"When you stand looking down on the Freycinet Peninsula, it's a bit like life really - its beauty, ruggedness and ageless power have the ability to overpower, inspire or make you feel as though you've really just come home. Like a life well lived it has a sense of real and tragic history and a genuine hope for an exciting future for yourself and those who will follow. "


"From distant climes, o'er wide-spread seas we come,
Though not with much eclat or beat of drum;
True patriots all; for it be understood
We left our country for our country's good.
No private views disgraced our generous zeal,
What urged our travels was our country's weal."

GEORGE, BARRINGTON - Our Country's Good

"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. "


"This is a good place for a village."


"It lay in the mettle of the men themselves. To be the sort of man who would give way when his mates were trusting to his firmness; to be the sort of man who would fail when the line, the whole force, and the allied cause required his endurance; to have made it necessary for another unit to do his own unit's work; to live the rest of his life haunted by the knowledge that he had set his hand to a soldier's task and had lacked the grit to carry it through... that was the prospect these men could not face. Life was very dear, but life was not worth living unless they could be true to their idea of Australian manhood. Standing upon that alone, when help failed and hope faded, when the end loomed clear in front of them, when the whole world seemed to crumble and the heaven to fall in, they faced its ruin undismayed."

CHARLES, BEAN - on the First AIF on Gallipoli: The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918

"The Australian, one hundred to two hundred years hence, will still live with the consciousness that, if he only goes far enough back over the hills and across the plains he comes in the end to the mysterious half desert country where men have to live the lives of strong men. And the life of that mysterious country will affect the Australian imagination much as the life of the sea has affected that of the English..."

CHARLES, BEAN - The Dreadnought of the Darling

"What these men did nothing can alter now. The good and the bad, the greatness and the smallness of their story will stand. Whatever of glory it contains nothing now can lessen. It rises, as it will always rise, above the mists of the ages, a monument to great-hearted men; and, for their nation, a possession for ever. "

CHARLES, BEAN - on the First AIF: The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918

"The continent had to be discovered emotionally. It had to become a homeland and feel like home. The sense of overpowering space, the isolation, the warmth of summer, the garish light, the shiny-leafed trees, the birds and insects, the smell of air filled with dust, the strange silences, and the landscapes in all their oddness had to become familiar..."


"Much of Australia's history had been shaped by the contradiction that it depended intimately and comprehensively on a country which was further away that almost any other in the world. Now the dependence had slackened, the distance had diminished. The Antipodes were drifting, though where they were drifting no one knew."

GEOFFREY, BLAINEY - The Tyranny of Distance

"And we were free! Lord God! to think that men can be such fools as ever to do anything of their own free will and guiding that puts their liberty in danger when there's such a world outside of a gaol wall - such a heaven on earth as long as a man's young and strong, and has all the feelings of a free man, in a country like this."

ROLF, BOLDREWOOD - Robbery under Arms

"What's wrong with leading the way? We've played that role before, after all. We gave the world the secret ballot... that did so much to raise living standards and improve conditions for workers worldwide. We were a leader in extending to women the right to vote. We were barely a nation when we set the bar for bravery and sacrifice by common soldiers in foreign wars. We grew up out of racism and misogyny and homophobia to become a mostly tolerant, successful multicultural society. We did these great things because we know we are in it together. It is our core value as Australians."

GERALDINE, BROOKS - Boyer Lecture 2011

"And at this moment in history, our core value happens to be the raw, aching truth of the human predicament. It may also be the only belief that can save us as a species. A species that will continue to find comfort and delight in the companionship of animals, the miracle of birds, the colours of the corals and the majesty of the forests. We are in it together, on this blue spinning marble in the cold and silent void. And we must act on that belief, if we are going to be able to continue to live a good life here, in this beautiful and fragile country, on this lovely planet, our only home."

GERALDINE, BROOKS - Boyer Lecture 2011

"Stories of heroism stir in each of us a profound admiration, a sense of wonder at the sheer daring of the human spirit, unleashed against adversity. Our heroes inspire and bless us, urging us to new strengths and greater feats in our own pathways."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - foreword Journey to Tobruk, Louise Austin

"In these times of hardship and grief for many Australians, you bring our hearts to soar and you remind us of the strength and the endurance of the human spirit. Thank you for what you did and for what you will continue to do."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - when pinning the medal on Corporal Roberts-Smith VC

"I want you to know that I take on this role with solemnity, impartiality, energy, and a profound love for the country we share. "

