"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."


"Carry the sun inside you and reach out for the dreams that guide you. You have everything you need to take you where you want to go then. "


"We should be able to find the bigger part of ourselves."


"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."

LARISSA, BEHRENDT - on the community and government response to natural disasters and flooding that affected Australia J

"I realised early on that there were two groups of people in the world: those who made the decisions and those who had the decisions made for them. I wanted to be one of the decision-makers. "


"If we are to create a successful society for the future, a ‘society for all ages’ in which
everyone has a place and to which everyone can contribute, then the widest cross-section of
our community has to be involved in shaping policy to this end.

The strongest initiative that government can take to ensure Australia is prepared for
population ageing, is to maintain a strong economy, and a secure nation."


"...women can't have it all. They can have plenty of choices, but at the end of the day, they choose something which means they can't have something else... I feel incredibly lucky that I've had the kind of career that is so consuming that I don't feel I have a void in my life."


"I believe that as more women around the world take on leadership positions – in their communities, countries, across continents – the impact of female leadership will be profound... And let’s face it, including women in leadership teams adds a diversity of attitudes, outlooks and experience. And greater diversity means the team is more likely to come up with new ideas, more creative approaches, and more flexible thinking and responses to challenges."


"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 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. "


"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. "


"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.'"

NEVILLE, BONNER - on being signed in as a new senator

"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..."

NEVILLE, BONNER - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"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

"Be open to them (the opportunities). Grasp them in your hands. Ask yourself, 'If not, why not?' Be bold, be bold, be bold."

QUENTIN, BRYCE - speech to the University of Melbourne class of 2013

"Whatever influence you have, it's only for a small amount of time. When Sir Frank (Packer) sold the Daily and Sunday Telegraph to Rupert Murdoch in 1972, I lost my position as women's editor. Suddenly the phones stopped ringing. All the people who said they were my friends, I didn't hear from them. I was only in my 20's, and that was a sobering lesson to learn: how fleeting everything is, and how easily it can be taken away from you. So you never take yourself too seriously, you never think you're too important."


"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.'"


"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."


"Leaders who fail to appreciate this fundamental precept of accountability must also fail to muster the profound commitment true leadership demands."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"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.'"

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009, on his role to lead the operation recovery effo

"In business, integrity is just as important as in any of the great public offices... but I believe one of the first and fundamental obligations of competent business leadership is above all to protect the reputation and integrity of the business - to that degree the integrity of the business is the integrity of the leader."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"Let's start therefore with a universal truth: leaders are fundamentally accountable."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"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!"

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"I must say that part of our national wealth is not only the nation's people but those people who lead them."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"Our vision is to look through the eyes of our kids. We are a lucky, peaceful nation. We are an unselfish people. That's one of our proudest national attributes."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - on his vision for Australia

"It's instructive to consider the more spectacular and well-known falls from grace of leaders in the public eye... In the main, the issues behind these falls could be grouped under a lack of competence, a lack of support or loyalty from those they sought to lead, and a lack of failure of integrity. Of all these the last is the most egregious, the most fatal. We so much want our leaders to be unfailingly decent that an obvious or perceived flaw in integrity can be the toxin which kills them off."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"'Paying it forward'. In many ways that is a succinct expression of the major obligation of our existence. Doing things now for the protection and upliftment of relatively helpless future generations, which either don't exist yet or are presently too young to take action themselves. Australians don't have this obligation uniquely - every society on earth shares it equally. But in this country we have opportunities not widely available. We not only have an abundance of brilliant people with great energy and inventiveness, we are comparatively rich and thus can do what others might only dream of."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"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."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009, on his role to lead the operation recovery effo

"We want our leaders to be fair dinkum, as much among us as above us."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"We all of us have a reputation, something we are known for, and sometimes it may be different from what we would like to be known for. At the core of this is the simple but fragile heart - our integrity - which is always under challenge, under tests both trivial and profound every day of our lives."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"But it is my total conviction that all the trappings of good leadership are generic and widely applicable whether you are standing in a khaki queue with your mess tins or on an automobile production line."

