentially as a rubber-stamp for the government of the day."
"The surest guarantee for continued conflict is to perpetuate the gulf between principle and practice which characterises our community today."
"In sum, the truth is that we luxuriate in the comfortable assertion that women enjoy equality. We have salved our consciences by eliminating the more obvious discriminations like unequal rates of pay for work of equal value. But, in fact, we have not eliminated the inheritance of the millennia that women are lesser beings, an inheritance which still manifests itself in a whole range of prejudice and other forms of discrimination."
"No-one, I think, believes the end of the party system to be imminent - that we are about to witness a return to a Parliament composed of unattached free-thinking souls giving and retracting their loyalties to fortuitously assembled Cabinets of the likeliest talents in the land. Nor would this be in any way desirable or sensible."
"The essence of power is the knowledge that what you do is going to have an effect not just an immediate but perhaps a lifelong effect on the happiness and wellbeing of millions of people and so I think the essence of power is to be conscious of what it can mean for others. "
"In the early days every man was his own House of Representatives and his mates his Senate."
"Beware of people preaching simple solutions to complex problems. If the answer was easy someone more intelligent would have thought of it a long time ago - complex problems invariably require complex and difficult solutions."
"Until we give back to the Blackman just a bit of the land that was his and give it back without provisos, without strings to snatch it back, without anything but complete generosity of spirit in concession for the evil we have done him - until we do that, we shall remain what we have always been so far, a people without integrity; not a nation but a community of thieves."
"Giving the right of voting to females would be one step towards the general and complete political equality which it appears the chief purpose of this age to effect."
"When I was a lot younger, I thought all you had to do was get up and utter absolute truths and everyone would fall in behind and say, 'Yes, you're right. That's what we ought to be doing.' Now I realise life isn't quite as easy as that. Life is about ideas and getting them translated into a practical application, which people can understand and support."
"When the open, honest governance of an organisation lapses or becomes of increasingly secondary importance, then it becomes open to short cuts, unprincipled compromise and eventually plain sleaze. And if democracy and honesty are of declining relevance in the party, then broader democratic belief and practice at a parliamentary level also suffers. If obfuscation and bullshit prevails internally, then equally vacuous spin prevails externally."
"We need to tap into the hopes and best instincts of our people, we need to encourage them to become involved and we need to get them involved in our regeneration."
"All the way with L. B. J..."
"I know this beach like the back of my hand."
"Politicians believe man is many and that his behaviour should be one. Hence totalitarianism. I know he is one and believe his behaviour should be millionfold. Hence freedom."
"Politicians cannot help being clowns. Political activity is essentially absurd. The hopes held for it can be high, the results tragic, but the political act itself must lack dignity: it can never match our ideals of how such things should be done. This is a view that offends almost all political scientists, who are often bored by politics anyway and want to get on with something more respectable."
"Politics is both fraud and vision."
"I'd like to be seen as an average Australian bloke. I can't think of... I can't think of a nobler description of anybody than to be called an average Australian bloke."
"Truth is absolute, truth is supreme, truth is never disposable in national political life."
"You are not prime minister of Australia because of some kind of process of divine selection. You are prime minister of Australia through the gift of the Australian people."
"You know, West, you know, years ago I camped on this spot with all the hope of youth in my heart, and now... get to blazes and go back to the car.!"
"I became associated with a number of other enthusiasts, aflame with the fires of youth, abd inspired by a great purpose. We had come into the world late and found it in sad confusion, bearing on the surface of its institutions so little evidence of wisdom or justice that the need of saner, and better conditions appeared to us both imperative and urgent. And so, we set ourselves to complete the great work which Peter the Hermit, Savonarola, Jack Cade, Martin Luther, Oliver Cromwell, Ignatius Loyola and others had begun. We realised, despite our heady optimism, that it was quite a big job; and after solemn and protracted conclave it was resolved that we should supplement our propaganda through the spoken word with a newspaper."
"We turned our backs on the purifying waters of self-sacrifice."
"Whatever the future may have in store, one thing is certain - no inferiority complex ever found a place in the true Australian creed of life."
"Political failure on climate change in Australia has had three direct consequences: inaction on the issue, political mayhem, and the sacrifice of international influence... Leadership matters and political will is required if outcomes are to be changed."
