The ANU end of year graduation ceremonies honoured four distinguished global leaders - former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife, businesswoman Thérèse Rein, former military commander Sir Angus Houston and Indonesia's former Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa. All four received honorary degrees from ANU in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Australia and the region.
Below are written copies and audio links to their speeches from each of their ceremonies.
Dr R.M Marty M. Natalegawa
Listen to audio of Dr Natalegawa's speech here.
Professor, the Honourable Gareth Evans, Chancellor of The Australian National University,
Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor of the ANU,
Distinguished academics of the College of Asia and The Pacific,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I stand before you today with a deep sense of humility - for the recognition that the ANU has chosen to confer ...
Not least of all, however, I am inspired by the possibilities and potentials that each and every one of the graduates today offers in making for the betterment of our global society - in particular in promoting a stable, a prosperous, and a "pacific" Asia Pacific region ...
For there is, indeed, an unfortunate familiar refrain that speaks of some of the ills or challenges confronting our world today ...
I speak here, for example, of the prevalence of trust deficits ...
Between nations, large and small, which manifests in the worst-case assumptions of the other's intent - injecting and sustaining a vicious cycle of tensions and instability - made all the more acute when matters of territorial disputes are involved ...
And of trust deficits within nations - democratic and authoritarian alike, - a condition only too readily seized and exploited by the demagogy of those bent on whipping up public fervour for the sake of popularism ...
And I refer here as well of the many paradoxes of our world...
Of a world where the revolution in digital technology has made information more bountiful than ever, and yet of peoples no more better informed - a post-truth world;
Of a world of endless streams of images and incessant social media chatter, and yet a world having less capacity to hear, let alone listen to, and empathize with, the other; and
a world that may be more technologically interconnected and yet, at the same time, somehow less connected - as witnessed by increasing evidence of intolerance and divisive politics ...
Ours is truly a world full of uncertainties; where change is ever permanent ...
However, as long as such is the case, then the possibility for positive change is always open ...
More than ever, I believe that we are at a critical juncture: choices between the politics of hope and fear; between intolerance and celebration - not mere tolerance - of diversity; and between divisive and cooperative leadership ...
And, however insignificant and powerless one may sometime feel - the choices that each and every one of us make, can make a difference - a positive difference.
My association with the Australian National University began some thirty years ago; coinciding with the beginning of my career in the diplomatic service of Indonesia. Representing one's nation - from the hallowed halls and corridors of the United Nations, its Security Council included; to the conflict ravaged terrains of Darfur and Afghanistan; the displaced peoples in many corners of the world; the promise that is ASEAN; and in the building and nurturing of relations with neighbouring countries - not least of all Australia - has been a tremendous honour and privilege ...
All throughout - I have been driven by the quest: not to take the world as it is, rather, how it can be: a more secure, a more prosperous and a more equitable world ... idealistic realism;
To positively alter the dynamics in relations among nations - convinced in the belief that nations states are not destined to be permanently mired in relations of tensions and conflict - that they are policy outcomes ... waging peace.
To chart synergy and complementarity between the relentless pursuit of national interests and the reality that ours is a globalized world, replete with challenges that defy national solutions alone ... cooperative leadership.
And not least of all - convinced of the power and efficacy of diplomacy - of dialogue and persuasion - in the sustained settlement of disputes ...
Hence, I have sought to pursue a foreign policy that is transformative. Not to see in change as threats to be overcome; rather as opportunities.
Thus, ensuring that Indonesia's democratic transformation post-1998, serves as a catalyst in Indonesia's foreign policy to push for greater respect of democratic principles and good governance within ASEAN through its Political and Security Community and beyond - and to see in Australia, not only our geographic neighbour, rather also a fellow partner in democracy;
Hence, the efforts to extrapolate ASEAN's transformative experience - the conversion of trust deficit in Southeast Asia to strategic trust - to the wider East Asia region, through the East Asia Summit and the promotion of a "dynamic equilibrium" for the region ...