GENERAL SIR PETER, COSGROVE - A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures 2009

"I have always felt that the great lottery of life is unfair. The fact is that I was thrown up on the stage of life called Australia. You don't choose where you are thrown on to this stage. So universal health, universal education, of course plenty of food and clean water. "

REVEREND TIM, COSTELLO - on the importance of humanitarian leadership

"Men as well as women, must strive for a balance of experience. Masculinity, defined as requiring the ability to act physically or mentally but excluding anything too emotional or nurturing, currently denies men this balance. Their ability to care is seen as inappropriate for everyday use, and a lack of desire for power or promotion are seen as signs of inadequacy."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"The essence of leadership is making up your own mind and then being able to take other people with you."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"A balance is necessary in life. To achieve this we must move away from broad definitions of workplaces as functional and households as emotional. Similarly, home, the haven in a heartless world, as defined by men, cannot be used by them as an antidote to the workplace's discomforts and demands, if this means having the wife as a servicer."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"Leading women, if they are to offer variations from the present companies of leading men, need to be drawn from a wide spectrum of household and family arrangements. If women with children and family responsibilities are almost always seriously limited by these, then those currently in power will not have the personal experience necessary to represent these overlooked areas."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"We have to recognise that the validation of identity comes through relationships we have and what we produce."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"High levels of sexual assault and family violence will prevail as long as a tolerator culture persists. Men who care deeply about the women and girls in their lives - mothers, daughters, partners and friends - need to recognise that other men are violent (physically, emotionally and psychologically) towards other women and girls. Silence, defensiveness and passivity... acts as potent cultural affirmation. When men in every sphere of leadership - political, corporate, workplace and community - acknowledge the violence of other men as their issue and show they are prepared to change the attitudes and behaviours of their male peers, the tolerator fabric will wear thin. Rest assured, all of society can only benefit."


"The stark reality is that sexual assault and family violence is highly gendered... the overwhelming majority of sexual assault and family violence perpetrators are male. Women know intimately how they order their lives to reduce the risk of male violence that stems from an unhealthy and anti-social masculinity that depends on entitlement, intimidation, domination and control. Most men clearly reject this particular masculinity, rejecting violence in their relationships with women. The next step is for these men to realise the leadership power they have to change the cultural context that produces abusive power."


"Whether she sees the week or month out, I'm pretty sure Julia Gillard isn't a bitch, witch, she-devil or any of the other pejoratives cast her way in her remarkable career. And let's not kid ourselves it's not remarkable being the first female leader of your country. That's history. Lock it in, Eddie. Julia Gillard will be mentioned in Aussie classrooms for the next two centuries. Gillard has both manifested and magnified the ambitions of more Australian girls under the age of 16 than every female athlete, actress, model, scientist, journalist and cartoon super hero combined."

SAM, DE BRITO - The Age, 25 JUNE 2013

"In four years of mostly minority government, we've not once seen Gillard lose her cool despite parliamentary pressures and compromises that would have turned John Howard into Groucho Marx and made Tony's Abbott's head explode. Make all the jokes you want about Gillard's red hair, but she's anything but flammable. She's cooler than the other side of the pillow, which we might have the grace to admit in 10 or 20 years' time."

SAM, DE BRITO - The Age, 25 JUNE 2013

"Where there is tragedy or injustice there is always resilience. There will be deep anger, grief and despair but there will always be a way forward, a constructive way to turn away from bitterness and embrace the future with dignity...
Brick by brick the Prime Minister said - we'll rebuild those devastated towns in Victoria brick by brick, school by school, community centre by community centre. We need to do the same with reconciliation. Each little step creates a platform for more success - a little more self esteem, a little more sense of what's possible."

MICHAEL, DODSON - National Press Club Luncheon, February 2009

"For Indigenous peoples , the impact of separating us from our heritage goes directly to the heart that pumps life through our peoples. To expect a people to be able to enjoy their culture without their cultural heritage and their sacred belongings is equivalent to amputating their legs and digging up the ground and asking them to run a marathon."

MICHAEL, DODSON - Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture, University of New England, 1994

"Leadership is an elusive concept, hard to describe and impossible to prescribe. It is more evident in its absence, so that when leadership is needed, its lack is sorely felt."


"In a climate of uncertainty and fear, without strong and visionary leadership, people panic."


"These Australians hear the whispering in their heart and know it can only be silenced by coming to terms with the original owners of this beautiful and bounteous land. Many Australians of goodwill sense that a moment for national leadership has slipped past us and is gone."


"For Aboriginal leaders, the social and moral obligation that comes with community leadership is life-long. Those who lead, who have authority, must care for and look after those who come behind."


"In this role my wish is to build our understanding of what it means to protect the rights and human dignity of all Australians. Upholding human rights is about looking out for each other, taking the idea of fairness seriously. And it goes to the heart of who we are as a nation."

PROFESSOR MICHAEL, DODSON - Australian of the Year Presentation 2009

"Life is no brief candle but a splendid torch made to burn ever more brightly. "


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


"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."


"You have to see human rights as an all-embracing concept. It could be something that would unite the world, if it could only be seen in that light."


"One brave person has to stand up, to be exposed to the limelight, go through the trauma of a sex harassment or rape case. But the force of an actual individual case can be very strong indeed, a bargaining tool, a powerful influence for change."


"I believe every woman should have the right to live in a home free of deadly weapons."


"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."

