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Transcript - 24144

Remarks at the Australian of the Year Awards Finalists Morning Tea, Canberra

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: 25/01/2015

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 24144

Ladies and gentlemen it is a real thrill to have so many of our finest citizens and our most inspirational citizens here in the Prime Minister’s Courtyard today. I want to particularly welcome last year’s award winners Adam Goodes the 2014 Australian of the Year, Fred Chaney the Senior Australian of the Year, Jacqueline Freney the Young Australian of the year and Tim Conlan our local hero of last year. May I say to all of our Awardees from last year thank you for everything you have done for our country in 2014.

It is also good to welcome spouses, partners and family member here too because none of us can achieve anything without the support of those close to us. All of you have done so much to help the distinguished Australians who we honour today.

It is great to have Ben Robert-Smith VC here in his new role as Chairman of the National Australia Day Council.

Can I say to all of the nominees for all of the awards, that you are amongst our country’s finest, you represent Australia and Australians at their best. I know that these awards don’t always sit easily with you because you are not naturally people who seek the limelight. You don’t naturally like to be singled out or put on a pedestal but you have lived for others. You have lived in the service of others and it is right that we should honour you.

All of you have had remarkable lives. Each of you would be a worthy winner and every one of you is addressing a vital issue in our national life.

Just to briefly mention the Australian of the Year finalist Deborra-Lee Furness promoting adoption and the cause of giving children without families a better life and families without children a better life.

Rosie Batty who faced an unimaginable tragedy and has become an inspirational campaigner against domestic violence.

Hetty Johnston, Australia’s foremost child protection activist.

Professor Lyn Beazley, a medical researcher and educator helping people not just here in Australia but right around the world.

Gill Hicks, who like Rosie Batty, has turned adversity, extraordinary, horrible adversity into an opportunity to help other to come closer to being their best selves.

Rodney Croome, the activist who more than anyone else ended legal sanctions against gay people in this country.

Glenn Keys a remarkable medical entrepreneur and philanthropist. Again doing good, not just here but right around the world.

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks who has been a long-term campaigner for the environment and for reconciliation.

All of you, every one of you, are doing an extraordinary job and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You've all made our country a better place. Some of you have inspired us, others have challenged us, all of you have amazed us. You are proof that there is no limit to what Australians can achieve. That sense of pride and belonging does epitomise the Australia Day Awards.

We can celebrate our country because we are always striving to be better than we are now and you represent that striving at its best and most effective. Your presence is a reminder that there are so many people doing good and making our country stronger, fairer, more prosperous and more free.

I congratulate all of you, I thank you for making our country a better place for everyone and I am confident that all of you will do great work in 2015.

Thank you for what you do for us.

[ends]

Transcript - 24144