"Failure to act appears to favour the present but it certainly prejudices the future."
"A solution will need to be found to the 'two cultures' approach that separates scientists and economists: the environment and the economy are interdependent. Ultimately, Australia can and should choose to set a moral example and work towards a new economic base. Moreover, as the new version of Pascal's wager suggests, action is the low-risk road with the prospect of the highest reward. It is in the national interest to take it."
"Internationally Australia is ceasing to be intellectually competitive; internally we are losing the essential preconditions for personal competence, social cohesion, employment prospects and the free flow of comprehensible information which makes democracy workable."
"Despite the exponential increases in public education and access to information in the past century, the quality of debate appears to have become increasingly unsophisticated, appealing to the lowest common denominator of understanding."
"If you have the same ideas as everybody else but have them one week earlier than everyone else then you will be hailed as a visionary, but if you have them five years earlier you will be named a lunatic. "
"We face an extraordinarily ambiguous future. Technology can be used to promote greater economic equity, more freedom of choice, and participatory democracy. Conversely, it can be used to intensify the worst aspects of a competitive society, to widen the gap between rich and poor, to make democratic goals irrelevant, and institute a technocracy."
"Will Australia have the intelligence, energy or guts to impose democratic and pluralist forms on the new technology, or will its ambiguities all be resolved in favour of the rich, the powerful and the status quo? Our timorous social history, the feeble grasp of complex matters exhibited by too many of our leaders, the low level of intellectual vitality, a lack of national self-confidence, our natural tendency towards bureaucracy, conformity, obedience and fatalism, the mediocrity of the business and academic establishment do not give us much ground for optimism."
"In the end it's the big picture which changes nations and whatever our opponents may say, Australia's changed inexorably for good, for the better. "
"In the end, the key ingredient for public life is imagination. You imagine something better, you try to bring the people with you."
"No choice we can make as a nation lies between our history and our geography. We can hardly change either of them. They are immutable. The only choice we can make as a nation is the choice of our future. "
" As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth."
"You know me, love - downhill, one ski, no poles.
"We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine these things being done to us. "
"If one takes pride in one's craft, you won't let a good thing die. Risking it through not pushing hard enough is not a humility. "
"Neither (leader) is putting a stake in the ground and saying, 'This is where we're going.'"
"There is no such thing as being non-political. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it."
"As the Prime Minister displays extraordinary grace under pressure, as she continues to govern the nation in the face of incessant attacks, as she shows admirable commitment and clear-sightedness, male commentators now move to deplore her toughness - an admirable quality in a man - suggesting surely that it is unbecoming in a woman. But Gillard doesn't only have strength, she has compassion and good humour. And she knows that most women and fair-minded men support her in her program of change and her vision of a fairer society."
"When some people speak of Prime Minister Gillard they do so with the particular contempt and dislike they usually reserve for women. People often spoke about Margaret Thatcher in the same way. When they call Gillard's judgment into question - one of the most common charges levelled against her - they draw on centuries-old prejudices that hold that women can't be trusted. They couldn't be trusted with money, so for years banks held out against appointing them as tellers; they couldn't be trusted with their children, so had to fight for decades for the right to custody; they couldn't be trusted to sit in judgment on their fellow citizens, so the right to sit on juries was one of the last civil rights to be extended to women in Australia. Not until the 1980s did all states agree to admit women to jury service. Now it seems women can't be trusted to govern."
"The future belongs to Gillard, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Bill Shorten, Greg Combet, Mark Dreyfus and others with talent and forward vision. It also belongs to politicians who care about more than themselves and their careers, who care about climate change and the environment, as Combet does, who care about disability insurance, as Shorten does, who care about the state of our hospitals, as Plibersek does, and who care passionately about access to education as our Prime Minister does..."
"The unity of Australia is nothing, if that does not imply a united race. A united race means not only that its members can intermix, intermarry and associate without degradation on either side, but implies one inspired by the same ideals, of a people possessing the same general cast of character, tone of thought."
"It is wrong for Australians to claim that the nation was born of a peaceful process. at the very time that constitutional conventions were held as gatherings of the white colonial men who sought to federate six colonies into a single commonwealth, their brothers were still engaged in savage frontier campaigns to take territory from Aboriginal peoples, territory that the men at the conventions assumed a new authority over."