RICHARD, FLANAGAN - on Bob Brown's retirement

"We can only call ourselves Australian if we have a long-term future in this country and that means to live sustainably."

TIM, FLANNERY - at his Australian of the Year Presentation 2007

"Fifty years ago Australia rode on the sheep's back and wool was worth a pound a pound and no one could think beyond that, could they? No one could have imagined this wonderful new economy that we've grown based on other resources. And the same is going to be true for coal, we will make the transition into a new economy and we will be better off..."

TIM, FLANNERY - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"I do feel that the honour comes with a deep obligation, for it speaks eloquently of the desire of Australians to address climate change. We are, on a per capita basis, the worst greenhouse polluters in the world and I don't think any of us want our children asking in future why we didn't give our utmost when it was still possible to influence the course of events."

TIM, FLANNERY - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Chief of Army, delivered a press conference last week in response to another revelation of sexism within the ADF. Unlike the Coalition, Morrison is prepared to accept the ADF has an ongoing problem with misogyny and violence against women. He sees it and he wants to remove it, because he holds the army to a higher standard than that. He holds men to a higher standard than that; he recognises that an imbalance in power exists that negatively affects women, and he is using his own position to change that because he understands the importance of women's equal participation in public life. As he so eloquently stated, "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"After the events of last week, I'm appalled at the standard Australia seems to be willing to accept in regards to its own behaviour and the behaviour of our leaders. Accuse me of playing the gender card all you like, but I will not walk past it any more. You might consider joining me."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"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."

MALCOLM, FRASER - on asylum seekers

"It's a marvellous honour, especially as I follow in the footsteps of distinguished medical scientists who are recent Australians of the Year, including Professor Peter Doherty, Sir Gus Nossal and Professor Fiona Wood. Gus, Fiona and I all chose to be Australians and to make this country the cradle of research that aims to improve the lives of millions of people..."

IAN, FRAZER - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"I've always felt that what I do in life should be good for the community. I think that's the measure of being an Australian citizen. It's not so much where you're born, it's what you're actually doing beyond what people expect of you."

IAN, FRAZER - in his Australian of the Year 2006 acceptance speech

"Why do we place such a disproportionate emphasis on sporting achievement? Why doesn't success in other fields receive similar attention... Maybe it's because in a country that prides itself on being egalitarian, sport is intellectually and socio-economically an equal playing field. In fact, the more humble your background, the better, the underdog-turned champion is a narrative that resonates powerfully. We're far less interested in the stories of our best doctors, writers, lawyers, engineers, teachers or social workers. Their triumphs do not capture our collective imaginations."


"I have been told many times that when I win I make my people proud to be Australian. I am Aboriginal, I am one of them and every time I win or am honoured like this it should be an example to Aboriginal people who may think they have nowhere to go but down. But more importantly I am an Australian and I would like to make all Australians feel proud to be Australian. Ours is a truly multicultural society and should be united as such. I would like to believe that my successes are celebrated by all Australians, bringing our nation together."

CATHERINE, FREEMAN - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"I want to be a positive role model, especially for kids and Aboriginal people... When people see me, often all they see is another Australian athlete having a go. It isn't until they see the full Cathy Freeman picture that they realise how proud I am of my ancestry and heritage. I'd like a little more tolerance and acceptance of my culture and all the differing cultures that make up Australia."

CATHY, FREEMAN - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"Disappointment and adversity can be catalysts for greatness. There's something particularly exciting about being the hunter, as opposed to the hunted. And that can make for powerful energy."


"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."

DR GEOFF, GALLOP - Living with Difference, 2003 Murdoch Lecture

"It crosses my mind that our generation may leave problems that are simply too hard for human society in the generations that follow. The structures that separate civilisation from disorder are thin and fragile. (But) I am not gloomy by nature so don't presume that the global community will fail the young people."

ROSS, GARNAUT - on climate change action

"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."


"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..."

JULIA, GILLARD - Misogyny Speech 10 October 2012

"The reaction to being the first female prime minister does not explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my prime ministership. I have been amused by colleagues in the newspapers who admitted I suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other prime ministers in the past, but then concluded it had zero effect on my political position or the position of the Labor party. (My gender) doesn't explain everything, it doesn't explain nothing, it explains some things and it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey. What I know is it will be easier for the next woman, and the woman after that and the woman after that. "

JULIA, GILLARD - on losing the leadership

"He will always know as we know now that in the heat of battle he did not fail when mateship and duty called."

JULIA, GILLARD - of Corporal Roberts-Smith VC

"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. "


"It's true, we are a highly professional force and we can produce highly lethal fighting forces, but I defy you to find more dedicated humanitarians or better friends when the chips are down. "


"The Australian Army is a highly respected National institution because of its people. It's all about the people. If we communicate, and leverage off all in our organisation, not just our senior officers, our IQ will be awesome. Then there will be no job which is beyond us. "


"I never allow of any difficulties. The great secret of being useful and successful is to admit of no difficulties."


