"The mates you serve with are like family and you would do anything for them. In battle, nothing else matters than completing the mission and doing your utmost to bring everyone home."


"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."


"Marriage takes perseverance and determination. There are always opportunities to walk away from marriage but I feel very strongly that you have a responsibility once you start a family."


"... besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child."

BRYCE, COURTENAY - The Power of One

"Well the circumstances certainly cleared the smoke from my cocky cockpit over the past 12 months and, as I've come to terms with the reality of being a single father, it also dawned on me that this enigmatic woman of my dreams had already arrived. The 'epiphany' was that she's not a woman at all but a little girl: my daughter. Here, finally, is the person I can love wildly, unconditionally and forever. It will never go away. My daughter will never walk out or hang up on me (I hope), and I know with a certitude akin to breathing that I will never do so to her."

SAM, de BRITO - about the 'love of my life'

"For the first time I saw my life not as a one-night stand but a continuum, where I owed the generation that followed protection and respect."

SAM, DE BRITO - on becoming a father

"Behaviour unchallenged is behaviour encouraged. "


"Wherever you go in life, keep sweet with the cook. And be a good listener.


GRACE, EGAN - Ted Egan's mother, when he left home at 16 to ?see the world'

"People divide life into work and play. They don't realise that if they choose the right work, work is play. I say to my children, choose the kind of work that brings a smile to your face. "


"I yearn for human contact more than anything else. It provides a happy breeze through the window of my life. I feel stifled on my own, unless I am writing. Then, silence matters."


"I'm a besotted, devoted, hands-on grandmother... It's a state of loveliness that is impossible to predict and hard to describe other than by way of saying I nearly faint with love for the child."


"No marriage, or family, can survive without being worked at. I go to my favourite analogy, that of a garden. If you do not nourish, cultivate, understand its needs and create the right conditions for it, it will die on you - or at least grow very rank, out-of-hand and unproductive. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"One of the most important thing in families, both for children and spouses, is never to close off possibilities - particularly never to make demands or threats. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - My Own Life

"Being a people company, being a people manager is bloody difficult. Like motherhood it takes a huge commitment and is time-consuming, but like motherhood, it is enormously rewarding. "


"I think this feeling that I have for people and the importance of behaving in a way which is respectful to people of all colours, shapes, sizes and religions goes back a very long way... possibly to my mother and father in very early stages of childhood."


"Becoming a father, I think it inevitably changes your perspective of life. I don't get nearly enough sleep. And the simplest things in life are completely satisfying. I find you don't have to do as much, like you don't go on as many outings."


"Your marriage goes to a whole new level (with parenthood). You not only fall in love with your wife in a new way but you're forced to pull together."


"If I'm watching my son play soccer, that's what I'm doing. If I'm going to a school concert, that's what I'm doing. I turn the phone off. I actively tune into whatever I'm doing. I walk every evening with one of my sons and for that half an hour, 45 minutes, that's what I'm doing."


"As a woman, you have to make choices with regard to your life and your career. There is no doubt it's hard. I myself have four children, so life my life is very full. You make choices with regard to how you prioritise, and how you manage your whole life, but again, key to one's success is loving what you do, being very happy in what you do, enjoying working with and through people and prioritising and being pretty focused on what matters. I prioritise my whole life, not just my work life. I don't seek to compartmentalise my life and I make sure I prioritise the absolutely crucial family events, and absolutely crucial activities that surround my four children. "


"When the ground opens beneath a child's feet somebody must catch their hand or they will fall."

PETER, LALOR - Barassi The Biography

"Though you tramp the wide land over,
Though you sail in many climes,
There is nothing half so precious
As the portrait of old times;

Of our Grandfather and Granny
In the clothes that then were worn;
Of the house that knew our boyhood,
Or the hut where we were born.

Of our parent, stiff and staring,
In the portrait-taker's den,
On the morning of their wedding -
God, they've seen some times since then!

O they wake the dead within us,
And they bring us back at last
To the courage of our fathers
And the best part of the past."

HENRY, LAWSON - Old Portraits

"If you have, or had, a good mum you are the recipient of an incalculably precious gift. Many have not had such a gift. Remember the Scriptures say, 'Honour your Mother and Father, if they are worth it.' Or it should do anyway."