"I propose that our children will benefit from a serious consideration of these issues, in particular, proposals for referenda questions that would deal with removing the offending racist provisions of the Constitution, Section 25 and Section 51 (ss. xxvi) and replacing them with an acknowledgment of the pre-existing Aboriginal polities, or Aboriginal nations, and the necessity to make agreements with these groups in order to achieve peace and good order. We must, I believe, leave our children with a formal acknowledgement in our Constitution of the existence of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, one that goes beyond the racialised citizen and encompasses the explicit rights of peoples within our nation state."
"The racialised Aboriginal citizen is an unacceptable and inappropriate replacement for the absence of the Aboriginal person that our Constitution required for six decades. Some concept more appropriate than reference to a 'race' in the Constitution should acknowledge our existence in the nation."
"Since Federation, public debates about the place of Aboriginal people in the nation have focused on the problem of how to incorporate Aboriginal people within the framework of the Australian nation-state by various means: assimilation, integration, self-management, self-determination, reconciliation, but always on the proviso that they would never be equal. There is a persistent unwillingness to acknowledge in Australia, the rights of indigenous people are inferior to those in the United States, Canada and New Zealand."
"There's a dance of mutual destruction going on between the media and politicians."
"We all construct worldviews that give us a sense of meaning. Mostly it is about belonging to a group and having a sense of identity and purpose. "
"Being passionate about issues is fine, but being passionate about the exercise of power rings alarm bells. "
"In the end we won't be judged as a society solely by our growth statistics or economic activity graphs. We will be judged by the quality of the life that we foster for all members of the community and the compassion we show for the disadvantaged. "
"A woman's opinions are useless to her, she may suffer unjustly, she may be wronged, but she has no power to weightily petitions against man's laws, no representatives to urge her views, her only method to produce release, redress, or change, is to ceaselessly agitate."
"(It was) not against men, but against customs that have given them the whip hand too long."
"Will not South Australian women join forces and storm this last miserable subterfuge? Will they not write and insist with an emphasis that cannot be misunderstood or evaded that it is their right as citizens of a young state which claims to be free, that its women should be free. Feudalism has had its day."
"... Sir, this strike has one feature which renders it more profoundly interesting than any of its predecessors...which must secure it a prominent and distinguished page when the history of these colonies shall be written. It is that the women of Broken Hill are the first great body of working women who have raised their voices in united protest against the glaring injustice that the present constitution will not allow them a voice in framing the laws ..."
"Could women have ever descended to such depths of misery and degradation if women had a right in making the laws for women?"
"What is the meaning of liberalism? It means liberty; liberty of speech, liberty of worship, liberty of action, so long as one man's liberty does not interfere with that of his neighbour. "
"This is the first occasion upon which a woman has addressed this House. For that reason, it is an occasion which, for every woman in the Commonwealth, marks in some degree a turning point in history. I am well aware that as I acquit myself in the work that I have undertaken for the next three years, so shall I either prejudice or enhance the prospects of those women who may wish to follow me in public service in the years to come. "
"Man is a predatory animal, and this aspect of his nature is nowhere better suited by environment than in the world of politics."
"We think of leaders as brands and even parties as brands, therefore we fall into the trap of substituting slogans for proper debate. The danger is that our political leaders are diminished. It is a very destructive cycle... And one of the implications of it is we are either going to see good people in politics tarnished by it or diminished by it or we are going to attract a different kind of person to politics and political leadership - the kind of person who really does want to be a celebrity and is a media tart, rather than people who are driven by passions about making the world a better place."
"I'm for every women having her just influence but it must be recollected that nature has drawn distinctions between the sexes which cannot be denied."
"I want to grow into the best person I can be. "
"We must remind our politicians that we expect them to speak honestly and to be concerned about real issues, and not simply with the obtaining or retaining of power."
"The stress that they're under is absolutely extreme. Indefinite detention. Not knowing when you're going to get out. The threat of being sent back to a country that you fear you're going to be murdered or tortured upon return. I mean, this is the most extreme form of stress you can possibly conjure up. And our country is doing this to these people."