In short, to present Indonesia as part of the solution - building bridges - to address some of the most intractable challenges of our time: international peace and security, sustainable development, promotion and protection of democratic values, human rights and good governance ...
In a 24/7 world of incessant news cycle, where some may succumb to place primacy on form over substance, it is worth emphasizing that diplomacy is a process and not an event. It is one that requires the earnest of efforts, building and, indeed, rebuilding trust and confidence. Sometimes, it demands an almost infinite reservoir of patience, of perseverance and resilience... not to relent to a personal sense of exasperation. For emotion is not policy ...
Notwithstanding the most sincere of good will and the strongest of efforts - for different reasons - conditions are not always propitious for optimum progress to be made. In such instances, it is critical to acknowledge the constraints of the moment and, ensure that one does not make the issues even more intractable for future generations who may possess the requisite wisdom previously lacking ...
Some twenty six years ago, the Australian National University graciously and warmly welcomed, my wife, Sranya, and I, and our young family. The suburbs of Downer, Pearce, and O'Connor became our home. Our eldest daughter, Annisa, began her schooling at the O'Connor School, and subsequently attended the ANU for her post-graduate degree. Anantha, our second, was born at the then Woden Valley Hospital and, even as a young toddler, kept company as we attend the Canberra Raiders games at the then Bruce Stadium! And our youngest, Andreyka, has since attended the Asia Pacific Week here at the ANU, further deepening his interest and understanding of our dynamic region. Sranya was entrusted by the University's Childcare Centre to provide care for a good number of young children of Australian families. Myself, I got to know the Lyneham and O'Connor neighbourhoods rather well as I deliver the morning papers every morning!
Since then, I have come to experience the remarkable resilience of Indonesia-Australia relationships. I have never lost sight of the fact that there is far more that unites us than that which divides as fellow vibrant democracies ... And that policy-makers must not lose sight of such realities - that they must instead foster and nurture peoples' basic inclination to simply get along ...
Before I conclude, please allow me a personal note ...
My family - Sranya, Annisa, Anantha and Andreyka - have been the love of my life. They have lent unstinting support and understanding, and made personal sacrifices; without which all would have been impossible. I dedicate all my efforts to them ...
To all the graduates, and their families present, once again, congratulations!
Sir Angus Houston
Listen to audio of Sir Angus Houston's speech here.
Professor, the Honourable Gareth Evans, Chancellor of the Australian National University, Prof Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor, distinguished members of the official party, graduates, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the wonderful honour that you have bestowed on me, I'm very humbled by the action. I didn't expect it and I will wear the honour with great pride. Thank you very much Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and all members of the University. Can I add my congratulations to all the graduates who received their graduating certificates today. It was wonderful to be here and it was wonderful to see what an international university the Australian National University has become over the years. I think it's a great thing that we have seen so many students- sorry, graduates, from so many different countries.
May I say that you've now got great skills, skills that you will use in your own communities, in business, in government, in academia, in research. I think it's very important though, that you face the next challenge and I would submit to you, one of the great challenges you face into the future, is that much will be expected of you as leaders in the fields that you are so skilled in. And it will happen very, very quickly, indeed as soon as you go into a job, I'm sure many of you will be leaders. So let me give you a few pointers as to what I found has worked very well for me through the years, and I have five fundamental pointers, five fundamental principles that I frame all my leadership around. Let me say at the outset, leadership is the lifeblood of every successful organisation that I have seen. I have seen excellent leadership deliver outstanding results, far beyond the expectations of myself and others.
Conversely, in both the military and in civilian life, I've seen poor leadership result in very poor outcomes and in the case of the military, mission failure. So it's very important that you master leadership as you go forward with the rest of your lives. The first principle is clear direction. If you're a leader, you need to give direction to your people, you need to have a vision. It will generally be the vision of the company or the organisation but you fundamentally go where the vision is, and it's up to the leader to be able to articulate, communicate and explain that vision to the people that you interact with, who will be following you and following your lead. In more operational circumstances such as I found myself in, in Kiev in the Ukraine, a couple of years ago when I was asked to lead Australia's response to the great disaster of MH 17 and the loss of almost 40 Australian lives. What I found was that it was vitally important to let everybody know what my intent was, on a daily basis. By that way we were able to work adjust what we needed to do on the basis of how things had developed over the previous day or the previous few days. So vision and intent are the important things and it's also all about communicating and explaining them to your people.