"The essentials of leadership are all about the use of one's talent in the interests of society."


"... that ultimate success in community leadership will only be achieved if it stimulates participation by others who are also to be seen as in their own way leaders and not merely helpers."


"Leadership in its best sense has never been about the pre-determined role cast on some to lead others."


"..leaders should be looked upon as being 'in front', 'sharing' rather than 'showing' the way... it is the followers who save leaders and therefore make them."

MICHELLE, GRATTAN - Leadership Lecture, Leadership Victoria 2005

"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."


"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

"... 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..."

BOB, HAWKE - The Resolution of Conflict

"The world will not wait for us."

BOB, HAWKE - The Resolution of Conflict

"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."

BOB, HAWKE - on attitudes to the unemployed, The Resolution of Conflict

"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."

BOB, HAWKE - on the position of women in Australia, The Resolution of Conflict

"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. "


"Great literature is like moral leadership; everyone deplores the lack of it, but there is a tendency to prefer it from the safely dead."


"When I've seen an opportunity I haven't sat down and called a committee meeting, We've gone and done it."


"The neglect this implied, the suffering and wasted quality of human life were appalling."

FRED, HOLLOWS - on the incidence of trachoma in NT in late 60's

"It stems from my Australianisms and belief that everyone is a fundamental cog in the wheel."


"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."


"Hitler and Stalin were very successful leaders - for a time."


"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."


"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."

BARRY, JONES - on climate change

"Leadership is a quality regrettably lacking in much of our political, academic, business, social and even religious life. Much of Australia's leadership has been - and continues to be mediocre."


"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."

BARRY, JONES - Sleepers, Wake!, 1982

"In the end, the key ingredient for public life is imagination. You imagine something better, you try to bring the people with you."


"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

"A measure of victory has been won, and honors have been bestowed in token thereof. But honours fade or are forgotten, and monuments crumble into dust. It is the battle itself that matters - and the battle must go on."


"Our musicians and our songwriters are the modern day storytellers of Australia. Just as the poets of the 1880's, 1890's, Lawson and Paterson did for their generation, it's now up to us to tell the story of Australia today."

LEE, KERNAGHAN - Australian of the Year Presentation 2008

"Ordinary people need to lead and not sit there and think that governments are going to spoon-feed them and look after them and look after the country, because they won't."


"But everyone here thinks we can't afford to lead, which I find almost hilarious because I think we're ranked number 47 just behind Azerbaijan in countries doing something about climate change. When Australia was the second country behind New Zealand in 1908 to give women the vote, were people then saying, oh we can't afford to lead, we can't have these women having the vote, that could be scary and civilisation could end? I just don't understand the fear of leading and I don't understand why we can't be leaders. Australia is the best-placed country to make the most out of clean energy. We have the wind, we have the solar, we have the geothermal, we have the wave, we have all these things right on our doorstep and we could export this technology to the world and be a leading country and get rich from it. And wouldn't that be a bloody disaster!"

JASON, KIMBERLEY - The Age, 12 September 2011

"It is often said that the best leaders are those who serve."


"I am sure that no one coming to this ceremony expected a High Court judge to use the occasion to talk about that four-letter word, love. But that's a good thing. In life, never be predictable. It's so uncool. "

MICHAEL, KIRBY - High Court judge But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech Griffith University 2008

"So I want to identify, if I can, the most important thing that we discover in life. At least, it is the most important thing that I have discovered. I will share it with you, like a precious jewel, fit for this occasion. I refer to love. Love for one another. Love for our community. Love for others everywhere in the world. Love transcends even scholarship, cleverness and university degrees. It is greater than pride and wealth. It endures when worldly vanities fade..."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - High Court judge But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech Griffith University 2008

"I am the result of a loving upbringing in a peaceful country, with wonderful parents and siblings, a very long-term relationship, stability, support - but a feeling that life isn't always just and that there is injustice for people and we should do something about it."


"And one way to give it a stimulus is to give the courts the opportunity to respond to something over which the politicians can't wield control - that is, people who go to court and say: 'Steady on, you have ignored or you have breached a basic principle. It affects me and I believe you should be reminded of this and if possible, that the law be interpreted so that it conforms to the basic principle."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - on making the democratic process work more effectively

"Whether you are a business leader or political leader, you need people around you who are prepared to tell the truth."


"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."

PROFESSOR MARCIA, LANGTON - on the need for constitutional change

"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."