"So, this Australia Day, let's demand more civility in our politics and of ourselves. We can start by accepting that compromise is not the same thing as corruption. By accepting that ideology can instruct and define as well as it can obscure and injure. Let's ask that we treat each other as adults. Let's have the humility to recognise when your political counterpart wants the same outcome as yourself, but disagrees about how to achieve it. Australia is a wonderful place, but it's wonderful in spite of its current politics. Let's build our future with intelligent leadership, rather than pretending we're doing the same with cliche and rancour."
"There is abundant evidence the greatest gains in freedom and wealth in modern history have been delivered by democracy and markets. But there can be no prosperous Wall, Collins or Pitt streets without healthy backstreets. Overall, the Occupy movement is not about breaking down the system, it is about breaking into and adjusting the system that is no longer providing a fair go. It is about equality of opportunity, rather than equality of outcome, and ought to be embraced as a collective opportunity for us to ask the paramount ethical question: is this right?"
"The great vice of democracy is that for a generation we have been busy getting ourselves on to the list of beneficiaries and removing ourselves from the list of contributors, as if somewhere there was somebody else's effort on which we could thrive."
"My headmaster chastised me with a diabolical instrument a leather strap tacked to a piece of wood but he taught me with such villainous success that I am now Prime Minister."
"Modern history is, as you all know, full of examples of great movements that disappeared because they had ceased to have any genuine reason for existence. The important thing is to have a faith to live by, and that goes for us in this party. "
"Thinking ahead, what really happens to us will depend on how many people we have who are of the great and sober and dynamic middle-class - the strivers, the planners, the ambitious ones."
"I did but see her passing by and yet I love her till I die."
"It is a simple but sometimes forgotten truth that the greatest enemy to present joy and high hopes is the cultivation of retrospective bitterness. "
"Men of genius are not to be analysed by commonplace rules. The rest of us who have been or are leaders, more commonplace in our quality, will do well to remember two things. One is never to forget posterity when devising a policy. The other is never to think of posterity when making a speech. "
"The kind of people I myself represent in parliament; salary earners, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers and so on, these are, in a political and economic sense, the middle class. They are for the most part unorganised and unselfconscious. "
"I am one of the few men honest enough to say they do not understand women. "
"Never take any notice of anonymous letters, unless you get a few thousand on the same subject."
"There will be plenty of you in this hall tonight who will be occupying leading posts in the political life of Australia, and do it only if you from time to time sit down and say, 'What is it we believe in?' "
"A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful moneymaker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example. A manager may be tough and practical, squeezing out, while the going is good, the last ounce of profit and dividend, and may leave behind him an exhausted industry and a legacy of industrial hatred. A tough manager may never look outside his own factory walls or be conscious of his partnership in a wider world. I often wonder what strange cud such men sit chewing when their working days are over, and the accumulating riches of the mind have eluded them."
"One thing about bureaucrats is that they never swallow their young. Leave them alone and you'll find them increasing every year."
"This is a wonderful country. It's going to be more wonderful still, but it will achieve greater wonders on the hard work and efforts of its people and not by a sprit of dependency, not on the kind of attitude towards governments and what governments ought to do that our opponents find so easy. "
"These things call for a spirit of adventure, they call for a desire to contribute, a rising level of civic unselfishness. If liberalism stands for anything, and young liberalism above all, it's for a passion to contribute to the nation, to be free but to be contributors. "
"The best hope for Australia is the ballot box and good education. "
"If you believe women are constituted differently to men then remove taxation from them. But if you're a democrat and you believe in government of the people by the people and for the people, then you believe in fair play. So when you tax women, give them the vote as well."
"A candidate for Parliament has to undergo the pain and ignominy of standing. What does he stand for? He stands for a seat in Parliament; he stands, that is, in order that he may sit. If he succeeds, he becomes your 'sitting member'; sitting is a synonym for success."
"I just love the Westminster system. I really believe... It's a wonderful system... Of course it is ponderous. Of course it has its failings. It depends on how you view these failings and the ponderous methods of getting there... But my God what would you change it for? Nothing at all... Yet we try and ruin it."
"With our splendid harbour, our beautifully situated city, our vast territories, all our varied and inexhaustible natural wealth, if we don't convert our colony into a great and prosperous nation, it will be a miracle of error for which we shall have to answer as for a gigantic sin. "
"The Australian continent needs an Australian Government. "
"My view is that the Australian Constitution has served 97 per cent of the nation well. It has not worked, and does not work, for 3 per cent: my people, indigenous Australians. It is broke and was broke for the 3 per cent from the beginning in 1901."