"There are certain things in life that are not negotiable. School (insert dental visits/medical procedures/anything they find unpleasant) is one of them. "

BRONNIE, MARQUARDT - a parenting quote I use on my kids

"For me the breakthrough was the realization that I wasn't the center of the universe or even the centre of my own world. That you and your work, your living, are not the only reason you're here. Your role is to shepherd your children through to adulthood. That's the point of life. Your own little sessions and needs and passions are just there to flavour you and help you do that job for your children."


"When you have kids, you just can't believe your heart could love something so much. My kids inspire me every day and I think I'm a better singer now because they have given me a greater emotional well to draw from."

KATIE, NOONAN - on motherhood

"It's funny, 'cause you think surfing is your whole life, but then when you make a family it seems like it's not at all."


"It's important to accept children for who they are."


"It is difficult enough for me, an unmistakable Australian, albeit of the Awstalian rather than the Osstralian variety, to convey in words to other Australians the exact temper of the clan gatherings at Sale, gatherings of no importance, unrecorded because unrecordable, forgotten before begun, proof of nothing that cannot be unproved, and which, allowing for family verve and offhand solidarity, can be nothing else in the world but Australian."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"The unwritten rules of behaviour are infinite in number, finely shaded, and subtle to the last fraction of a degree. They are not to be broken. If broken, the rules of forgiveness leading to re-establishment are equally of air and iron. I learn these rules with rather less ease than my contemporaries because, in the back streets of my being, a duel is developing and increasing in fervour between my instinct which knows why something is so, and my hen-pecking intelligence which wishes to analyse why something is so."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"Anyway, at the age of ten, I am so in love with the hubbub and braggadocio and seeming confidence of the family that I see them as a skylarking herd to whom nothing is ever a problem, to who a problem has never presented itself and never will."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"I am therefore left to my desired and happy condition of obedient son - that is before their faces. Behind their backs I am scarcely less obedient; I run against them - behind their backs - only in matters not fit for adults to know about. Even in these esoteric, and often erotic, performances disobedience is far from specifically so because I am doing not what has been forbidden but what has not been forbidden. The silence and apparent ignorance of my parents is the silence and apparent ignorance I obediently return them in my disobedience to the unexpressed. Behind their backs or before their faces I rarely run against myself."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"It is easier to be obedient to these grown-ups deft in the mechanical tricks of existence, to hold my fork properly, and put it down properly, and to wash my neck, and polish my boots, and say my prayers, than to be disobedient and wrong. I prefer being right."

HAL, PORTER - The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony

"To all our beautiful young people out there. The greatest things in life are right under your nose but they do not take the form of anything you can use or buy. They are your family and friends. Their love is free, cherish them above all else and doing so cherish yourself. Stay away from drugs."


"If tears were a commodity, mothers would own the world."


"Childbirth is an unbearable isolation that concludes in the most profound togetherness."


"Comb your hair, brush your teeth, shine the front of your shoes and SMILE; it doesn't matter if you have the arse out of your strides because a good soldier never looks behind. "


"People do change - individuals, families, nations - and the pace of transformation need not be geological."


"My father's saying, 'The harder you work, the luckier you get.'"


"My mother's great line was, 'Grasp the nettle with two hands, girl, because if you don't somebody else will.'"


"An ethic of maternalism was central to the utopianism of 19th century feminists. I don't think that today's women see motherhood as a source of personal power, let alone political power. I don't think that women now have that same sense that their lives as mothers gives them any special power or virtue. I think women see their lives as mothers as an adjunct to their working lives - a fulfilling and important adjunct, to be sure - but something they do in addition to working in the public realm, not because being a wife and mother gives them a distinct edge in improving the world as we know it."


"Modern women like to think we invented the idea of balancing work and family but women have always done it."


"The purpose of life is to matter and be ever mindful of the opportunities that we can both individually and collectively provide for our Families and Communities in making a difference to their outcomes."


"My parents instilled in us the values of having respect for others, having integrity, trusting others and accepting responsibility for our actions and decisions. We were taught that our word was to be our bond, and that prevails. However, life experiences teach you to be much more astute to those who have ulterior motives based on personal gain."

KEN, WYATT - First Speech, 29 September 2010

"My strongest memory of growing up is following my mother. Looking at her, observing her activities... She'd tell me things at night, bedtime stories around the campfire. Very important message stories that had meanings. They told you how to behave, how to respect that elder, that community leader. I have vivid memories of her giving me information, communication, giving me the freedom to think the way I think is the right way."

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