The second principle is culture. I think everybody in the room would know that culture is incredibly important. I found the sort of culture that works for the organisations that I've been in and that I have led, is a people based culture, putting people first. It's people that deliver the outcomes that you will need as leaders, therefore you need to create a good relationship with the people, and the culture needs to reflect that. I think the culture always needs to be values based and I always put a high price on the values of professionalism, integrity, courage, innovation, teamwork, collaboration and respect. And by respect, I mean respect for everybody who is in the organisation, irrespective of ethnic background or gender. Gender or ethnic background are never discriminators in the organisations that I have led and if there was any sense of that in the organisations that I led, I worked very hard to eliminate them from the organisation. I think the pursuit of excellence is also very important in that sense.
So, the next principle is leadership itself, strong leadership. I've mentioned putting people first but the best way to lead people is to lead by example. Do as I do, not do as I say. You will have to set the standard and you should do everything that you would expect your people to do. I've always found that safety is something that is vitally important and you as the leader of an organisation, always needs to put safety first because at the end of the day, the health, the well-being of your people relies on a safe environment. So there needs to be a high priority on that. And can I say that I've found that if you work tirelessly for the welfare of the people that you're privileged to lead and you empower them, they will follow you to the ends of the earth. And I found that in the military environment and in the civil environment, it's a very powerful thing. I think the other thing about leadership, is there's no place for negative leadership, no place for intimidation, coercion or bullying.
All leadership needs to be positive and the only emotion that should be evident, is the emotion of passion. Passion for what you want to achieve, passion for how you are going to encourage your people to achieve those outcomes. I think more and more, as the complexity of our environment evolves, leadership needs to be a collaborative activity. Collaboration is much more powerful or leadership through collaboration is much more powerful than the old idea of a single leader telling everybody to go this way and that way. At the end of the day the complex problems that you will be facing require an input from all of your expertise and it really is a collaborative form of leadership that I think is required in the modern era.
My fourth principle is communication. The best form of communication is a small group or one-on-one. One-on-one or a small group, eye to eye, face to face. People can connect in those circumstances and I would submit, connect much more effectively than through a computer or social media. It's very, very powerful, it delivers the best results. And I think the other thing you've got to be very good at as a leader, is you have to have the ability to listen. Listening is vitally important and when I was leading difficult cultural change, I used to go out and walk around my people on a daily basis and I would feel the pulse of what was going on by listening to the people. It was much more about listening than transmitting and I think communication, listening is the most important part of the game.
Finally, the final principle is creative and constructive relationships. I have never seen anything positive come out of an adversarial relationship. So I have always worked to have a constructive relationship that over time, becomes a trusting relationship. A relationship that is full of integrity and trust will deliver fabulous outcomes, particularly when you get the ... to the stage, where you start to partner and work collaboratively. So it all comes from having a constructive relationship in the first place, and what you get is trust and integrity and fantastic outcomes over time.
So that's really all I want to say. There's some simple little rules, experience if you like, principles that I have given you. I hope they are helpful to you as you go out on the wonderful lives that you have in front of you. It will be a great journey, it will require leadership at all levels. Never ever underestimate that somebody beneath you can also assist you in your leadership journey, in achieving the outcomes you need to achieve. And at the end of the day, I think the higher you go, the further you go, the more collaborative your leadership will become and again, that will deliver great outcomes for you, be it business, government or indeed, academia, in a research environment or in a teaching environment. So good luck, congratulations again and it's been an absolute pleasure to be with you today, thank you.
Listen to the audio of Thérèse Rein's speech here.