"I am immensely proud of the fact that I am a young person elected to this Parliament… As a young person, I hope that I can bring to this place, a long-term perspective – an inter-generational perspective to the significant policy challenges facing this nation into the future… A little over 14 million people voted on 21 August and I remind the House that more than 2.6 million of them were young Australians aged between 18 and 30. Many of these people are not so much disengaged from politics, they feel disenfranchised and excluded. The political parties of Australia – all political parties – have to offer more. They have to re-engage. Every decision we take – every vote that occurs here – affects someone. Politics should not be something that people avoid; it should be something that people own…"
"Politics is about power. It is about the power of the state. It is about the power of the state as applied to individuals, the society in which they live and the economy in which they work. Most critically, our responsibility in this parliament is how that power is used: whether it is used for the benefit of the few or the many. "
"The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future. We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians..."
"A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed. A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility. A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia The truth is: a business as usual approach towards Indigenous Australians is not working. Most old approaches are not working. We need a new beginning?a new beginning which contains real measures of policy success or policy failure; a new beginning, a new partnership, on closing the gap with sufficient flexibility not to insist on a one-size-fits-all ?approach for each of the hundreds of remote and regional Indigenous communities across the country but instead allowing flexible, tailored, local approaches to achieve commonly-agreed national objectives that lie at the core of our proposed new par"
"I do not know whether I will be in this place for a short or a long time. That is for others to decide. But what I do know is that I have no intention of being here for the sake of just being here. Together with my colleagues it is my intention to make a difference. "
"Education is both a tool of social justice as well as a fundamental driver of economic development."
"Compassion is not a dirty word - it's time we rehabilitated compassion into the national political vocabulary of this great nation of ours. "
"His end teaches us that it is not hard work, either mental or physical, that kills a man; it is anxiety and worry. Looking back over the years, I sometimes wonder how much we weigh our words in our opposition to each other, and in striving for the ideals in which we believe. How often do we think what effect our words will have upon the one who is listening to our criticism?"
"Justice and humanity demand interference whenever the weak are being crushed by the strong. "
"If people who return from this war are offered the dole and told there is no money for employment we can look for revolution."
"We lost a lot of the culture up to the time of the War, and afterwards, up to the 1960's. In Australia then, they regarded assimilation as the only thing. You come here; you must be assimilated; you must forget all your old traditions and past; you must not speak in your own language. Those things are going now: the government is starting to realise that there is some good in old traditions and customs that are brought in from overseas."
"Some things transcend politics and policy and the lust for power. Truth, honesty, integrity, decency and fairness are immutable values. They are the ethical substance of life. They ought to be cherished. To sell them out is to sell one's soul."
"When was the last time you heard an insightful, inspiring piece of oratory from an Australian political leader, an appeal to what is pure and true within humanity: a statement of belief backed by ideas for change betterment, a call to those immutable values wherein lie the potential greatness of people individually and collectively? Such exhortation, such leadership is lamentably scarce."
"There is something going on in the community that some of our politicians... seem to be missing... So many people are seeking authenticity, a return to simplicity, meaning and community. It's there in the burgeoning not-for-profit sector... It's there in the vegie patches that are being planted in so many more back gardens. It's there in the outrage people feel about the treatment of asylum seekers. It's there in the explosion of writing and communication and creativity in what's known as the social media... It's everywhere. There has been an inversion: the real leadership is coming from the community..."
"I'm not so sure liberal democracy as we know it has reached its terminus. It's clear though, that many have genuinely lost confidence in the Australian political class. One reason is that we like to place enormous burdens of expectations on modern political leaders. To be sure such expectations aren't always honest. Just as we want better public services but object to paying the higher taxes that would make them possible, we often want leadership but only if there aren't hard choices with real consequences."
"Can a democracy sustain itself when almost half its citizens are prepared to entertain another mode of government? When they can't seem to appreciate the self-evident virtue of democracy compared with authoritarian tyranny? The problem may go beyond the brutal politics of a hung parliament. Maybe it is because we are losing our very ability to talk about a common good."
