Well Australia’s been in Afghanistan from the get go way back in 2001 but we have been resolute throughout and with support from both sides of Australian politics.
These are important reforms. Infrastructure education health hospitals closing the gap with indigenous Australians. Also the Apology to the first Australians. As Prime Minister of the country I am proud of each and every one of these achievements.
There is a deep affection in Australia for the Queen. And I mean the Queen’s been the Queen ever since I was born. I mean she is part of the firmament of Australia’s sort of national life there’s a deep respect for her role.
The Apology opened the opportunity for a new relationship based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. Because without mutual respect and mutual responsibility the truth is we can achieve very little.
Something my mum taught me years and years and years ago is life’s just too short to carry around a great bucket-load of anger and resentment and bitterness and hatreds and all that sort of stuff.
Ladies and gentlemen it is with great sadness that I announce that I will resign as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am sad because I love this job. I’m totally dedicated to the work that we are doing in Australia’s name around the world and I believe that we have achieved many good results for Australia and I’m proud of them.
I’m out there arguing the Labor case. I will do it anywhere and everywhere that I can. I do it within various communities across Australia where I am able to make a positive contribution. And let me tell you my voice won’t be silenced in the public debate because the issue at stake for Australia are so stark.
By 2050 the Australian population is expected to grow from 22 million to 36 million. That increase alone will put huge pressure on our towns and our cities. We will need more homes more roads more rail lines more hospitals more schools just to accommodate so many Australians.
But Australia faces additional regional and global challenges also crucial to our nation’s future – climate change questions of energy and food security the rise of China and the rise of India. And we need a strong system of global and regional relationships and institutions to underpin stability.
Australia is a nation of compassion. Courage and compassion. And the third of these great values: resilience.