I came to the National University for the first time in a hot, dry summer of 1976, just after the Governor General had dismissed the elected Prime Minister and the government had fallen. I came here with an early entry invitation, which actually proved lifesaving. Arriving as I did, in my final year of school, just immediately after my father had been involved in a life threatening eight car pileup on his way home from work. I'm so grateful for that early invitation for entry because it took a lot of pressure off the end of HSE, and off my family.
I arrived here with people from all over this great country, with different lived experiences of what it is to be Australian. I arrived here to meet people and to share living at Bergman College, with people of many different fields of fascination. I arrived to study with people from all over the world, a large proportion of whom at that time, were doing postdoctoral research, Master's research, and had already found their field of fascination. I was 17 and a very young 17 but the admixture of backgrounds, cultures, fields of study, languages, and beliefs, made for a really rich ground of serendipitous learning outside what I was learning in the lecture theatre.
And at Bergman College I met my life partner, Kevin, who is here today, as is our youngest son, Marcus. I think we met on the second day of uni, he says the first. We'd been out at a student Christian movement meeting, so you know, in ... you kind of go to everything. And he said, "I think you live at Bergman College, don't you? Would you like to walk back together?" he walked me back to Bergman. We talked about our life stories, where we had grown up. He on a dairy farm in south-east Queensland, I in a big city. We talked about our family history and where difficulties had struck in both of our family lives. We talked about what we were studying. I was then starting out on Law and Psychology, and I was thinking maybe I would go into mediation. Maybe there were different ways of solving things that ended up in court or maybe I would go into family law.
And he told me he was going to do Chinese. "Chinese?" I said to him, "Why are you doing Chinese?" and he said, "Well, China is large, it's to our north. Nixon has opened relations with China. Australia has recognised China, we need people who understand the language, and the culture and their outlook, and I think the next century will be the China century," he was 18. We talked about the politics of the day and there were a lot of politics and I said at the end of our cup of tea, "I think the Australian Parliament needs someone with your vision for the future and with your understanding." So I was 17 and he was just 18. We then argued and debated vociferously for the next 18 months, we disagreed about absolutely everything. Until one day he asked me out. I said, "We've just been out," he said, "I don't mean like that." And our lives together have been full of ideas and travel, China, and debate, service, a hope for a better world. Full of our three wonderful children, our two wonderful children in law, and our two beloved grandchildren.
My study evolved away from the law to focus on psychology. Just in time for my honours year, we had a new professor arrive, a professor of clinical psychology at last, Prof Don Bern. And I had become fascinated by depression as a crippling disease, despite the view of some who should know better. It was about the beginning of cognitive behaviour therapy in psychology, so it's a very long time ago but I became intrigued with the work of Martin Seligman, and particularly his model of learned helplessness as a model of depression, and ways of reversing that. So, I had a big last week here, I handed my thesis in on the Tuesday, I did my final exam on the Thursday, you've all just been through that. I packed my apartment on the Friday, we got married on the Saturday, and we left the country for five years on the Sunday. I always feel sorry for my mum.
I had a plan for Sweden, which is where we went first, because of course, Kevin had studied Chinese. So my plan was, either I was going to get a job as a psychologist, when the ambassador organised the reciprocal working arrangements for diplomatic spouses, or I was going to study. I was going to do six months of Swedish and then 18 months, Masters, neither of which worked out. When I arrived in Sweden, the ambassador called me in and he said, "Well Mrs. Rudd," which is not my name, "Well Mrs. Rudd, I believe women should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, and I am stopping the negotiations for reciprocal working agreement." So I wasn't going to work as a psychologist was I?
So then I thought, "Okay, I'll go to plan B and I'll do my Swedish for six months, and I'll do my Masters in 18 months and by the time we leave here in two years' time, I'll be qualified." And in the intervening period between my researching that and arriving in Sweden, they changed the rules. And to be a year of Swedish and two years' of Masters and I had to be in country and that didn't work. Sometimes in life our plans don't work out, but a great education and personal resilience I guess, flexibility and particularly people around us who say, "I think you can," and loves us and encourage us, that can really help.