PROFESSOR MARCIA, LANGTON - on the need for constitutional change

"Whatever a woman does or is, she is criticised. The most innocuous qualities could be twisted to show her in a bad light... If she is vivacious and enjoys social life she is a 'flirt' or a 'gadabout', if she is quiet or of a more serious turn of mind she is 'withdrawn' or 'stupid'. Through such sneers in conversation, writings, jokes or cartoons, contempt for women was handed down from one generation to the next. It was time for some systematic analysis of this constant crusade in the newspapers here in Sydney and all over the civilised world - habitual belittlement leads women to mistrust themselves and silently tolerated jests against womankind."


"In thinking about the special qualities of a leader, a number of essentials spring to mind - insight, clarity of purpose or vision, tenacity, and the ability to inspire others to work towards a common goal."


"Tomorrow's leaders must be prepared to facilitate achievement by others. This means giving people more control over their own work. Less direct management of those working for you, and more emphasis on their training and building their confidence are required."


"In our society, we are all open to scrutiny by the public. Leaders in the future must continue to pay careful attention to the demands and expectations of the community. They must be strong defenders of values and high standards, and must ensure that these apply throughout their organisations."


"We are far more effective on the inside looking out than the outside looking in."


"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."


"The yearning for strong leadership is more about strength of purpose - clarity of vision - than about merely 'getting tough'."


"Polls are no substitute for leadership because, at its very essence, leadership is about giving people what they don't already have - a sense of vision, inspiration, or even an adequate grasp of a particular subject."


"It is the misfortune of contemporary leaders, across the whole spectrum of Australian life, that the community's demand for strong leadership is growing in direct proportion to our lack of confidence in ourselves. The end of this century is an unusually difficult time to be a leader in Australia."


"One of the most important responsibilities of leaders in any setting - including business organisations - is to tell us our own story; to explain us to ourselves; to help us weave some meaning and purpose into the fabric of our lives; to illuminate our understanding of where we have come from; to paint word pictures of our future onto which we can project our aspirations."


"When we can start to think of leadership as an activity that brings about real progress in a community or a system, as an activity that can be done by anyone, then that starts to free us up."


"Thinking about leadership in a different way - that it's not about the attainment of, and the holding on to, and the use of power, it's about mobilising people to face reality and take responsibility for the tough issues they face and find a way of working together to bring about real and fundamental changes. Ultimately it's about human progress."


"Real leadership is a much more inclusive and collaborative activity. There are people right across our communities who don't have formal power or hierarchical power who are exercising leadership every day on tough issues - people who wouldn't necessarily identify with the word 'leadership' - but we continue to look to 'leaders' for the answers, and, increasingly, because of the complex nature of the world, those people fail to provide those answers and then we blame them. We do it continually with our political leaders. Our expectations are out of control because we're looking for a messiah, and this is really unhelpful because it's a fantasy. "


"We are stuck in an outdated notion that leadership is about hierarchy and power - very much the 'great man' (and that's usually a white man) theory of leadership - which is always going to be a highly elitist and limited view. The complexity of the challenges we now face requires a new way of thinking about leadership. We see leadership as mobilising people to face reality - both the tough challenges and the new opportunities. "


"The barriers to our integration are attitudinal, structural and procedural. They reflect the resistance or indifference of those who currently enjoy leadership to any changes which might force them out of their comfort zones."


"Fearless leaders have one-on-one meetings with the right people to get the 'real' picture."


"Fearless leaders build a team of champions around them."


"Fearless leaders do not try and predict the future. They focus on shaping it."


"Fearless leaders build a legacy not an exit strategy."


"Fearless leaders put the business first and egos second."


"The Western societies which espouse free market capitalism survive by the pursuit of greed and, in their own way, like Communism, throw into leadership men and women (mostly men) who know how to gain, exert and manipulate power."


"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."


"... what we should be looking for is fresh ideas of how we make moral decisions about our dealings with one another, economic, social, cultural. Economic determinism is an objectionable creed where men and women espouse it in its communist or capitalist form because it treats human beings as economic units and not as responsible persons."


"It has been an unexpected and huge honour which I truly think could have just as easily gone to any one of so many other Australians... It has been a serendipitous event but a wonderful gift which I am trying to share and leverage for the benefit of all of us affected by mental ill health."

PROFESSOR PATRICK, McGORRY - Australian of the Year Presentation, 2010

"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."

PATRICK, McGORRY - on refugees in detention centres, 2000

"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."

MARTIN, McKENZIE-MURRAY - A New Shade of True Blue, The Age 26 January 2012

"I embrace the concept of enlightened self-interest - that in doing something for others, people also reap profound benefits for themselves. It might involve a little bit of sacrifice and discipline, but, and this is so crucial to understand, that participation has given me back so, so much more than I have given it."


