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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 10942

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP SPEECH AT THE 1998 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD GOVERNMENT HOUSE, PERTH

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 25/01/1998

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 10942

E&OE................................................................................................................................

To the Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court and Mrs Court,

to Kevan Gosper, to Mr Lawrence, to Tan Le, to the many other distinguished

guests, ladies and gentlemen. Could I first of all say what a great

idea it is that the Australia Day Council now takes the announcement

of the Australian of the Year around Australia. Previously it used

to just about always be announced in Sydney or in Canberra. I think

it's a marvellous innovation that it's now going all around

Australia.

I think it's a tremendous opportunity for all of us as Australians

on an occasion like this not only as I normally do when I come to

such a presentation, and that is to stand in awe of the achievement

and the contribution of men and women of Australia to so many endeavours

and so many walks of life in our country, and when you think of

the breadth of experience and the breadth of contribution and the

sacrifice of individual self for the good of humanity that is represented

by so many of the people who are nominated for this award, it does

rather make you stand in awe of the contribution of individual men

and women to the building and the betterment of our country.

But it's also an occasion to reflect upon values that are

particularly important to all of us as Australians, those values

of optimism, those values of tolerance, those values of perseverance

and those values of mateship and when I look back over the last

year, I am reminded of so many examples of the living out of those

values by Australians, and although not remarking on it as the only

example of course, we are reminded of the tremendously uplifting

experience of all those volunteers in the various disasters, particularly

but not only at Thredbo, but also in the bushfires, and it's

a true demonstration of that great Australian spirit.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have enormous pleasure in announcing that

the Australian of the Year is Cathy Freeman.

Transcript 10942