After five years, Kevin and I came back to Australia, Jess was two and half, and Nicholas was 12 days old. He had been born in Hong Kong on the way home. I was looking for a part-time job and I saw an advertisement for a rehabilitation consultant, and I ring them up and said, "What is it?" They said, "Well, it's the one who works with people with injuries." And I said, "Well, I've got a background in psychology. I'm not actually a registered psychologist," because all the rules had also changed in the five years, "do you think I could help?" And they said, "Well maybe," so I went and read as much as I could about all of that and about what rehabilitation case management was and who paid and why, and they gave me the job.
One of my very first clients was a young man out in western New South Wales, in rural New South Wales. He had hurt his back. He was a boilermaker, he'd gone from $1,200 a week salary to $259.60. He had young children and he was married. He had loved riding his Harley Davidson bike, he had loved playing roughhouse with his kids, and all these things had suddenly changed in his life. And I thought, "Well," as I listened to him and I thought, "Well of course you know, this injury isn't just happening in one part of his life, it happens to all of him. It doesn't just happen to him, it's happening to his family. They're having fresh encounters with grief and they don't quite know where to start." And I thought, "Well, I know about this, I know about this. I know that when you hit a brick wall, sometimes you have to get a ladder and climb over it or a shovel and dig under it. Or a pickaxe and blast your way through it or walk around it sometimes."
I knew that because of my dad because my father, at the very young age of about 19, had been flying with the RAAF in India, had been in a plane which had taken off and then crashed and had been medivacked back to Australia. As a young man he looked around the spinal injuries unit where everyone was expected to die within six months. He looked around the ward and he saw suffering and he saw people drinking, smoking, playing cards and feeling like there was no life ahead of them. My dad decided that he wanted to go to university. It was not common for people in wheelchairs to go to university in the 1940s and in fact, all the medical professionals around him said, "John you can't. You won't get admission, and even if you get admission, you won't be able to get up and down the steps of the lecture theatre, up and down the steps of the library. You won't be able to get to university and even if you do get through all of that, you'll probably be dead by the time you're 25, so what's the point?"
Luckily that was a red rag to a bull for my dad and he solved a whole lot of problems. He worked on a car so he could drive it with a hand control. He found guys who lived close to him who were studying aeronautical engineering and in those ancient days, most engineers were blokes. He asked them if they would- if he could drive them to university and if they would carry him up and down the steps of the lecture theatres and the library. When he graduated in Sydney Town Hall, he graduated to a standing ovation because nobody thought that was possible, for a man in a wheelchair to graduate. After that, dad wanted to work. Why? Because work at its best, is challenging, it's part of community, you're learning, you're mastering, you're contributing, you're part of a team. It's part of dignity and he wanted to work. Yes it's about money but it's about money last.
He got knock back after knock back until some wonderful man in Adelaide, said, "Why don't you come over for a work trial?" and at the end of the week he said to him, "John, you've got the job." All the other aeronautical engineers are also sitting down and in those days, using slide rules. Dad went on and he worked until he was 65, he became a Paralympian and carried the flag for Australia. He founded- he was one of the founders of wheelchair sport in South Australia, and his life inspired me. And what I knew was the role of my mum in supporting and urging, and encouraging and challenging him and that together, they had been able to achieve all sorts of things that no one thought was possible, as they went on life's grand adventure.
So when I was out with this boilermaker in western New South Wales, I thought, "Oh, I know about this. This is not a job for me, this is my life's work." We went on to having 6,000 colleagues in 12 countries, including women helping women in Saudi Arabia into decent lasting work. Where in some cases, in 50% of the cases, they were the first women ever in their families to work. We went on as a great company of people to serve over 500,000 people at any one time in 12 countries. But it was my dad's story that I've just told you that inspired me and inspired my colleagues. What I wish for you today, is that you find your life's work, congratulations.