"Investing intelligently in those of us who are marginalised means fewer people in jail, fewer homeless, fewer unemployed, fewer of us who are forlorn and depressed, fewer people addicted to things that drag us down... Because as we invest in those that do it tough, we will see more Australians taking pride in themselves, having realisable dreams and aspirations and making their own positive contribution to the world's greatest nation."

SIMON, McKEON - The Age, 26 January 2012

"We are a nation with the most amazing potential. We are, I believe, not only the "Lucky Country" but possibly the "Luckiest Country". Our island continent has extraordinary beauty, has the oldest continuous living culture, is relatively under-populated, has a rich scientific, sporting, arts and multi-cultural heritage and, of course, has an economy which is the envy of the developed world. But to be a truly great nation, in my opinion, means adding to this list the importance of ensuring our most vulnerable are given a fair go..."

SIMON, McKEON - The Age, 26 January 2012

"It's good for them (Australians) - the sector is in perennial need of all sorts of inputs - but it's also good for us. It gives back so much more than we ever give it. When we volunteer to do something that is absolutely non-compulsory, chances are we get back a very special feeling that sadly many of us don't otherwise have."

SIMON, McKEON - on the community being involved in the not for profit sector

"You can only lead others where you yourself are willing to go."


"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."

SIR ROBERT , MENZIES - The Forgotten People Speech, 22 May 1942

"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."


"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."

SIR ROBERT, MENZIES - The Forgotten People Speech, 22 May 1942

"No man is a hero in his own country."


"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept."


"Change is bloody hard and it takes generations but you have to take steps. The sign of success is when the momentum does not rely on the leader."


"Women are vital to us maintaining our capability now and into the future. If that does not suit you, then get out..."


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


"A successful leader must be wedded to the spirit of the age. "


"Leadership is difficult to define, but it is easy to recognise. When you see leadership its presence is unmistakable."


"The idea of leadership ... is based on five pillars, the most important of which is the fundamental need to create among your followers a strong and enduring sense of purpose. You must create the culture, work hard at keeping things simple, remember to never put yourself above the foibles of human nature and always celebrate life."


"All men and women are stubborn seekers of a sense of purpose. The core task of a leader is to establish and nurture a strong and enduring sense of purpose."


"What a community gets in its leaders is exactly what it asks for, no more and no less. Our leaders reflect the kind of society we are, the role we seek to play in the world and the way we see ourselves."


"You must never put yourself or those you lead above the foibles of human nature. To do so, is to attempt to place yourself and your followers beyond the fundamental truths of the human condition."


"It seems incredible that the war is over. There has been no reaction here, just life as normal because we are well past the stage of being excited over anything... I feel I have done my part, Mother - my conscience is very clear and I feel also that I am now free of my obligations to my country. Although it's a terrific waste of years out of my life, I am glad I have done it - I would do the same again... I have learnt such a lot Mother; and I know that whatever trials lay ahead, in the end I will succeed in whatever I take on."

JOHN, MURRAY - Journey to Tobruk, Louise Austin

"The show is in the casting. Choose the right people. "


"Leadership today is about understanding that the market imperatives of growth, change and innovation and the community imperatives of safety, security and certainty are not mutually exclusive. Today's leaders in business and the community know their job is not to make either-or choices but to get the balance right."


"It's such a rarity to have women in senior powerful positions. We can name them all. Fact is, women can handle power and handle it well. That's something I'd like a lot more women to understand."


"The motivations of a scientist are always mixed and complex... every medical student has the desire to do good in the world. Making a small contribution to that effort is really in a sense the last significant thing that I want to do with my life. "

SIR GUSTAV, NOSSAL - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"I am most proud about the science I've done with my own two hands because I have always thought that even if your life path takes you into a leadership position outside the area you were known for, your legitimacy remains in that first field."


"Barry Jones once said that Australia is the only country where the word 'academic' is a pejorative. The academic sector has a vibrant and practical role to play in this complex world of ours. Higher education and research are worthy of your much closer attention. Yes, we can be and should be the clever country. Our progress can be within the highest ethical and moral framework. But this will only happen if we place appropriate emphasis on education, research and innovation within a truly international framework."


"Community leadership is the courage, creativity and capacity to inspire participation, development and sustainability for strong communities."


"Unfortunately for many Aboriginal people, of course, they've been in the situation of being herded on government reserves. Their own responsibility's been assumed by Protectors of Aborigines and by government officials and if you become part of that system, it's always difficult to break out of it."


"We are all here now and we have to solve our differences and live together as Australians... I will use the title you have honoured me with to bring the Australian people together... Together we can build a remarkable country, the envy of the rest of the world."

LOWITJA, O'DONOGHUE - at the Australia Day 1984 presentation ceremony

"Public advocates, leaders, and directors of boards, such as myself... have to be always looking at our own behaviour, at the behaviour of those we can influence around us."