QUENTIN, BRYCE - Swearing In Ceremony, 5 September 2008

"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."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - on opening of new parliament 28/9/2010

"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? "

QUENTIN, BRYCE - on the opening of new parliament, 28 September 2010

"Anzac Day - at its heart, is love. Love of every kind. Love of nation, of service, of family. The love we give and the love we allow ourselves to receive... "


"This is a day about remembrance, deference and thankfulness. It is about who we are now; the values we live by and hold dearest; and what we collectively hope and strive to be. "


"Getting ashore was not that hard. Hanging on, up on that ridge, for eight months - that was hard. The Australians defended absurd positions. They looked after each other. They kept their good humour. There is cheerfulness in soldiers' letters from Gallipoli one seldom comes upon in letters from France. The food was unspeakable, the flies a plague. [So were] dysentery and lice... The miracle is simply these men didn't lose heart. And they didn't, not even when they knew all was lost and they were creeping away by night, leaving so many dead. That, to me, is why we are right to remember Gallipoli. We are surely right to honour them. We are surely right to walk past the political intrigues and the blunders and say Gallipoli says something good about the Australian people and the Australian spirit. "


"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... "


"I promise to know neither country nor creed, but to serve all justly and impartially. "


"If Her Majesty's Government be really desirous of seeing a well-conducted community spring up in these Colonies, the social wants of the people must be considered. If the paternal Government wish to entitle itself to that honoured appellation, it must look to the materials it may send as a nucleus for the formation of a good and great people. For all the churches you can build, and all the books you can export, will never do much good without what a gentleman in that Colony very appropriately called 'God's police' - wives and little children - good and virtuous women."


"To those of my own sex who desire to emigrate to Australia, I say do so by all means, if you can go under suitable protection, possess good health, are not fastidious or 'fine-ladylike', can milk cows, churn butter, cook a good damper, and mix a pudding. The worst risk you run is that of getting married, and finding yourself treated with twenty times the respect and consideration you may meet with in England. Here (as far as number goes) women beat the 'lords of creation'; in Australia it is the reverse, and there we may be pretty sure of having our own way."


"There will always be men who see that every man must fight out the battle between damnation and impassioned clay with his own pitiful equipment. In every generation these men will communicate to us their vision of the beauty and terror of this world. Some will write poetry: some novels: some plays: some will paint, some will compose music: and some, I believe most passionately, will write history."

MANNING CHARLES, CLARK - The Writing of History

"I take it, too, you all agree that history like poetry, music, painting, sculpture and dancing - is one of the great comforters which men have put between themselves and death - to make their living and dying more bearable."


"My purpose was to tell the story of what happened when a great civilisation was transplanted to our ancient continent. My purpose was to show how the more successful our ancestors were in planting that civilisation in the Australian wilderness, the more disastrous it was for the original tenants. My purpose was also to show how human beings responded to the decline of religious faiths which had comforted human beings for thousands of years, and to portray, as well as I could, the pilgrimage of man from the Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Nothingness. My purpose was also to present the choice which confronts us at the moment: whether we shall drift into the role of defenders of an over-ripe society or shall join those who in their zeal to wipe a society based on moral infamy off the face of the earth, lapsed into spiritual popery, conformism and greyness of spirit, or shall build a society in which men can be both happy and wise. "

MANNING CHARLES, CLARK - Telling the Story, Boyer Lecture 1976

"Everything a historian writes should be a celebration of life. A hymn of praise to life. It should come up from inside a man who knows all about that horror of the darkness when a man returns to the dust from whence he came. Of a man who's looked into the heart of a great darkness that has seen and felt both a tenderness for everyone and yet paradoxically a melancholy, a sadness and compassion, because he realises that what matters most in life is never likely to happen."


"All faiths in Australia have been the faiths of exiles, and so suffered from a tendency to serve purposes other than those of their founder."


"It is the divided ones, the ones who thirst to believe, and who are sceptical of all belief, who believe in the perfectibility of mankind, and yet perceive that the hearts of the sons of men are filled with evil, who became the great teachers."


"This generation has a chance to be wiser than previous generations. They can make their own history. With the end of the domination by the straiteners, the enlargers of life now have their chance? It is the task of the historian and the mythmaker to tell the story of how the world came to be as it is. It is the task of the prophet to tell the story of what might be. The historian presents the choice: history is a book of wisdom for those making that choice."