Listen to the audio of Kevin Rudd's speech here.
First a confession it is indeed a frightening thing to go down on one's knee in front of Gareth Evans the chancellor. There he sits resplendent in the robes of Ramses the Third Great Pharaoh of Egypt. It's nothing in my rich and varied life that could ever have prepared me for that particular experience.
And now for the apology for breaking all convention and removing my ceremonial hat for the purposes of this address for which I should explain my grounds.
The first is a son of a Queensland farmer, and having in the back of my mind the sounds of his strong philosophical advice as a young lad growing where he said, "Kev the bigger the hat the smaller the property" and Gareth this is a spectacularly big hat.
And second, as the chancellor would know in particular, our friends in the media delight in nothing more than having film and photographs of those of us in political life wearing silly hats. And this Gareth is a spectacularly silly hat.
Finally, my appeal and that is for those of you who have come to listen to and see genuine brains and beauty and insight then you've come to the wrong session, because that was my wife Therese's session this morning. She delivered a spectacular address, with me you get the consolation prize. I'm the political handbag of this operation and Therese your speech this morning I found genuinely moving.
It's an honor to address this great Australian national university and you the graduating class of 2016. I remember sitting in this hall this very same hall 35 years ago, when I too graduated. You should be proud of what you've achieved, as you've just heard it doesn't come easily. I know I was proud of what I achieved way back then in the Mesolithic period. Your family should be proud too, are you proud families?
Take it in guys and girls, you deserve that. I know that when my mother attended my graduation 35 years ago, having been the first in our family's history to darken the doors of a university. Since our family first arrived here as reluctant guests of his majesty and 1719. That she too was enormously proud. You should also be proud of this great university as one of the leading universities of the world. This is the nation's university one specifically created under Commonwealth Statute back in 1946 to serve the nations interests following the existential threat faced by Australia in the Second World War, for which we were then so poorly prepared.
70 years later barely the span of one person's life profound challenges remain for our nation's future amidst this profoundly troubling world. And it is on these great national and international challenges and the role which each and every one of you can play as leaders of the future in your future fields of endeavor that I wish to speak today.
We live friends in deeply unsettling times in a deeply unsettled world where once again the great questions of war and peace rumble across the international headlines. Casually almost as a matter of routine as if we have somehow become inoculated to their meaning. We live to in a troubled country with growing uncertainties on how we carve out our economic future.
We also live, some of us, in troubled communities where the politics of race once again raise their ugly head. In indigenous Australia where reconciliations seemed possible not long ago we now seem to be sliding back in to older more familiar patterns of division and despair.
Then there is the planet itself which we all share and which despite the best efforts of many we pass to your generation in sad disrepair. Of course, our national cup remains more than half full. There is much to celebrate much to celebrate much to be grateful from those who have gone before us and even more to encourage among our fellow Australians for the future.
Our land and our people have indeed been deeply blessed. Yet I fear that part of our cup that remains empty may become the larger part. But somehow, we seem powerless to act as if we've lost a little of our national bearings, lost a little in a national culture of learned helplessness, lost in what the Jesuits have called the globalization of superficiality. Losing faith too in our national institutions.
Satisfied instead sometimes by a shrieking culture of Partisan recrimination that now passes for our national politics. Where the room for discourse on the deep questions of our future becomes increasingly marginal. Where any discussion of national vision let alone global vision disappears amidst the howls of derision from a political class and large parts of the commentariat who's first instinct is to tear down not to build up.
As if we have produced such a, at times, vicious public culture well beyond the realms necessary for robust disagreement and debate where civility is lost and where to admit error is to admit weakness and there for you yield to defeat. A culture which places facts last and opinions first with which what we once called truth seen as little more than subjective illusion.
As a former Prime Minister of this country I am not innocent of any of these charges. And some may say as I now live in America, although returning here several times each year, that I'm now least qualified to comment. Perhaps they are right.