"I realised that, unless I was to become a politician or a researcher, my only real contribution could be to build a publishing enterprise based on sound commercial principles, that would ignite in others a passion for the natural world. I chose to target children of all ages. I soon found I was able to create, produce and sell products that celebrated nature and inspired a personal connection with its beauty and fragility. I knew that my young audience, having made a connection, would grow up believing in the magic of nature. When environmental issues arose, these children, now adults, would lend their voices to make the collective environmental consciousness stronger. This is my drive and has been my reason for being for the last half a century."

STEVE, PARISH - Steve Parish 50 Years Photographing Australia

"This capacity to shape a vision of what can be achieved, and to share the vision with others so that it becomes their own, is one of the most important elements of leadership. "


"The role and style of a leader depends very much on the character and nature of those led."


"It's easy to make life unbearable for a woman trying to get a difficult job done. It's very, very easy. Which is why we are doing it."

BEN, POBJIE - 23-Apr-12

"It's very important that as a leader you communicate your vision clearly."


"You will find that as future leaders you're pushing people to achieve what you know they're capable of, even if they don't believe it at the time. To this extent you'll be leading from behind."


"Successful leaders see their leadership position as only the beginning, not the end-result of floating or climbing to the top. And almost without exception they have, or they find, a mission."


"Leaders are often seen by their peer group as different, occasionally even eccentric in some ways. And sometimes they do unpredictable things."


"It's largely a myth that leaders single-handedly have all the answers, that they don't need to take advice, and that they get it right the first time and never change course."


"One of the responsibilities of a leader is the maintenance of ethical standards within the organisation he or she leads."


"The best leaders will be seen as those who are prepared to, and do, share their power."


"Ethical behaviour is not only good business, but is essential for any business that wants to achieve long term success and wants to attract quality people to work for it."


"A successful leader will not see him or herself as the sole, or even primary, fount of new ideas and not expect people to give unquestioned authority because of their position."


"One way leadership can manifest itself is to see that everyone gets an opportunity to develop and educate themselves. Giving people the intellectual tools to do a job and removing constraints - and then getting out of their way - can produce remarkable results."


"Vision for an organisation is one level above goals or objectives, it is more general and more deeply felt. Leadership is necessary to get others to fulfil that vision. Leadership is displayed in establishing the conditions and incentives necessary to realise the vision. It taps into the need latent in every human being; the need to feel they are valued; that they can make a difference. Then they will."


"The most exciting thing about women's liberation is that this century will be able to take advantage of the talent and potential genius that have been wasted because of taboos."


"I just looked across and saw my mates getting ripped up, I thought I'd have a crack, not to let my mates down."


"I do what I do because I believe in the country that we live in. I believe we are making a difference in stemming the flow of terrorism into Australia... I want my children to be able to live as everyone does now without the fear of getting on a bus and having it blow up."

BEN, ROBERTS-SMITH VC - of serving in Afghanistan

"I think that we haven't got a long-term plan... If you don't look after your future you are going to be in trouble when the future comes."


"Leadership is more than management, leadership is to think ahead and to know that other people are going to follow. And they are only going to follow you if they understand how you think and how you are making decisions and why, and they are agreeing with that."


"It is the ability to think yourself into the way that other people think that gets you to become a leader."


"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..."

KEVIN, RUDD - Sorry Speech, 12 February 2008

"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"

KEVIN, RUDD - The Apology

"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. "


"You can't feel the need to be liked in public life, because if you do you will compromise the principles that are so important to the public having confidence in your ethics and integrity."


"If you are given a public responsibility, you have to listen, weigh up all the issues, but ultimately you have to form a view of what you genuinely think is in the public interest... put the public interest above the vested interest."


"I didn't set out to become a leader, so I always come back to my first lesson - just do it. If you're the first one out there actively doing something to solve a problem then you'll naturally fall into a leadership role. "


"As a young person who will inherit the world being created now, I want us to start talking about what needs to happen to prevent this kind of tragedy from occurring again and again. I don't want to live in the world we are previewing right now. We need fundamental change, and it starts with a price on pollution that rids our economy of polluting energy and creates clean energy instead. It starts with increased funding for healthy, renewable energy. It starts with a serious commitment from all political parties to do what is right and significantly reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. I hope some good can come out of this tragedy, and that we use it to have a conversation about what we are going to do this year to make these solutions a reality."

ELLEN, SANDELL - on the Queensland floods

"If women don't lead, nobody else is going to, because nobody else feels as passionately as we do about injustices. We feel passionate about injustices to women and girls, and not in exclusion to injustices elsewhere."


"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..."


"Leadership is of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision."


"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."

