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Transcript - 23733

Address to Australian Defence Force personnel, Al Minhad Airbase

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/08/2014

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 23733

Location: Al Minhad Airbase, United Arab Emirates

It’s terrific to be here and I want to congratulate you for the work that you’re doing and I know that there are thousands of people in the wilds of Sinjar who are going to be extremely grateful for the work that you have done.

The great thing about Australia is that when people are in trouble, we do what we can to help – and there are a lot of people in diabolical trouble in Northern Iraq right now.

You are putting forward the long, strong arm of Australia to help and protect those people who are at the mercy of the elements, who are at the mercy of the murderous hoards of the Islamic State movement, and I want to say that your professionalism, your commitment and your courage is wholly admirable.

You represent the best in our country and in our civilisation for the work that you are doing tonight and I suspect over quite a few nights to come, because this is a difficult and dangerous part of the world, it is a witches’ brew of complexity and confusion. But nevertheless, what we have at this time is an opportunity to do something which is unambiguously good.

We’re not trying to change a regime, we’re not trying to establish democracy, we’re not trying to uphold one set of values over another, except in this: when something is clearly right and proper and good – and relieving people who are starving and exposed is clearly right and proper and good – well, then, we in Australia try to do what we can to help.

So, as I said, you are representing the best of us. You are carrying with you – in all the work you do on the ground and in the air – you are carrying with you the very best wishes of all your fellow Australians.

The work you are doing will help struggling, suffering humanity and that in the end is what all of us hope to do in our own way – to help struggling, suffering humanity, and you are doing it in a very obvious and transparent and even heroic way this evening. Thank you very much indeed.

[ends]

Transcript - 23733