"There are many in public life who deserve only our praise and admiration. But there are too many who are products of a class that knows little other than spin and the machinations of politics. Little wonder that leadership of the transforming sort is so hard to come by. The danger is that this may be permanent. Where our best people shun politics because the profession isn't honoured as it once was, this only serves to make the profession even less honoured."
"Even so, there is always a general desire for visionary reform and charismatic eloquence. The yearning is for what American political historian James McGregor Burns called the 'transforming' leader. Such a leader elevates the morality of their followers. They engage in some higher need existing within those they lead, and raise them to more principled levels of judgement. This kind of actor is different from the 'transactional' leader, who bargains with their followers on the basis of interest rather than values. Leadership of this kind involved the typical quid pro quo of exchanging promises of more jobs or lower taxes for votes."
"We have a natural constant craving for leadership. Democracy is always a fragile and imperfect achievement. Yet a distinct feeling of malaise in our political culture lingers. There is something missing from our public debates."
"Many Australians are distressed by the relentless dumbing down of political debate... and the threat to our democracy that it poses."
"When I got into Parliament and throughout most of the 80's and into the 90's, right across the political spectrum, people were on about big issues, big ideas, big battles. That era seems to have passed and we have descended into this world of announceables and gimmicks and stunts and I really believe the two prevailing rules of political behaviour now are: one, look like you're doing something; and two, don't offend anyone who matters. So you end up in this kind of faux politics, where basically people are pretending, or they're actually acting out roles in many areas and the content side of the challenge is side-stepped because the price that would be paid for tackling a serious challenge is too high."
"I'm a new generation of black activist - less angry, more effective. There are a lot of people you wouldn't even hear about now, and their kind of activism is much deeper, smarter, quieter and effective. I think those days of standing on top of police cars and shouting are over - mind you they'd probably lock you up as a terrorist for that now."
"Turn on the TV and whether its Labor or Coalition politicians talking, it's all the same. It's always so predictable and cliched and I think it's turning people off politics. Both sides appeal to populism, so that neither of the major parties will address major national challenges with policies that entail costs as well as benefits. If you care about democracy and the quality of democracy, this matters."
"Let us be honest with each other. The threat to marriage is not the gays. It is a lack of loving commitment - whether it is found in the form of neglect, indifference, cruelty or adultery, to name just a few manifestations of the loveless desert in which too many marriages come to grief..."
"There is nothing more Australian than our commitment to 'a fair go'. We believe that we live in an egalitarian society, where Jack is as good as his master and deference is almost unknown, where anyone with talent and grit can realize their dreams. "
"As far as I am concerned, unfettered market forces are the law of the jungle."
"The Labour movement was not created with the objective of always thinking what is the most acceptable thing to do – whether this individual will win a seat or whether the movement will pander to some section of the community. The Labour movement was created by the pioneers, and its objectives have been preached by disciples of the Labour movement over the years, to make decisions for the best for all the people."
"If, from time to time, the policy is not favored by the majority of the people, there is no reason why the things we fight for should be put aside to curry favour with any section of the people. I believe that what we are fighting for is right and just. We must continue and justice will prevail."
"Every act is political. Every act involves choices about how we live, our impact on the planet, and on all other creatures, including people with whom we share it."
"Democracy suffers when there are deep levels of disaffection with politicians and political processes. This malaise will not be remedied by bad-mouthing politicians. A more respectful and honest relationship between our elected representatives and ourselves will only exist when both are prepared to make this come about."
"The politics of gratuitous hostilities erodes the democratic relationship of respect between people on different sides of an argument. This is a problem bigger than the politics of the day...We ought to respect people who brave the intrusions and trials of public life. We need to respect women and men equally. And, as politicians are elected by a majority, we should also respect the choices of our fellow citizens...Look at other countries to realise where hostility and contempt for one's opponents and enemies lead. A healthy civil society requires solid foundations of respect. "
"A debased debate has left us all exposed to a highly personalised contest of bluster and brutal denigration. As voters, we seem vulnerable to bluster, assertion and denigration. And a loss of focus on policy substance makes it easier for character assassinations to cut through. Gillard and Abbott have both suffered this. "
"Decried every day as a feckless thing without initiative or ambition, a thing not to be mentioned in the same breath as private enterprise, government became that thing. First sequester its responsibilities, sell off its functions, grant it no respect; run it into the ground and then declare it incompetent."