TIM, SOUTPHOMMASANE - The Age 9 April 2012

"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."

TIM, SOUTPHOMMASANE - The Age 9 April 2012

"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."

TIM, SOUTPHOMMASANE - The Age 9 April 2012

"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 things we need can wait, the child cannot... To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today. As Australian of the Year I say to Australia - our time is now, we cannot wait."

PROFESSOR FIONA, STANLEY - quoting Nobel Laureate Gabriela Mistral, 2003

"Gus Nossal once said to me that one of the most important characteristics of an institute director was generosity. He's absolutely right. I think that one of the things I am good at as an institute director is being generous. And that means being generous with your time. Taking time out to mentor our young Aboriginal researchers is really important, taking time to find out about what is happening to people in the Institute and where they are going - it takes time to be generous..."

PROFESSOR FIONA, STANLEY - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"... three main components of leadership: mastery of the subject-matter, ability convincingly to articulate the particular course of action required and a fervent belief in its correctness."


"Do not forget that in this wicked world people take you at your own valuation, so make a big noise. That is what men do!"


"Australia is a young multicultural country, rich in natural resources and comparative racial harmony, whose people are down to earth with great initiative. Australia has the capacity to be one of the great nations of the world."

MAJOR-GENERAL ALAN, STRETTON - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"When death and despair reached for us he stood fast, his only thought our wellbeing. Faced with guards who had the power of life or death, ignoble tyrants who hated us, he was the lighthouse of sanity in a universe of suffering and madness."

DONALD, STUART - of Sir Edward (Weary) Dunlop

"When the youth of a nation is entrusted with real decision making powers a zest and urgency comes to the fore and previously insurmountable issues quickly abate."


"I'd like to try to inspire the youth, that's obviously where our future is and the kids are the ones you can mould and you can give them ideas and opportunities and I'd like to try to inspire all the young kids because I had a dream when I was young, that was to play for Australia."

STEVE, WAUGH - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"I suppose, because I am a sportsman and travel all over Australia, I see every day Australians doing small and large and often unnoticed deeds; many times I thought how nice it would be for them to be recognised, so I hope somehow that in receiving this honour that I represent these people. "

STEVE, WAUGH - on being named Australian of the Year 2004

"Living in Australia, we do live in a very, very fortunate society, and in many ways we are cocooned from the broader reality and challenges that both people and animals face internationally... I don't think for a moment that by awakening human hearts to the plight of animals we are not broadly extending compassion to other species and our own species."


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


"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."


"You see it in schools all over... the concept that 'I'll be somewhat less than my best in order to make those around me feel more comfortable' is alive and well... I'm very keen that they understand that if they make themselves a little less than they can be, it is a one-way street to mediocrity."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"Australia has got some of the best sports people in the world, but we've also got some of the best scientists and innovators too, and that needs to be celebrated more."

PROFESSOR FIONA, WOOD - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"An effective leader creates specific, achievable goals, initiates action and enlists the participation of others. They remove distractions; grasps the bigger picture, focuses on one task at a time; completes the task competently and organizes for the future."


"As Aboriginal people we have always retained our resilience, our humour and our cultural integrity - we will always retain our dreams and a vision for the future for our people."


"The purpose of life is to matter and be ever mindful of the opportunities that we can both individually and collectively provide for others."


"We can walk together to change the status quo."


"Leadership is every action that makes the world I touch a better place. "

ROTARY, YOUTH - Slogan Leadership Conference

"Stand up for what you think is right. That might be very different from what I am saying today, but you are allowed to differ from me just as I am allowed to differ from you. That is part of our strength as a country that we can differ from each other."

DR JOHN, YU - addressing graduates at the University of Sydney, 2008

"These are challenging and exciting times. No previous generation of Australians has ever had such an opportunity. No other country in the world has such an opportunity now. So long as we retain faith in ourselves, practise tolerance and reward initiative, we should be in no doubt about succeeding."

DR JOHN, YU - on accepting his Australian of the Year award, 1996

"What Australia was before is the fullest Australia has ever been... as created and made and valued by indigenous people. The white man came here and took it away, took it away and replaced it..."

GALARRWUY, YUNUPINGU - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"We are at last being recognised as the indigenous people of this country whom must share in its future. This is not a day of national mourning for us. We must leave history behind us and look forward."

GALARRWUY, YUNUPINGU - 1960-2010 Australians of the Year, Wendy Lewis

"It's about people coming to an understanding, a realisation that we must bridge the gap, build bridges and make people aware of what's happening. The award gives me the kind of pride and understanding that most people wouldn't think of. It is strengthening the Yolgnu people, but it's also giving strength to Balanda people who otherwise don't have that kind of understanding..."

MANDAWUY, YUNUPINGU - on accepting the Australian of the Year award 1992