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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11842

Address at Westfield's 40th Anniversary Dinner, Westin Hotel, Sydney

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: 16/05/2001

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 11842

Subjects: Westfield, Frank Lowy.

E&EO.....................................

Thank you very much Anne, to Frank and Shirley, Peter and David and Steven, their families, Leader of the Opposition, Premiers, ladies and gentlemen.

Frank in that style that so many Australians have come to love and certainly in a style that over the years I have come to love and admire very much said thank you Australia. I think I would be speaking on behalf of all the Australian's present if I returned the compliment and said thank you Frank Lowy.

Thank you for what you and your family have contributed to our country. Thank you for the inspiration that you and so many new Australians are you were called when you came to this country, migrants, whatever description one chooses. That people who came to this country after World War II in particular, leaving behind the most appalling circumstances humanity had experienced, made a new life in our country, taught us new ways. Embraced many of our old ways and contributed in a spectacular fashion, not only to the business and commercial life of Australia, but also to the cultural and communal life of our country. And when you look at the story of Frank Lowy and John Saunders you see a story of not only of people who set out to be successful in business. But you also see the story of people who contributed mightily to their communities. And the announcement Frank that you've made tonight of the $2 million contribution to teachers is a recognition of the importance of education within the Australian community.

You're example Frank has been a remarkable one. You've been successful. You've experienced the ups and downs of business. And most importantly you have retained at all times your integrity and your high reputation for honest dealing.

I'm very pleased and proud to call you a friend. Not just somebody I've come to know as Prime Minister and you as a leading business figure in Australia. You've been a friend of mine no matter what position I've had in public life. And that friendship has been constant and enduring. And that's something that I value very warmly. And speaking as I do tonight before a wide-cross section of the Australian business community I know that I speak for everybody present in saluting the contribution that you have made to business. And when we look back over the last 40 years, it's a period that has seen Australian transformed. We've been transformed cultural and economically and we've been transformed commercially as well.

And tonight is a night to honour you personally and your wonderful family. But also to honour what you and your generation of people who came to this country from Eastern Europe and many other parts of the world immediately after World War II have contributed to the building of the wonderful success that we celebrate in modern Australia.

You did bring us some new ways. You bought us some very positive ways and ways that have changed us forever for the better. And in the process you taught us a broader tolerance and a greater understanding of different cultures and different attitudes. You reminded us of the centrality of family life within your communities. And the Lowy family is a magnificent example to so many of us of a strong, united, purposeful family that has worked and lived together and contributed so much as a group of people.

You contributed greatly to the sporting life of this country. Your work and contribution through the Hakoa Soccer Club and soccer in particular over such a long period of time is warmly remembered by followers of that sport.

You also have taught many people in business a great capacity to survive through adversity and to triumph over challenges and to achieve great success.

So tonight ladies and gentlemen is a night to celebrate what Australia has been able to achieve over the last 40 years. It's an occasion to salute the contribution that migration has given to this country, the diversity its bought us. It's also an occasion to celebrate the success of capitalism. I use that word unashamedly and quite deliberately. The success and the contribution of decent fair capitalism to Australia is one of the reasons why we can all look back with enormous pride over the last 4o years. You've always been, Frank, an unashamed entrepreneur. You believe and have practiced hard work. You believe that companies exist to make profits for their shareholders. You believe that as a result society is enriched. And in the process your companies have contributed mightily to the successive ejectors of Australian Government's for which I collectively on their behalf thank you, most warmly over the years.

But importantly your success is a reminder that if people work hard, if they have imagination, if they have character and they have purpose, and most importantly if they bring a positive attitude to what they do there's no limit to what they can achieve.

I've had the privilege in my life of knowing a number, Frank, of people who've had a similar experience in their early years to you. People who came from those appalling circumstances of Eastern Europe. And I've admired many things about them and one thing above all that admired, and you exemplify it, is the extraordinarily positive and forward looking view that you've always bought to life. Never for you has been focusing on the pessimist and the negative, but always focusing most remarkably on the positive.

So can I say to you Frank again, thank you for what you done for us. Thank you for what you and your family and your companies have contributed to Australia. Thank you for the greater understand that you and your generation have helped bring to other Australians. The Lowy family is warmly and properly so regarded within the Australian community. I wish you ad Shirley and your family the very best of good fortune and good health and thank you for being such wonderful Australians.

[ends]

Transcript 11842