"Outside half a dozen youthful demonstrators chanted about the rights of the ‘young unemployed’. The Prime Minister excepted, they were the best dressed people in West Torrens. There is no disguising a Young Liberal’s haircut."
"I came to represent all the ungainly people, the too-tall ones, the too-fat ones, and the housebound, as I had been, who'd never get the chance to go to China or Buckingham Palace, and who experienced it all through me."
"Punters know the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag Self-Interest always runs a good race. "
"I saw my role as prime minister's wife as being human towards other humans and not treating them badly."
"What am I to do? Stay in a cage - wide open to view, of course - and say nothing? That's not on but if I can do some good I'll certainly try."
"I have more influence now than when I had the power. "
"Bugger the Whitlams... I'm a bit tired of all the adulation. He's almost reached the beatification stage. I suppose canonisation will come, with the obituaries."
"Well may we say: 'God save the Queen', for nothing will save the Governor General."
"Ask me an outrageous question and I'll give you an outrageous answer."
"Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands part of the earth itself as a sign that this land will be the possession of you and your children forever. "
"So many of the things we relied on a middle-class family to do for itself now have a role for government, from feeding children correctly to building a granny flat or, for that matter, deciding which newspaper column is acceptable to read. It is the middle class itself that has insisted on its own enfeeblement with continual demands for the regulation of daily life and for insisting on the elevation of concerns such as animal rights and the environment as if nobody would have to pay or as if there were a source of unlimited wealth to draw on. One day the mines will be empty and our descendants will rightly curse us if we have misused our national bounty to abdicate our responsibility to be industrious, self-reliant and ambitious. These are the qualities on which success in an unknowable future depends. We undermine them at our peril."
"We need to be lifters, not leaners, if nation is to survive... The two great parties of our post-war era challenged each other for nearly two decades to take policy risks in the interest of strengthening our industrial, cultural and personal spirit. Both parties sought to ready our nation to thrive in a competitive international market. The drift of each towards increasing statism weakens both and the country. "
"The real beneficiaries of Australia's carbon tax package will be people not yet born, all over the world, who will be one step further on a long journey to end global warming. But the cost falls on us, here and now, because it tackles our part in warming. This is a modest start, with modest costs, as part of a loose coalition of nations tackling climate change the world over. If we care for those who come after us, we cannot afford the risk of leaving them a planet where the icecaps are melting, seas are rising, low-lying land is being flooded and today's food bowls are turning into tomorrow's deserts. Let's stop the whingeing and make it work."
"We believe firmly in the existence of political parties, but this does not mean that we pledge ourselves to any particular man or body of men, but instead we pledge ourselves to a principle. We would not vote for any man we had just reason to regard as a bad man, just because he was a Liberal. "
"That's what being in the working class is all about - how to get out of it."
"I felt a sense of relief that the pain of the past had been acknowledged and that the healing could begin. At that point, the standing orders prevented an Indigenous response. On behalf of my mother, her siblings and all Indigenous Australians, I, as an Aboriginal voice in this chamber, say thank you for the apology delivered in the federal parliament and I thank the Hon. Kevin Rudd for honouring his commitment to the stolen generation. I hope that all governments continue to embrace new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed."
"As leaders we need to be pathfinders so that we can accelerate the change needed to improve outcomes for our future generations. To me, pathfinders are leaders who shape the future, which is fast, fragile, fashionable and ever changing. As pathfinders, we forge the way forward and we draw the maps and pathways for the future generations of Australians. As pathfinders, we have to commit to and fight for change... As a pathfinder, I will focus on the present and learn from the past to shape the future for the generations to come. "
"Wrestling is a great metaphor for life. And Roland Barthes, the great French writer on semiotics, there's a chapter on wrestling he's written, which still gives me goose bumps when I revisit it and read it. Politics is a bit like wrestling. The theatre of it all. The agony and the ecstasy. I was brought up on a diet of politics at home. "
"My political philosophy is summed up by the myth of Sisyphus, the story of this poor bastard that was condemned by the gods to roll a boulder up a hill. And I feel like I'm rolling that boulder up to the top of the hill, never getting to the crest. But I'll still keep going. "