MANNING CHARLES, CLARK - epilogue, A History of Australia

"Fractured identity is not confined to the innocent."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"In my view understanding does not require anything so heroic as 'identification', which is at best a slapdash procedure and too often a misleading one."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"What most disquiets about a too-shrill insistence on the uniqueness of the Holocaust is the danger that, if the Holocaust were indeed to be accepted as unique, it would risk falling out with history."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"I was especially terrified of Germans, because they clearly glorified in their wickedness; they wore black uniforms, flaunted an insignia of a human skull couched on human bones, and unabashedly proclaimed themselves 'Nasties'. At a time when Australia stood in real and present danger from the Japanese, my dreams were full of stolid minions of men in black... invading across the back paddock, through the back gate and into the kitchen to kill us all."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"... the theological struggle to comprehend the Holocaust as an episode in an enigmatic deity's intentions regarding his chosen people continues to shadow putatively secular debate."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"Villains are rarely simple men."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"We will not understand an Eichmann unless we grasp not only the individual character, but the exhilaration infused into that drab character by his context of revolutionary excitement and urgent high purpose, so that bullying brutal action was transformed into heroism."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"...Never before in human history, has a new 'culture/nation' established itself and flourished; so quickly (200 years) , so far from its' point of origin. "

BRYCE, COURTENAY - about Australia

"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."


"One constant in history is that the softer and more self-indulgent a society becomes, the closer it moves to collapse or conquest."


"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. "

ALFRED, DEAKIN - Commonwealth parliamentary debate, 1909.

"'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. "


"Every country needs its heroes, and we must follow them. "


"Hundreds of other Australian soldiers, who may not, like myself, have had the opportunity of coming into the limelight, but been killed. "

WILLIAM, DUNSTAN VC - VC's of the First World War: Gallipoli, Stephen Snelling

"A Fortunate Life"

A.B. ALBERT, FACEY - book title

"Fear can do terrible things to a man."

A.B. ALBERT, FACEY - A Fortunate Life

"Despite the fear the men mostly took everything that was thrown at them. I saw some brave things at Gallipoli. One thing that made a big impression on us was the actions of a man we called 'The Man with a Donkey'. He was a stretcher-bearer and he used to carry the wounded men down to the clearing station on the beach... This man, Simpson his name was, was exposed to enemy fire constantly all the days I was there, and when I left Shrapnel Gully he was still going strong. I considered, and so did my mates, that he should be given the Victoria Cross."

A.B. ALBERT, FACEY - A Fortunate Life

"I have lived a very good life, it has been very rich and full. I have been very fortunate and I am thrilled by it when I look back."

A.B. ALBERT, FACEY - A Fortunate Life

"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."


"It is not in our cities or townships, it is not in our agricultural or mining areas, that the Australian attains full consciousness of his own nationality; it is in places like this, and as clearly here as at the centre of the continent. To me the monotonous variety of this interminable scrub has a charm of its own; so grave, subdued, self centred; so alien to the genial appeal of more winsome landscape, or the assertive grandeur of mountain and gorge. "

JOSEPH, FURPHY - Tom Collins, Such is Life

"We have come 16,000 miles to better our condition, and not to act the mere part of machinery; and it is neither right nor just that we should cross the trackless regions of immensity between us and our fatherland, to be rewarded with excessive toil, a bare existence and a premature grave. "

JAMES, GALLOWAY - The Age, 31 March 1858

"...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..."

PETER, GEBHARDT - The Age 26 January 2012

"The guns were silent, and the silent hills
had bowed their grasses to a gentle breeze
I gazed upon the vales and on the rills,
And whispered, "What of these?" and "What of these?"
These long forgotten dead with sunken graves,
Some crossless, with unwritten memories
Their only mourners are the moaning waves,
Their only minstrels are the singing trees
And thus I mused and sorrowed wistfully
I watched the place where they had scaled the height,
The height whereon they bled so bitterly
Throughout each day and through each blistered night
I sat there long, and listened - all things listened too
I heard the epics of a thousand trees,
A thousand waves I heard; and then I knew
The waves were very old, the trees were wise:
The dead would be remembered evermore -
The valiant dead that gazed upon the skies,
And slept in great battalions by the shore."

LEON, GELLERT - 23 year-old soldier-poet, a combatant at Gallipoli, to mark the evacuation of the peninsula in 1915,

"All my life I've believed that men and women have equal capacities and talents - consequently there should be equality in life's chances. "


"History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man."


"The Australian soldier has frequently been admired for his personal independence and individual initiative. The Australian voter has been continually blamed for his lack of initiative and for his excessive dependence on the State. Unless we are to assume that the fighters have not voted and the voters have not fought, we must seek some explanation of these contradictory reputations."