Perhaps however it simply gives me a different perspective. A perspective which sees these forces that I referred to just now. At work, not only in Australia, but across the collective west where the very notion of the west itself and the combined traditions of faith and the enlightenment it represents begin to slide in to civilizational irrelevance as collateral damage in a postmodern world.
I retain a passionate commitment to this country, its future, and what we Australians can and must do in this troubled world of ours. And that my friends is where you the next generation of Australian leaders come in. Because it is your generation that will decide the path that we take. When it's all boiled down there are essentially two visions for Australia's future, one broad and the other narrow. One which is confident of Australia's core values of individual freedom of fairness of compassion of creativity of enterprise all anchored in the great institutions of our great Australian democracy. One which sees our future lying in an expensive inclusive tolerant society based on a binding principals or mutual respect and the guarantees of equal rights and protections for all.
one whose economy is driven by innovation by enterprise fully wired to global markets. Where small businesses and then become global businesses and where employees are seen as partners not as object. And Australia whose national politics is capable of seeing the paramount importance of investing in our infrastructure, the industries the skills formation and the immigration levels needed for tomorrow in order to boost our national population, our workforce participation, and our economic productivity for the future.
An Australia that sees itself as an integral part of the regional and global community. Where our values and our interests are enhanced by comprehensive international engagement. Where we are active contributors to the global solution to challenges like sustainable growth climate change and asylum seekers rather than just being part of the global problem.
That is one vision for Australia, that is one course for the future. And there is of course an alternative Australia. A society which is insular judgmental intolerant of diversity. Retreating to the illusions of a racial and cultural largo. The legacy of what we thought was what was now a long distant past.
Or an economy governed by some of the self-congratulatory arrogance we see from some of our corporate elites, who after hundred years have failed to produce a single memorable made in Australia global brand. Content instead with the comfortable confines of a domestic market of 24 million people and content too with the market seen by the rest of the world as little more than a middle-sized Treasure Island.
Or a politics content with the continued appeasement of the mining majors as if these corporate behemoths should mystically be equated with the national interest. Nourished by the illusion that the mining boom would somehow magically last forever, which it has not, and that building a more resilient economic foundation based on national broadband higher education and the industries of the future. Reinforced by strong immigration was somehow redundant.
In other words, a narrow inward looking Australia that sees the region and the world as a threat rather than an opportunity and one ripe therefore for playing the ever-diminishing politics of race xenophobia and fear.
My friends and you the graduates of this year, I believe that these alternative futures we face. In other words, we can dream and build a big Australia, not just in the size of our population the scale of our economy as necessary guarantees for our long term national survival. But more importantly an Australia that is big in heart, an Australia that is big in imagination, an Australia that is big in innovation, big in its entrepreneurial spirit. With a politics, capable of sustaining big ideas not cringing from them.
As well as an Australia playing a bigger role in the region and the world. A role of which we can be justifiably proud. Or the alternative, a small Australia. A small-minded Australia increasingly disappearing in to itself.
Friends, graduates of this great university. I stand unapologetically for a big Australia. Which is why I'm here among you today. I'm here to gently encourage you if I can do that. In whatever path of life, you choose to take pursuing your areas of passion of fascination and vocation, pursuing them to the full but always deploying the talents that you have for the many not the few.
Each and every one of you will be leaders in your own right. You may not know that now, I had absolutely no clue when I was sitting in your position 35 years ago, Leadership is not about the title that you might have, now or in to the future. Leadership is about the values the ideas and the natives you bring to the table in your family your workplace your enterprise your community your county and in the world at large.
And whether together this great national family of ours can paint a bigger broader canvas of this our country Australia for its future. As what Gareth once described as a good international citizen in this our troubled world.
That's the challenge I'd like to leave with you this afternoon. And I'm confident, having watched you walk across this stage, each and every one of you are capable of rising to the challenge in your own fields of endeavor.
So, let us go together to prosper this commonwealth of ours Australia. And in the words of our visionary federation fathers work together for the common Australian good and the good of all humankind.
I thank you.