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"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."

MICHAEL, SHORT -

"Perhaps the most reliable route to meaning and joy, to plunging below the surface and seeking more than the superficiality of material ambition, is connection with people, places, ideas and issues. Of these, the most important are people and relationships. And the most reliable route to relationships is conversation."

MICHAEL, SHORT -

"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."

MICHAEL, SHORT -

"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..."

MICHAEL, SHORT -