"Were it possible to compel the prison warders of this past age to produce for our inspection a 'typical' transported convict, they would show us, not the countryman who snared rabbits, but the Londoner who stole spoons."


"A country is a jealous mistress and patriotism is commonly an exclusive passion; but it is not impossible for Australians, nourished by glorious literature and haunted by old memories, to be in love with two soils."


"Among the Australians pride of race counted for more than love of country... Defining themselves as 'independent Australian Britons' they believed each word essential and exact, but laid most stress upon the last."


"For good and for ill, Australia has had forced upon her the inheritance of all ages. The continent has been peopled by a civilisation ready-made; the British have imposed themselves upon it with their barbed-wire and railways and commercial journalism and modern liberal ideas. Their advance resembles the forward scattering of a horde, and sometimes, like the onrush of a horde, it has been devastating."


"One hundred years ago Australia was still a gaol. Some of her greatest cities are less than a century old. The poets have seen truly that Australia's life is in the future. It may extend through European centuries; it may be short. Australia lies opposite an awakening Asia. She shares a civilisation whose destiny is beyond prediction."


"Only in metaphor can we speak of situations being 'good' or 'bad', 'ugly' or 'unkind'. It is no use arguing with situations. They will not blush if you reprove them, or turn over a new leaf if you plead with them. The only thing you can do with them is to understand them. They are, says Croce, identical with the means at your disposal. Understanding the concrete facts of particular situations is therefore the first task of sound historical judgement, as it is the first task of cool statesmanship. It is sometimes called a sense of reality."

SIR WILLIAM KEITH, HANCOCK - Machiavelli in Modern Dress

"'Finding our own way' through History is both a search for fuller content, and, simultaneously, a search for surer standards of right judgement."

SIR WILLIAM KEITH, HANCOCK - Machiavelli in Modern Dress

"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."


"Without sending down some roots, no community can live an individual life - there cannot, indeed, be a community. The roots sent down in Australian soil by the transplanted British have only her and there struck deep beneath the surface."

SIR WILLIAM KEITH, HANCOCK - Machiavelli in Modern Dress

"Australia has been too much glorified by simple patriots, who imagine that civilisation started with the voyages of Captain Cook, and too much vilified by splenetic tourists of the English middle classes, who fail to find in Tumburumba the mild amenities of Tunbridge Wells."


"The most critical moment in the history of a man or a nation comes when the hard facts of present reality penetrate and tear the tenuous envelope which encircles that imagined world of perfect harmony and colour which a poetic vision creates and loves."

SIR WILLIAM KEITH, HANCOCK - Machiavelli in Modern Dress

"The little exclusive circles, which in Melbourne and Sydney had politely imitated English gentility, looked askance at the lucky upstarts - and intermarried with them. In the second half of the nineteenth century Australia became familiar with a new vulgarity and a new vigour."


"'This,' I exclaimed to my guide, 'is a memorable day in the history of New South Wales. I shall be a baronet, you will be knighted, and my old horse will be stuffed, put into a glass-case, and sent to the British Museum!'"

EDWARD, HARGRAVES - on his discovery of gold in NSW in 1851

"The dominant feature of the later legislation has been this steady reduction of the status of the native, and, though the intention has been protective, legislation has now gone so far that it may well be asked what purpose or plan there is or what possible outcome there can be from a system that confines the native within a legal status that has more in common with that of a born idiot than of any other class of British subject."

SIR PAUL, HASLUCK - on the Native Administration Act 1936, Black Australians

"... we are still prisoners of our colonial history."

BOB, HAWKE - The Resolution of Conflict

"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."

BOB, HAWKE - The Resolution of Conflict

"Australia has progressed by a series of little rebellions."

LESLIE, HAYLEN - Blood on the Wattle

"Eureka was the classic instance - our Greek tragedy, our first big movement for liberty."

LESLIE, HAYLEN - Blood on the Wattle

"In the early days every man was his own House of Representatives and his mates his Senate."

LESLIE, HAYLEN - Blood on the Wattle

"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."


"Of Darwin in 1930: In its glorious setting Darwin was unloved and unlovely. Apart from a few old faithfuls, there were only two classes - those paid to stay there and those with no money to go."

ERNESTINE, HILL - The Territory

"I know this beach like the back of my hand."

HAROLD, HOLT - Last words.

"My man, I don't want justice, I want mercy. "

BILLY, HUGHES - to his portrait painter

"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. "

PAUL, KEATING - Redfern Speech, 10 December 1992

"I have no intention of asking mercy for myself of any mortal man, or apologising, but I wish to give timely warning that if my people do not get justice and those innocents released from prison, I shall be forced to seek revenge of everything of the human race for the future. "


"Ah well, I suppose it has come to this... Such is life! "

NED, KELLY - on the scaffold

"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."

PROFESSOR MARCIA, LANGTON - on the need for constitutional change

"Oh, my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways, And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low, I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not, And restless and lost on a road that I know. "


"There is no power in the world like that of women... this most potent constituency we seek to represent, and for their suffrages we sue. "


" It is quite time that our children were taught a little more about their country, for shame's sake. "


"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."

LOUISA, LAWSON - 1889, speech to inaugural meeting of the Dawn Club

"... 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 ..."

MARY, LEE - 1892, in Barrier Miner about Broken Hill miners' strike

"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 country possesses numerous advantages. We enjoy here one of the finest climates in the world. The necessities of life are abundant, and a fruitful soil affords us many luxuries. Nothing induces me to wish for change."


"Fallen into a crevasse:
Exhausted, weak and chilled (for my hands were bare and pounds of snow had got inside my clothing) I hung with firm conviction that all was over except the passing. Below was a black chasm; it would be but the work of the moment to slip from the harness, then all the pain and toil would be over. It was a rare situation, a rare temptation ? a chance to quit small things for great ? to pass from the petty exploration of a planet to the contemplation of vaster worlds beyond. But there was all eternity for the last and, at its longest, the present would be but short. I felt better for the thought.

SIR DOUGLAS, MAWSON - The Home of the Blizzard

"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. "


"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. "


"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?' "


"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. "



GENERAL SIR JOHN, MONASH - Inscription on the Rats of Tobruk memorial

"The best hope for Australia is the ballot box and good education. "


"Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline. "



GENERAL SIR JOHN, MONASH - Inscription on the Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne

"Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it. "

BREAKER, MORANT - to the firing squad

"As a leader you must celebrate life, you must celebrate success and paradoxically, you must celebrate heroic failures. "


"They who came here in chains, who were lashed while they worked in convict gangs at Port Arthur. They who like many others were driven through starvation or oppression from their home-lands to the shores of this new country, Australia. They, who for a multitude of reasons that hopefully, I or my children will never witness or experience, decided not to harbour grudges or discontent but rather to look to the future. They who embraced this country as their own and said; "let's get on with it, this is a new land, this is our home.""


"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. "


"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..."

KEVIN, RUDD - Sorry Speech, 12 February 2008

"Justice and humanity demand interference whenever the weak are being crushed by the strong. "


"Whether as enemies they fought,
Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together,
Enlisted on the other front."


"As we grew to love South Australia, we felt that we were in an expanding society, still feeling the bond to the motherland, but eager to develop a perfect society in the land of our adoption. "


"There is nothing so costly to the state as a ruined life. "


"It is partly the absence of recorded history which sends women now to the lives of women past for the detailed documentation of their daily lives."

DALE, SPENDER - All Sides of the Subject, Women and Biography

"In Anzac Day, Australians would create a holiday not transplanted from elsewhere, not confined to one region, not an occasion for pleasure; commemorating the shedding of blood for nation and empire, and honouring heroes as nobody in Australia had ever been honoured before."

KENNETH, STANLEY INGLIS - The Australian Colonists

"It is lives like this that teach us that man can aspire to and can achieve a true nobleness of character, and by doing so can inspire us all."

SIR NINIAN, STEPHEN - on the lesson we can learn from Sir Edward (Weary) Dunlop

"Our great Scottish poet and novelist (Sir Walter Scott) has finely said: 'Lives there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said--This is my own, my native land?' But is there not a formidable rival to the force of this sentiment in that with which one clings to the land where so many of the most vigorous years of life have been actively spent? And a land, besides, of surpassing sunny beauty and of rare romance."


"I have more influence now than when I had the power. "


"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. "

GOUGH, WHITLAM - Gurindji Land Ceremony Speech, 16 August 1975

"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. "


"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. "

KEN, WYATT - First Speech, 29 September 2010

"With the exception of Indigenous peoples, we are a nation of boat people whose forbears made the journey from elsewhere to our shores. How we assist succeeding generations in adjusting to their new country is one of the measures of Australia's maturity and well-being as a nation."

ARNOLD, ZABLE - on refugees